31 | 10 | 2014
 
 
P9: Bubble Nebulae of Ultraluminous X-Ray Sources: Towards Intermediate Mass Black Holes? PDF Print E-mail

PhD Stundent: David Cseh

Start Date: Jul 2009
End Date: Jun 2012
Responsible Advisor: Stéphane Corbel (CEA Saclay)
Co-Advisors: Rob Fender (Southampton), Luciano Burderi (Cagliari)

ULX around NGC 1313Ultraluminous X-ray  (ULX) sources are variable, off-nucleus X-ray sources in external galaxies with luminosities greatly exceeding those achievable by Galactic Black Holes (the remnants of massive stars), assuming  isotropic emission. The black hole masses required to produce such high luminosities are significantly above those expected from stellar black holes. Thus, assuming isotropic emission, the existence of ULXs would require a new class of "intermediate-mass'' black holes,  with masses as high as a few hundreds to thousands solar masses.

An important piece of information for our understanding of ULXs comes from the discovery of huge ionized bubble nebulae around a significant fraction of  unobscured ULXs in nearby galaxies, that allowed an independent measure of the (ionizing) X-ray luminosity. For some of these sources, we are also starting to observe associated radio nebulae. The nebulae tend to be quite large, with sizes ranging from 200 to 400 pc. These large nebulae could be interpreted as remnants of an extremely powerful supernova, which was more than 10 times more energetic than a normal supernova. Such ``hypernovae'' may also create Gamma-Ray Bursts, potentially linking ULXs with Gamma-Ray Bursts. An alternative interpretation of  the nebulae, which is supported by the recent detection of a radio counterpart, is that they are continuously energized by unseen jets produced by the ULX. The discovery of associated optical/radio nebulae with ULXs has therefore opened up a new window to uncover the nature of ULXs. Indeed, nebulae powered by  photo-ionization or jets provide a potential means to measure the total energy output  of a ULX in all directions. This capability could potentially enable us to finally answer the question if the X-rays from the ULX  are beamed along our line of sight.

In collaboration with University of Iowa (USA) and the University of Southampton (UK), the PhD student will work on radio and optical data  in order to characterize  the properties of radio nebulae associated with a few nearby ULXs.  By using these nebulae as a calorimeter, (s)he will be able to measure the total energy output of ULX independently. In addition, the student will also compare the properties of the ULX nebula with those of Galactic stellar mass black holes and particularly the microquasars. The researcher will make use of a large campaign of multi-wavelength observations, acquired with the various nodes of the ITN, that will help in characterizing both populations of black holes. If ULXs are indeed intermediate mass black holes, this project will help bridge the gap between stellar and supermassive black holes.

The project involves using the most sensitive observatories available to date, i.e., the VLA and ATCA for radio observations, the VLT (optical) and XMM-Newton and Chandra for X- ray observations. At the end of the PhD project, the researcher will have gained the expertise to reduce data at many wavelengths, which is now recognised as being of prime importance for the development of a future independent carrier at a time when many new major facilities are being built, such as LOFAR, ALMA, Simbol-X, JWST, etc...

An overview talk on the current state  of the project as presented at the Collaboration Meeting in September 2010 in Istanbul can be found here.


