The origin of the Ultraluminous X-ray Sources [HEAP]

Recently, several ultraluminous X-ray (ULX) sources were shown to host a neutron star (NS) accretor. We perform a suite of evolutionary calculations which show that, in fact, NSs are the dominant type of ULX accretor. Although black holes (BH) dominate early epochs after the star-formation burst, NSs outweigh them after a few 100 Myr and may appear as late as a few Gyr after the end of the star formation episode. If star formation is a prolonged and continuous event (i.e., not a relatively short burst), NS accretors dominate ULX population at any time in solar metallicity environment, whereas BH accretors dominate when the metallicity is sub-solar. Our results show a very clear (and testable) relation between the companion/donor evolutionary stage and the age of the system. A typical NS ULX consists of a $\sim1.3\,M_\odot$ NS and $\sim1.0\,M_\odot$ Red Giant. A typical BH ULX consist of a $\sim8\,M_\odot$ BH and $\sim6\,M_\odot$ main-sequence star. Additionally, we find that the very luminous ULXs ($L_X\gtrsim10^{41}$ erg/s) are predominantly BH systems ($\sim9\,M_\odot$) with Hertzsprung gap donors ($\sim2\,M_\odot$). Nevertheless, some NS ULX systems may also reach extremely high X-ray luminosities ($\gtrsim10^{41}$ erg/s).

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G. Wiktorowicz, M. Sobolewska, J. Lasota, et. al.
Thu, 18 May 17

Comments: 7 pages, 12 figures, submitted to ApJ