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dc.contributor.authorJonker, P.
dc.contributor.authorGlennie, A.
dc.contributor.authorHeida, M.
dc.contributor.authorMaccarone, T.
dc.contributor.authorHodgkin, S.
dc.contributor.authorNelemans, G.
dc.contributor.authorMiller-Jones, James
dc.contributor.authorTorres, M.
dc.contributor.authorFender, R.
dc.identifier.citationJonker, P.G. and Glennie, A. and Heida, M. and Maccarone, T. and Hodgkin, S. and Nelemans, G. and Miller-Jones, J.C.A. and Torres, M.A.P. and Fender, R. 2013. Discovery of a new kind of explosive X-ray transient near M86. The Astrophysical Journal. 779 (1): pp. 1-8.

We present the discovery of a new type of explosive X-ray flash in Chandra images of the old elliptical galaxy M86. This unique event is characterized by the peak luminosity of 6 × 1042 erg s−1 for the distance of M86, the presence of precursor events, the timescale between the precursors and the main event (~4000 s), the absence of detectable hard X-ray and γ-ray emission, the total duration of the event, and the detection of a faint associated optical signal. The transient is located close to M86 in the Virgo cluster at the location where gas and stars are seen protruding from the galaxy probably due to an ongoing wet minor merger. We discuss the possible mechanisms for the transient and conclude that the X-ray flash could have been caused by the disruption of a compact white dwarf star by a ~104 M☉ black hole. Alternative scenarios such that of a foreground neutron star accreting an asteroid or the detection of an off-axis (short) γ-ray burst cannot be excluded at present.

dc.publisherInstitute of Physics Publishing, Inc.
dc.subjectX-rays: individual (XRT 000519)
dc.subjectgalaxies: interactions
dc.subjectgalaxies: individual (M86)
dc.subjectblack hole physics
dc.titleDiscovery of a new kind of explosive X-ray transient near M86
dc.typeJournal Article
dcterms.source.titleThe Astrophysical Journal

Copyright © 2013 - American Astronomical Society

curtin.accessStatusOpen access

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