Soft X-ray emission from the spiral galaxy NGC 1313

Edward J.M. Colbert*, Robert Petre, Eric M. Schlegel, Stuart D. Ryder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


The nearby barred spiral galaxy NGC 1313 has been observed with the PSPC instrument on board the ROSAT X-ray satellite. Ten individual sources are found. Three sources (X-1, X-2, and X-3 [SN 1978K]) are very bright (∼1040 ergs s-1) and are unusual in that analogous objects do not exist in our Galaxy. We present an X-ray image of NGC 1313 and X-ray spectra for the three bright sources. The emission from the nuclear region (R ≲ 2 kpc) is dominated by source X-1, which is located ∼1 kpc north of the photometric (and dynamical) center of NGC 1313. Optical, far-infrared, and radio images do not indicate the presence of an active galactic nucleus at that position; however, the compact nature of the X-ray source (X-1) suggests that it is an accretion-powered object with central mass M ≳ 103 M. Additional emission (Lx ∼ 1039 ergs s-1) in the nuclear region extends out to ∼2.6 kpc and roughly follows the spiral arms. This emission is from four sources with luminosity of several × 1038 ergs s-1, two of which are consistent with emission from Population I sources (e.g., supernova remnants, and hot interstellar gas which has been heated by supernova remnants). The other two sources could be emission from Population II sources (e.g., low-mass X-ray binaries). The bright sources X-2 and SN 1978K are positioned in the southern disk of NGC 1313. X-2 is variable and has no optical counterpart brighter than 20.8 mag (V-band). It is likely that it is an accretion-powered object in NGC 1313. The Type II supernova SN 1978K (Ryder et al. 1993) has become extraordinarily luminous in X-rays ∼13 yr after optical maximum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-193
Number of pages17
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxies: individual (NGC 1313)
  • Galaxies: spiral
  • Supernovae: individual (SN 1978K)
  • X-rays: galaxies


Dive into the research topics of 'Soft X-ray emission from the spiral galaxy NGC 1313'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this