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Title: Geometrical beaming of stellar mass ULXs
Authors: Middleton, M. J.
King, Andrew
First Published: 11-Oct-2016
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP), Royal Astronomical Society
Citation: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, 2016, 462 (1), pp. L71-L74
Abstract: The presence or lack of eclipses in the X-ray light curves of ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) can be directly linked to the accreting system geometry. In the case where the compact object is stellar mass and radiates isotropically, we should expect eclipses by a main-sequence to sub-giant secondary star on the recurrence time-scale of hours to days. X-ray light curves are now available for large numbers of ULXs as a result of the latest XMM-Newton catalogue. We determine the amount of fractional variability that should be injected into an otherwise featureless light curve for a given set of system parameters as a result of eclipses and compare this to the available data. We find that the vast majority of sources for which the variability has been measured to be non-zero and for which available observations meet the criteria for eclipse searches, have fractional variabilities which are too low to derive from eclipses and so must be viewed such that θ ≤ cos-1(R*/a). This would require that the disc subtends a larger angle than that of the secondary star and is therefore consistent with a conical outflow formed from super-critical accretion rates and implies some level of geometrical beaming in ULXs.
DOI Link: 10.1093/mnrasl/slw128
ISSN: 1745-3925
eISSN: 1745-3933
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Creative Commons “Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives” licence CC BY-NC-ND, further details of which can be found via the following link: Archived with reference to SHERPA/RoMEO and publisher website.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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