Spatially resolved spectroscopy of the globular cluster RZ 2109 and the nature of its black hole

Mark B. Peacock, Stephen E. Zepf, Arunav Kundu, Thomas J. MacCarone, Katherine L. Rhode, John J. Salzer, Christopher Z. Waters, Robin Ciardullo, Caryl Gronwall, Daniel Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present optical Hubble Space Telescope/Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (HST/STIS) spectroscopy of RZ 2109, a globular cluster (GC) in the elliptical galaxy NGC4472. This GC is notable for hosting an ultraluminous X-ray source as well as associated strong and broad [O III] λλ4959, 5007 emission. We show that the HST/STIS spectroscopy spatially resolves the [O III] emission in RZ 2109. While we are unable to make a precise determination of the morphology of the emission-line nebula, the best-fitting models all require that the [O III] λ5007 emission has a half-light radius in the range 3-7pc. The extended nature of the [O III] λ5007 emission is inconsistent with published models that invoke an intermediate-mass black hole origin. It is also inconsistent with the ionization of ejecta from a nova in the cluster. The spatial scale of the nebula could be produced via the photoionization of a strong wind driven from a stellar mass black hole accreting at roughly its Eddington rate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume759
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 10 2012

Keywords

  • 9globular clusters: general
  • X-rays: binaries
  • X-rays: galaxies: clusters
  • galaxies: individual (NGC 4472)
  • galaxies: star clusters: general
  • galaxies: star clusters: individual: RZ 2109

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Spatially resolved spectroscopy of the globular cluster RZ 2109 and the nature of its black hole'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Peacock, M. B., Zepf, S. E., Kundu, A., MacCarone, T. J., Rhode, K. L., Salzer, J. J., Waters, C. Z., Ciardullo, R., Gronwall, C., & Stern, D. (2012). Spatially resolved spectroscopy of the globular cluster RZ 2109 and the nature of its black hole. Astrophysical Journal, 759(2), [126]. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/759/2/126