The Astrophysical Journal
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.
Dartmouth Digital Commons Citation
Reines, Amy E.; Reynolds, Mark T.; Miller, Jon M.; Sivakoff, Gregory R.; Greene, Jenny E.; Hickox, Ryan C.; and Johnson, Kelsey E., "Deep Chandra Observations of the Compact Starburst Galaxy Henize 2–10: X-Rays from the Massive Black Hole" (2016). Dartmouth Scholarship. 2136.