ESO 243-49 HLX-1: scaling of X-ray spectral properties and black hole mass determination [HEAP]

We report the results of Swift/XRT observations (2008-2015) of a hyper-luminous X-ray source, ESO 243-49 HLX-1. We found a strong observational evidence that ESO 243-49 HLX-1 underwent spectral transitions from the low/hard state to the high/soft state during these observations. The spectra of ESO 243-49 HLX-1 are well fitted by the so-{called} bulk motion Comptonization model for all spectral states. We have established the photon index Gamma saturation level, Gamma_{sat}$=3.0+/-0.1, in the correlation of Gamma versus mass accretion rate dot M. This Gamma-dot M correlation allows us to estimate the black hole (BH) mass in ESO 243-49 HLX-1 to be M_{BH}~ 7x 10^4 solar masses, assuming the distance to ESO 243-49 of 95 Mpc. For the BH mass estimate we used the scaling method, taking Galactic BHs XTE~J1550-564, H~1743-322 and 4U~1630-472, and an extragalactic BH source, M101 ULX-1 as reference sources. The Gamma-dot M correlation revealed in ESO 243-49 HLX-1 is similar to those in a number of Galactic and extragalactic BHs and it clearly shows the correlation along with the strong Gamma saturation at ~ 3. This is a reliable observational evidence of a BH in ESO 243-49 HLX-1. We also found that the seed (disk) photon temperatures are quite low, of order of 50-140 eV which are consistent with a high BH mass in ESO 243-49 HLX-1.

Read this paper on arXiv…

L. Titarchuk and E. Seifina
Tue, 6 Sep 16

Comments: 21 pages, 8 figures, accepted by Astronomy and Astrophysics on August 29, 2016