Volume 380, Number 1, December II 2001
|Page(s)||251 - 257|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||15 December 2001|
ROSAT/Chandra observations of a bright transient in M 81
NRC, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, SD-50, Huntsville, AL 35812, USA
2 USRA, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, SD-50, Huntsville, AL 35812, USA e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
3 Space Science Department, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, SD-50, Huntsville, AL 35812, USA e-mail: email@example.com
4 Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, Holmbury St Mary, Surrey RH5 6NT, UK and School of Physics A28, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Corresponding author: K. K. Ghosh, email@example.com
Accepted: 4 October 2001
We present a 10-year X-ray light curve and the spectra of a peculiar X-ray transient in the spiral galaxy M 81. The source was below the detection limit of ROSAT PSPC before 1993, but it brightened substantially in 1993, with luminosities exceeding the Eddington limit of a 1.5- compact accretor. It then faded and was not firmly detected in the ROSAT HRI and PSPC observations after 1994. The Chandra image obtained in 2000 May, however, shows an X-ray source at its position within the instrumental uncertainties. The Chandra source is coincident with a star-like object in the Digitized-Sky-Survey. A Hubble image suggests that the optical object may be extended. While these three observations could be of the same object, which may be an X-ray binary containing a black-hole candidate, the possibility that the ROSAT and Chandra sources are two different objects in a dense stellar environment cannot be ruled out. The Hubble data suggests that the optical object may be a globular cluster yet to be identified.
Key words: X-rays: binaries / X-rays: galaxies / black hole physics / stars: binaries: close / globular clusters: general
© ESO, 2001
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