Radio Emission from an Ultraluminous X-ray Source

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Science  17 Jan 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5605, pp. 365-367
DOI: 10.1126/science.1079610

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The physical nature of ultraluminous x-ray sources is uncertain. Stellar-mass black holes with beamed radiation and intermediate black holes with isotropic radiation are two plausible explanations. We discovered radio emission from an ultraluminous x-ray source in the dwarf irregular galaxy NGC 5408. The x-ray, radio, and optical fluxes as well as the x-ray spectral shape are consistent with beamed relativistic jet emission from an accreting stellar black hole. If confirmed, this would suggest that the ultraluminous x-ray sources may be stellar-mass rather than intermediate-mass black holes. However, interpretation of the source as a jet-producing intermediate-mass black hole cannot be ruled out at this time.

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