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A Search for Hyperluminous X-Ray Sources in the XMM-Newton Source Catalog

Abstract : We present a new method to identify luminous off-nuclear X-ray sources in the outskirts of galaxies from large public redshift surveys, distinguishing them from foreground and background interlopers. Using the 3XMM-DR5 catalog of X-ray sources and the SDSS DR12 spectroscopic sample of galaxies, with the help of this off-nuclear cross-matching technique, we selected 98 sources with inferred X-ray luminosities in the range 1041 < LX < 1044 erg s-1, compatible with hyperluminous X-ray objects (HLX). To validate the method, we verify that it allowed us to recover known HLX candidates such as ESO 243-49 HLX-1 and M82 X-1. From a statistical study, we conservatively estimate that up to 71 ± 11 of these sources may be foreground- or background sources, statistically leaving at least 16 that are likely to be HLXs, thus providing support for the existence of the HLX population. We identify two good HLX candidates and using other publicly available data sets, in particular the VLA FIRST in radio, UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey in the near-infrared, GALEX in the ultraviolet and Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Megacam archive in the optical, we present evidence that these objects are unlikely to be foreground or background X-ray objects of conventional types, e.g., active galactic nuclei, BL Lac objects, Galactic X-ray binaries, or nearby stars. However, additional dedicated X-ray and optical observations are needed to confirm their association with the assumed host galaxies and thus secure their HLX classification.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 17, 2022 - 3:20:28 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 18, 2022 - 3:40:14 AM

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I. Zolotukhin, N. A. Webb, O. Godet, M. Bachetti, D. Barret. A Search for Hyperluminous X-Ray Sources in the XMM-Newton Source Catalog. The Astrophysical Journal, 2016, 817, ⟨10.3847/0004-637X/817/2/88⟩. ⟨insu-03670549⟩

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