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Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Prof Tim Roberts

Roberts, T. P. , Levan, A. J. & Goad, M. R. (2008). New Hubble Space Telescope imaging of the counterparts to six ultraluminous X-ray sources. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 387(1): 73-78.

Author(s) from Durham


We report the results of new Hubble Space Telescope imaging of the positions of six ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs). Using images in three Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) filters, we detect good candidate counterparts to four out of six ULXs, with one more possible detection, and observed magnitudes in the range m∼ 22–26 in theF606W filter. The extinction-corrected colours and absolute magnitudes vary from source to source, even after correcting for additional extinction in the host galaxy, and only one counterpart is readily explained as an OB star. Nevertheless, these counterparts are decent candidates for future follow-up in pursuit of dynamical mass constraints on the likely black holes powering these sources.