- Intermediate mass black holes in accreting binaries: formation, evolution and observational appearance
- Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API)
Informatics Institute (IVI)
We study the origin of the ultraluminous X-ray source M82 X-1 in the nearby starburst galaxy M82. This X-ray source is of particular interest as it is currently the best candidate for an intermediate mass black hole; it is associated with a 54mHz quasi-periodic oscillation with a relatively low (~1 keV) blackbody temperature. We perform detailed binary evolution calculations of 2-15 Msolar stars which transfer mass to a 100-2000 Msolar black hole and present an empirical model for the X-ray characteristics expected for such binaries. Based on the binary evolution calculations and the assumption in our simulations we conclude that the most likely candidate for the bright X-ray source M82 X-1 is a 10-15 Msolar star near the end of its main sequence or slightly evolved, which transfers mass to a ~1000 Msolar black hole. We expect the system to be in the high/soft state. In that case the binary will not be visible as a source of gravitational wave radiation, but other transient X-ray binaries with lower mass donors way be rather bright sources of gravitational wave radiation.
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