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Title: OPTICAL STUDY OF THE HYPER-LUMINOUS X-RAY SOURCE 2XMM J011942.7+032421

We present the identification and characterization of the optical counterpart to 2XMM J011942.7+032421, one of the most luminous and distant ultra-luminous X-ray sources (ULXs). The counterpart is located near a star-forming region in a spiral arm of the galaxy NGC 470 with u, g, and r magnitudes of 21.53, 21.69, and 21.71 mag, respectively. The luminosity of the counterpart is much larger than that of a single O-type star, indicating that it may be a stellar cluster. Our optical spectroscopic observations confirm the association of the X-ray source and the optical counterpart with its host galaxy NGC 470, which validates the high, ≳10{sup 41} erg s{sup -1}, X-ray luminosity of the source. Its optical spectrum is embedded with numerous emission lines, including H recombination lines, metallic forbidden lines, and more notably the high-ionization He II (λ4686) line. That line shows a large velocity dispersion of ≅410 km s{sup -1}, consistent with the existence of a compact (<5 AU) highly ionized accretion disk rotating around the central X-ray source. The ∼1.4 × 10{sup 37} erg s{sup -1} luminosity of the He II line emission makes the source one of the most luminous ULXs in that emission. This, together with the high X-ray luminositymore » and the large velocity dispersion of the He II emission, suggests that the source is an ideal candidate for more extensive follow-up observations for understanding the nature of hyper-luminous X-ray sources, a more luminous subgroup of ULXs, and more likely candidates for intermediate-mass black holes.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, E-38205 La Laguna, Tenerife (Spain)
  2. Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3H4 (Canada)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364876
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 797; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ACCRETION DISKS; BLACK HOLES; BUBBLES; COMPACTS; COSMIC X-RAY SOURCES; EMISSION SPECTRA; GALAXIES; HELIUM IONS; LUMINOSITY; MASS; STAR CLUSTERS; STAR EVOLUTION; STARS; VELOCITY; X RADIATION