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Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Prof Tim Roberts

López, K M, Jonker, P G, Heida, M, Torres, M A P, Roberts, T P, Walton, D J, Moon, D-S & Harrison, F A (2019). Discovery and analysis of a ULX nebula in NGC 3521★. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 489(1): 1249-1264.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

We present Very Large Telescope/X-shooter and Chandra X-ray observatory/ACIS observations of the ULX [SST2011] J110545.62+000016.2 in the galaxy NGC 3521. The source identified as a candidate near-infrared counterpart to the ULX in our previous study shows an emission line spectrum of numerous recombination and forbidden lines in the visible and near-infrared spectral regime. The emission from the candidate counterpart is spatially extended (∼34 pc) and appears to be connected with an adjacent H II region, located ∼138 pc to the NE. The measured velocities of the emission lines confirm that both the candidate counterpart and H II region reside in NGC 3521. The intensity ratios of the emission lines from the ULX counterpart show that the line emission originates from the combined effect of shock and photoionisation of low metallicity (12 + log  (O/H) = 8.19 ± 0.11) gas. Unfortunately, there is no identifiable spectral signature directly related to the photosphere of the mass-donor star in our spectrum. From the archival Chandra data, we derive the X-ray luminosity of the source in the 0.3–7 keV range to be (1.9 ± 0.8) × 1040 erg cm−2 s−1, almost a factor of four higher than what is previously reported.