Ultraluminous x-ray sources

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Term: Ultraluminous x-ray sources

An X-ray source that is not in the nucleus of a galaxy, and is more luminous than 10^39 ergs s^-1, brighter than the Eddington luminosity of a 10 solar mass black hole. In general, there is about one ULX per galaxy in galaxies which host ULXs. The Milky Way contains no such objects. ULXs are thought to be powered by accretion onto a compact object. Possible explanations include accretion onto neutron stars with strong magnetic fields, onto stellar black holes (of up to 20 solar masses) at or in excess of the classical Eddington limit, or onto intermediate-mass black holes (10^3 - 10^5 solar masses). NGC 1313X-1, NGC 5408X-1, and NGC 6946X-1 are three ULXs with X-ray luminosities up to ~10^40 erg s^-1.

Created 2023.04.16
Last Modified 2023.04.16
Contributed by Ryan McGranaghan