XMM-Newton identification of ULXs in NGC 4565
Credit: Luigi Foschini (INAF/IASF, Sezione di Bologna, Italy) and ESA

A Surfeit of ULXs

Mysterious objects called Ultra-Luminous X-ray sources (ULXs) have caught astronomers' eyes because of their exceptionally large X-ray luminosities. These objects are so X-ray bright that they are comfortably beyond the limit where the force from their radiation would blow themselves apart. The image above shows an X-ray image of the edge-on spiral galaxy NGC 4565 taken by the XMM-Newton X-ray observatory in which 7 ULXs have been identified. If these sources are really single objects they may represent an new class of black holes, the so-called "intermediate-mass" black holes. But are they really single objects, or very compact groups of objects? Stay Tuned...

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Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Friday, 20-Apr-2012 15:25:30 EDT