A transient black hole low-mass X-ray binary candidate in centaurus a

G. R. Sivakoff, R. P. Kraft, A. Jordan, A. M. Juett, D. A. Evans, W. R. Forman, M. J. Hardcastle, C. L. Sarazin, M. Birkinshaw, N. J. Brassington, J. H. Croston, W. E. Harris, C. Jones, S. S. Murray, S. Raychaudhury, K. A. Woodley, D. M. Worrall

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We report the discovery of a bright transient X-ray source, CXOU J132518.2-430304, toward Centaurus A (Cen A) using six new Chandra X-Ray Observatory observations in 2007 March-May. Between 2003 and 2007, its flux has increased by a factor of >770. The source is likely a low-mass X-ray binary in Cen A with unabsorbed 0.3-10 keV band luminosities of (2-3) × 10 39ergs s-1 and a transition from the steep-power-law state to the thermal state during our observations. CXOU J132518.2-430304 is the most luminous X-ray source in an early-type galaxy with extensive timing information that reveals transience and a spectral state transition. Combined with its luminosity, these properties make this source one of the strongest candidates to date for containing a stellar-mass black hole in an early-type galaxy. Unless this outburst lasts many years, the rate of luminous transients in Cen A is anomalously high compared to other early-type galaxies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L27-L30
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 2
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Binaries: close
  • CD
  • Galaxies: elliptical and lenticular
  • Galaxies: individual (Centaurus A
  • NGC 5128)
  • X-rays: binaries


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