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X-ray observations of ultraluminous X-ray sources

Roberts, T.P.



Ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) are amongst the most intriguing of X-ray source classes. Their extreme luminosities—greater than 1039 erg s−1 in the 0.3–10 keV band alone—suggest either the presence of black holes larger than those regularly encountered in our own Galaxy (the Galactic centre excepted), or sources apparently radiating well above the Eddington limit. We review the insights afforded us by studies of their X-ray emission, focussing on what this reveals about the underlying compact object. In particular, we discuss recent deep observations of ULXs by the XMM-Newton observatory, and how the unprecedented data quality provided by this mission is starting to discriminate between the different physical models for these extraordinary X-ray emitters.


Roberts, T. (2007). X-ray observations of ultraluminous X-ray sources. Astrophysics and Space Science, 311(1-3), 203-212.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Oct 1, 2007
Deposit Date Jan 27, 2014
Publicly Available Date Feb 4, 2014
Journal Astrophysics and Space Science
Print ISSN 0004-640X
Electronic ISSN 1572-946X
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 311
Issue 1-3
Pages 203-212
Keywords Black hole physics, X-rays, Binaries, Galaxies.


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