Thomas Maccarone - Texas Tech

Thomas Maccarone
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Thomas Maccarone
Texas Tech
United States

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High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (39)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (18)
Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (14)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (10)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (4)
General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (1)
Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (1)

Publications Authored By Thomas Maccarone

47 Tuc X9 is a low mass X-ray binary (LMXB) in the globular cluster 47 Tucanae, and was previously thought to be a cataclysmic variable. However, Miller-Jones et al. (2015) recently identified a radio counterpart to X9 (inferring a radio/X-ray luminosity ratio consistent with black hole LMXBs), and suggested that the donor star might be a white dwarf. Read More

We present the X-ray point source population of NGC 7457 based on 124 ks of Chandra observations. Previous deep Chandra observations of low mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) in early-type galaxies have typically targeted the large populations of massive galaxies. NGC 7457 is a nearby, early-type galaxy with a stellar luminosity of $1. Read More

The origin of the low luminosity radio emission in radio-quiet AGN, is unknown. The detection of a positive correlation between the radio and X-ray emission would imply a jet-like origin, similar to that seen in `hard state' X-ray binary systems. In our previous work, we found no believable radio variability in the well known X-ray bright Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 4051, despite large amplitude X-ray variability. Read More

We report on an archival X-ray observation of the eclipsing RS CVn binary XY UMa ($\rm P_{orb}\approx$ 0.48d). In two $\emph{Chandra}$ ACIS observations spanning 200 ks and almost five orbital periods, three flares occurred. Read More


We present the results of a joint Swift-NuSTAR spectroscopy campaign on M31. We focus on the five brightest globular cluster X-ray sources in our fields. Two of these had previously been argued to be black hole candidates on the basis of apparent hard-state spectra at luminosities above those for which neutron stars are in hard states. Read More

Using the Southern Proper Motion (SPM) catalog, we show that the candidate Thorne-\.Zytkow object HV~2112 has a proper motion implying a space velocity of about 3000\kms if the object is located at the distance of the Small Magellanic Cloud. The proper motion is statistically different from that of the SMC at approximately $4\sigma$ in SPM, although the result can drop to about $3\sigma$ significance by including the UCAC4 data and considering systematic uncertainties in addition to the statistical ones. Read More

Affiliations: 1Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 2Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 3California Institute of Technology, Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, 4Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 5Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 6Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 7Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 8Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 9Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 10Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy, 11California Institute of Technology, Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, 12California Institute of Technology, Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, 13Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 14Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 15Rice University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, 16Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 17Georgia College, Department of Chemistry, Physics, and Astronomy, 18Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 19Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 20North-West University, Centre for Space Research, 21Technical University of Denmark, DTU Space, National Space Institute, 22Yale University, Department of Astronomy, 23Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 24University of Virginia, Department of Astronomy, 25MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics Garching, 26Durham University, Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy, Department of Physics, 27Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 28North Carolina State University, Department of Physics, 29Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 30Cambridge, Institute of Astronomy, UK, 31Penn State University, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 32Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 33University of California, Berkeley, Department of Physics, 34ASI Science Data Center, Italy, 35California Institute of Technology, Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, 36Cambridge, Institute of Astronomy, UK, 37Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 38Purdue University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, 39Texas Tech University, Physics Department, 40Nagoya University, Center for Experimental Studies, Kobayashi-Maskawa Institute for the Origin of Particles and the Universe, 41University of Maryland, Physics Department, 42RIKEN, 43Univ. of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Astronomy Dept, 44Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 45Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali, INAF, 46Department of Astronomy/Steward Observatory, 47Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 48Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 49Department of Astronomy/Steward Observatory, 50NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 51Tohoku University, Astronomical Institute, 52NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

This paper describes the Polarization Spectroscopic Telescope Array (PolSTAR), a mission proposed to NASA's 2014 Small Explorer (SMEX) announcement of opportunity. PolSTAR measures the linear polarization of 3-50 keV (requirement; goal: 2.5-70 keV) X-rays probing the behavior of matter, radiation and the very fabric of spacetime under the extreme conditions close to the event horizons of black holes, as well as in and around magnetars and neutron stars. Read More

The relative phasing of the X-ray eclipse ephemeris and optical radial velocity (RV) curve for the X-ray binary IC10 X-1 suggests the He[$\lambda$4686] emission-line originates in a shadowed sector of the stellar wind that avoids ionization by X-rays from the compact object. The line attains maximum blueshift when the wind is directly toward us at mid X-ray eclipse, as is also seen in Cygnus X-3. If the RV curve is unrelated to stellar motion, evidence for a massive black hole evaporates because the mass function of the binary is unknown. Read More