Related publications

Refereed
  1. Webb, N., Cseh, D., Lenc, E., Godet, O., Barret, D., Corbel, S., Farrell, S., Fender, R., Gehrels, N., and Heywood, I., 2012, Radio Detections During Two State Transitions of the Intermediate-Mass Black Hole HLX-1, Sci, 337, 554 (ADS-Entry)
  2. Cseh, D., Corbel, S., Kaaret, P., Lang, C., Grisé, F., Paragi, Z., Tzioumis, A., Tudose, V., and Feng, H., 2012, Black Hole Powered Nebulae and a Case Study of the Ultraluminous X-Ray Source IC 342 X-1, ApJ, 749, 17 (ADS-Entry)
  3. Grisé, F., Kaaret, P., Corbel, S., Feng, H., Cseh, D., and Tao, L., 2012, Optical Emission of the Ultraluminous X-Ray Source NGC 5408 X-1: Donor Star or Irradiated Accretion Disk?, ApJ, 745, 123 (ADS-Entry)
  4. Frey, S., Paragi, Z., Gurvits, L. I., Gabányi, K. É., and Cseh, D., 2011, Into the central 10 pc of the most distant known radio quasar. VLBI imaging observations of J1429+5447 at z = 6.21, A&A, 531, L5 (ADS-Entry)
  5. Coriat, M., Corbel, S., Prat, L., Miller-Jones, J. C. A., Cseh, D., Tzioumis, A. K., Brocksopp, C., Rodriguez, J., Fender, R. P., and Sivakoff, G. R., 2011, Radiatively efficient accreting black holes in the hard state: the case study of H1743-322, MNRAS, 414, 677 (ADS-Entry)
  6. Cseh, D., Grisé, F., Corbel, S., and Kaaret, P., 2011, Broad Components in Optical Emission Lines from the Ultra-luminous X-ray Source NGC 5408 X-1, ApJ, 728, L5 (ADS-Entry)
  7. Frey, S., Paragi, Z., Gurvits, L. I., Cseh, D., and Gabányi, K. É., 2010, High-resolution images of five radio quasars at early cosmological epochs, A&A, 524, A83 (ADS-Entry)
  8. Cseh, D., Frey, S., Paragi, Z., Gurvits, L. I., and Gabányi, K. E., 2010, Radio interferometric observations of two core-dominated triple radio sources at z>3, A&A, 523, 34 (ADS-Entry)
  9. Cseh, D., Kaaret, P., Corbel, S., Körding, E., Coriat, M., Tzioumis, A., and Lanzoni, B., 2010, Radio observations of NGC 6388: an upper limit on the mass of its central black hole, MNRAS, 406, 1049 (ADS-Entry)
Other
  1. Webb, N. A., Barret, D., Braito, V., Corbel, S., Cseh, D., Farrell, S. A., Fender, R. P., Gehrels, N., Godet, O., Heywood, I., Kawaguchi, T., Lasota, J.-P., Lenc, E., Lin, D., Plazolles, B., and Servillat, M., 2012, The accretion disc, jets and environment of the intermediate mass black hole candidate ESO 243-49 HLX-1, in: Boissier, S., de Laverny, P., Nardetto, N., Samadi, R., Valls-Gabaud, D., and Wozniak, H. (ed.), , Proceedings of the Annual meeting of the French Society of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 631 (ADS-Entry)
  2. Grise, F., Kaaret, P., Corbel, S., Feng, H., Cseh, D., Tao, L., Pakull, M., and Motch, C., 2011, Optical Emission of Ultraluminous X-ray Sources: Donor Star or Disk Irradiation?, in: High Energy Astrophysics Division, American Astronomical Society, meeting #12 (ADS-Entry)
  3. Kaaret, P., Cseh, D., Corbel, S., Lang, C., Feng, H., Grise, F., and Tao, L., 2011, A Compact Radio Source Coincident with the Ultraluminous X-Ray Source IC 342 X-1, in: High Energy Astrophysics Division, American Astronomical Society, meeting #12 (ADS-Entry)
  4. Cseh, D., Lang, C., Corbel, S., Kaaret, P., and Grisé, F., 2011, Large-scale radio nebula around the Ultra-Luminous X-ray Source IC 342 X-1, in: Romero, G., Sunyaev, R. A., and Belloni, T. M. (ed.), Jets at all scales, Proc. IAU Symposium 275, 325 (ADS-Entry)
  5. Coriat, M., Corbel, S., Prat, L., Miller-Jones, J. C. A., Cseh, D., Tzioumis, A. K., Brocksopp, C., Rodriguez, J., Fender, R. P., and Sivakoff, G. R., 2011, Accretion-outflow connection in the outliers of the ``universal'' radio/X-ray correlation, in: Romero, G., Sunyaev, R. A., and Belloni, T. M. (ed.), Jets at all scales, Proc. IAU Symposium 275, 255 (ADS-Entry)
  6. Frey, S., Paragi, Z., Gurvits, L., Gabányi, K. E., and Cseh, D., 2010, Radio-loud quasars at the highest redshifts, in: , 38th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, held on July 15-18, 2010, Bremen, Germany (ADS-Entry)
  7. Frey, S., Paragi, Z., Gurvits, L. I., Gabányi, K., and Cseh, D., 2010, The most distant radio quasars at the highest resolution, in: VLBI and the New Generation of Radio Arrays, 10th European VLBI Network Symposium and EVN Users Meeting, held on September 20-24, 2010, Manchester, UK (ADS-Entry)
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