Broadband X-ray spectral variability of the pulsing ULX NGC 1313 X-2

A. Robba, C. Pinto, D. J. Walton, R. Soria, P. Kosec, F. Pintore, T. P. Roberts, W. N. Alston, M. Middleton, G. Cusumano, H. P. Earnshaw, F. Fuerst, R. Sathyaprakash, E. Kyritsis, A. C. Fabian

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It is thought that ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) are mainly powered by super-Eddington accreting neutron stars or black holes as shown by recent discovery of X-ray pulsations and relativistic winds. This work presents a follow up study of the spectral evolution over two decades of the pulsing ULX NGC 1313 X-2, in order to understand the structure of the accretion disc. The primary objective is to determine the shape and nature of the dominant spectral components by investigating their variability with the changes in the source luminosity. We have performed a spectral analysis over the canonical 0.3-10 keV energy band of all the high signal-to-noise XMM-Newton observations, and we have tested a number of different spectral models, which should approximate super-Eddington accretion discs. The baseline model consists of two thermal blackbody components with different temperatures plus an exponential cutoff powerlaw. In particular, the hotter and brighter thermal component describes the emission from the super-Eddington inner disc and the cutoff powerlaw the contribution from the accretion column of the neutron star. Instead, the cooler component describes the emission from the outer region of the disc close to the spherisation radius and the wind. The luminosity-temperature relation for the cool component follows a negative trend, which is not consistent with L$\propto$T$^4$, as expected from a sub-Eddington thin disc of Shakura-Sunayev, nor with L$\propto$T$^2$, as expected for advection-dominated disc, but would rather agree with a wind-dominated X-ray emitting region. Instead, the (L,T) relation for the hotter component is somewhere in between the first two theoretical scenarios. Our findings agree with the super-Eddington scenario and provide further detail on the disc structure. The source spectral evolution is qualitatively similar to that seen in NGC1313 X-1 and HolmbergIX X-1.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2021


  • astro-ph.HE

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