Journal Article

A new globular cluster black hole in NGC 4472

Thomas J. Maccarone, Arunav Kundu, Stephen E. Zepf and Katherine L. Rhode

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 410, issue 3, pages 1655-1659
Published in print January 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online January 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.17547.x
A new globular cluster black hole in NGC 4472

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We discuss CXOU 1229410+075744, a new black hole candidate in a globular cluster in the elliptical galaxy NGC 4472. By comparing two Chandra observations of the galaxy, we find a source that varies by at least a factor of 4, and has a peak luminosity of at least 2 × 1039 erg s−1. As such, the source varies by significantly more than the Eddington luminosity for a single neutron star, and is a strong candidate for being a globular cluster black hole. The source's X-ray spectrum also evolves in a manner consistent with what would be expected from a single accreting stellar mass black hole. We consider the properties of the host cluster of this source and the six other strong black hole X-ray binary candidates, and find that there is suggestive evidence that black hole X-ray binary formation is favoured in bright and metal-rich clusters, just as is the case for bright X-ray sources in general.

Keywords: binaries: general; stars: kinematics and dynamics; globular clusters: general

Journal Article.  4829 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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