NATURE OF THE EXTREME ULTRALUMINOUS X-RAY SOURCES
Author(s)Wiktorowicz, Grzegorz; Belczynski, Krzysztof; Sadowski, Aleksander; Sobolewska, Malgorzata
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In this proof-of-concept study we demonstrate that in a binary system mass can be transferred toward an accreting compact object at an extremely high rate. If the transferred mass is efficiently converted to X-ray luminosity (with disregard of the classical Eddington limit) or if the X-rays are focused into a narrow beam, then binaries can form extreme ultraluminous X-ray (ULX) sources with an X-ray luminosity of L[subscript X] ≳ 10[superscript 42] erg s[superscript -1]. For example, Lasota and King argued that the brightest known ULX (HLX-1) is a regular binary system with a rather low-mass compact object (a stellar-origin black hole (BH) or a neutron star (NS)). The predicted formation efficiencies and lifetimes of binaries with the very high mass transfer rates are large enough to explain all observed systems with extreme X-ray luminosities. These systems are not only limited to binaries with stellar-origin BH accretors. Notably, we have also identified such objects with NSs. Typically, a 10 M[subscript ʘ] BH is fed by a massive (~10 M[subscript ʘ]) Hertzsprung gap donor with Roche lobe overflow (RLOF) rate of ~10[superscript -3] M[subscript ʘ] yr[superscript -1] (≈2600[. over M][subscript Edd]). For NS systems the typical donors are evolved low-mass (~2 M[subscript ʘ]) helium stars with RLOF rate of ~10[superscript -2] MM[subscript ʘ] yr[superscript -1]. Our study does not prove that any particular extreme ULX is a regular binary system, but it demonstrates that any ULX, including the most luminous ones, may potentially be a short-lived phase in the life of a binary star.
DepartmentKavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research
The Astrophysical Journal
Wiktorowicz, Grzegorz, Małgorzata Sobolewska, Aleksander Sadowski, and Krzysztof Belczynski. “NATURE OF THE EXTREME ULTRALUMINOUS X-RAY SOURCES.” The Astrophysical Journal 810, no. 1 (August 25, 2015): 20. © 2015 The American Astronomical Society
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