AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 102 HEAD II: Intermediate Mass Black Holes
Oral, Wednesday, January 7, 2004, 2:00-3:30pm, Centennial I/II

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[102.01] Observations of Intermediate-mass Black Holes and Ultra-Luminous X-ray sources

E. J. M. Colbert (CUA/JHU)

I will review various observations that suggest that intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) with masses ~102-104 M\odot exist in our Universe. I will also discuss some of the limitations of these observations. HST Observations of excess dark mass in globular cluster cores suggest IMBHs may be responsible, and some mass estimates from lensing experiments are nearly in the IMBH range. The intriguing Ultra-Luminous X-ray sources (ULXs, or IXOs) are off-nuclear X-ray point sources with X-ray luminosities LX \gtrsim 1039 erg~s-1. ULXs are typically rare (1 in every 5 galaxies), and the nature of their ultra-luminous emission is currently debated. I will discuss the evidence for IMBHs in some ULXs, and briefly outline some phenomenology. Finally, I will discuss future observations that can be made to search for IMBHs.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.