Volume 559, November 2013
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Published online||26 November 2013|
A disrupted bulgeless satellite galaxy as counterpart of the ultraluminous X-ray source ESO 243-49 HLX-1
INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio
2 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
3 International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, Curtin University, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845, Australia
Received: 2 August 2013
Accepted: 30 September 2013
The point-like X-ray source HLX-1, close to the S0 galaxy ESO 243-49, is one the strongest intermediate-mass black hole candidates, but the nature of its counterpart is still puzzling. By means of N-body/smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations, we investigate the hypothesis that the HLX-1 counterpart is the nucleus of a bulgeless satellite galaxy, which undergoes a minor merger with the S0 galaxy. We derived synthetic surface brightness profiles for the simulated counterpart of HLX-1 in six Hubble Space Telescope (HST) filters, ranging from far ultraviolet (FUV) to infrared wavelengths, and we compared them with the observed profiles. Our model matches the emission associated with the HLX-1 counterpart in all considered filters, including the bluer ones, even without requiring the contribution of an irradiated disc. The simulation can also account for an extended FUV emission, which is hinted at by the analysis of the F140LP HST filter. This matching is impossible to achieve by assuming either a bulgy satellite, a young star cluster, or an irradiated disc component.
Key words: galaxies: interactions / methods: numerical / galaxies: individual: ESO 243-49 / X-rays: individuals: HLX-1
© ESO, 2013
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