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The variability behavior of NGC 925 ULX-3

Earnshaw, Hannah P.; Brightman, Murray; Harrison, Fiona A.; Heida, Marianne; Jaodand, Amruta; Middleton, Matthew J.; Roberts, Timothy P.; Walton, Dominic J.

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Hannah P. Earnshaw

Murray Brightman

Fiona A. Harrison

Marianne Heida

Amruta Jaodand

Matthew J. Middleton

Dominic J. Walton


We report the results of a 2019-2021 monitoring campaign with Swift and associated target-of-opportunity observations with XMM-Newton and NuSTAR, examining the spectral and timing behavior of the highly variable ultraluminous X-ray source (ULX) NGC 925 ULX-3. We find that the source exhibits a 127-128 day periodicity, with fluxes typically ranging from 1e-13 to 8e-13 ergs/s/cm2. We do not find strong evidence for a change in period over the time that NGC 925 ULX-3 has been observed, although the source may have been in a much lower flux state when first observed with Chandra in 2005. We do not detect pulsations, and we place an upper limit on the pulsed fraction of ~40% in the XMM-Newton band, consistent with some previous pulsation detections at low energies in other ULXs. The source exhibits a typical ULX spectrum that turns over in the NuSTAR band and can be fitted using two thermal components. These components have a high temperature ratio that may indicate the lack of extreme inner disk truncation by a magnetar-level magnetic field. We examine the implications for a number of different models for superorbital periods in ULXs, finding that a neutron star with a magnetic field of ~10^12 G may be plausible for this source. The future detection of pulsations from this source would allow for the further testing and constraining of such models.


Earnshaw, H. P., Brightman, M., Harrison, F. A., Heida, M., Jaodand, A., Middleton, M. J., …Walton, D. J. (2022). The variability behavior of NGC 925 ULX-3. Astrophysical Journal, 934(1), Article 42.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 15, 2022
Online Publication Date Jul 25, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Jun 22, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 6, 2022
Journal Astrophysical Journal
Print ISSN 0004-637X
Electronic ISSN 1538-4357
Publisher American Astronomical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 934
Issue 1
Article Number 42
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Copyright Statement
Original content from this work may be used under the terms<br /> of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further<br /> distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title<br /> of the work, journal citation and DOI.

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