Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-20-2016

Publication Title

The Astrophysical Journal

Abstract

We present follow-up X-ray observations of the candidate massive black hole (BH) in the nucleus of the low-mass, compact starburst galaxy Henize 2–10. Using new high-resolution observations from the Chandra X-ray Observatory totaling 200 ks in duration, as well as archival Chandraobservations from 2001, we demonstrate the presence of a previously unidentified X-ray point source that is spatially coincident with the known nuclear radio source in Henize 2–10 (i.e., the massive BH). We show that the hard X-ray emission previously identified in the 2001 observation is dominated by a source that is distinct from the nucleus, with the properties expected for a high-mass X-ray binary. The X-ray luminosity of the nuclear source suggests the massive BH is radiating significantly below its Eddington limit (∼10−6 LEdd), and the soft spectrum resembles other weakly accreting massive BHs including Sagittarius A*. Analysis of the X-ray light curve of the nucleus reveals the tentative detection of a ~9 hr periodicity, although additional observations are required to confirm this result. Our study highlights the need for sensitive high-resolution X-ray observations to probe low-level accretion, which is the dominant mode of BH activity throughout the universe.

DOI

10.3847/2041-8205/830/2/L35

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