Project level: Honours

Ultra-luminous X-ray sources (ULX) are a new class of X-ray source discovered a few years ago in surveys of nearby galaxies. Their brightness is too large to come from ordinary black holes or neutron stars, however ULX are normally found away from the centres of galaxies, also ruling out supermassive black holes as sources of the X-ray radiation. Current theories suggest that ULX could either be stellar mass black holes which radiate away energy in tightly colliminated beams directed towards us, or, more exotically, contain so-called intermediate-mass black holes. Whatever their true nature, it is likely that ULX were formed in dense star clusters. The aim of this project is to test if the location of ULX with respect to nearby star clusters could give some hints about their nature.

Project members

Associate Professor Holger Baumgardt

Associate Professor