It has long been recognised that quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) in the X-ray light curves of accreting black hole and neutron star binaries have the potential to be powerful diagnostics of strong field gravity. However, this potential cannot be fulfilled without a working theoretical model, which has remained elusive. Perhaps the most promising model associates the QPO with Lense-Thirring precession of the inner accretion flow, with the changes in viewing angle and Doppler boosting modulating the flux over the course of a precession cycle. Read More

We present densely-sampled ultraviolet/optical photometric and low-resolution optical spectroscopic observations of the type IIP supernova 2013ab in the nearby ($\sim$24 Mpc) galaxy NGC 5669, from 2 to 190d after explosion. Continuous photometric observations, with the cadence of typically a day to one week, were acquired with the 1-2m class telescopes in the LCOGT network, ARIES telescopes in India and various other telescopes around the globe. The light curve and spectra suggest that the SN is a normal type IIP event with a plateau duration of $ \sim80 $ days with mid plateau absolute visual magnitude of -16. Read More

Low-cost mass-produced sensors and optics have recently made it feasible to build telescope arrays which observe the entire accessible sky simultaneously. In this article we discuss the scientific motivation for these telescopes, including exoplanets, stellar variability and extragalactic transients. To provide a concrete example we detail the goals and expectations for the Evryscope, an under-construction 780 MPix telescope which covers 8,660 square degrees in each two-minute exposure; each night, 18,400 square degrees will be continuously observed for an average of approximately 6 hours. Read More

In this paper we discuss the luminosity modulations and spectral analysis results of the recent deep observations of XMMU 122939.7+075333, the first black hole discovered in a globular cluster. The source has been detected many times, typically with L$_X$ > 10$^{39}$ erg s$^{-1}$, but in a 2010 observation had faded to L$_X$ ~ 10$^{38}$ erg s$^{-1}$. Read More

Prior to the launch of NuSTAR, it was not feasible to spatially resolve the hard (E > 10 keV) emission from galaxies beyond the Local Group. The combined NuSTAR dataset, comprised of three ~165 ks observations, allows spatial characterization of the hard X-ray emission in the galaxy NGC 253 for the first time. As a follow up to our initial study of its nuclear region, we present the first results concerning the full galaxy from simultaneous NuSTAR, Chandra, and VLBA monitoring of the local starburst galaxy NGC 253. Read More

Timing of high-count rate sources with the NuSTAR Small Explorer Mission requires specialized analysis techniques. NuSTAR was primarily designed for spectroscopic observations of sources with relatively low count-rates rather than for timing analysis of bright objects. The instrumental dead time per event is relatively long (~2. Read More

In this paper, we address the question: What is the probability of stellar-mass black hole (BH) binaries co-existing in a globular cluster with an intermediate-mass black hole (IMBH)? Our results suggest that the detection of one or more BH binaries can strongly constrain the presence of an IMBH in most Galactic globular clusters. More specifically, the detection of one or more BH binaries could strongly indicate against the presence of an IMBH more massive than $\gtrsim 10^3$ M$_{\rm \odot}$ in roughly 80\% of the clusters in our sample. To illustrate this, we use a combination of N-body simulations and analytic methods to weigh the rate of formation of BH binaries against their ejection and/or disruption rate via strong gravitational interactions with the central (most) massive BH. Read More

We present a study of the faint-end of the X-ray Luminosity Function of Low Mass X-ray binaries in the Globular Cluster system of the cD galaxy NGC 1399 by performing a stacking experiment on 618 X-ray undetected GCs, in order to verify the presence of faint LMXBs and to constrain the faint-end slope of the GC-LMXBs XLF below the individual detection threshold of $8\times10^{37}$ erg s$^{-1}$ in the $0.5-8$ keV band. We obtain a significant X-ray detection for the whole GC sample, as well as for the red and blue GC subpopulations, corresponding to an average luminosity per GC $_{GC}$ of $(3. Read More

We discuss the effects of destruction of wide binaries in the nuclei of the lower mass giant elliptical galaxies. We show that the numbers of barium stars and extrinsic S stars should be dramatically reduced in these galaxies compared to what is seen in the largest elliptical galaxies. Given that the extrinsic S stars show strong Wing-Ford band and Na I D absorption, we argue that the recent claims of different initial mass functions from the most massive elliptical galaxies versus lower mass ellipticals may be the result of extrinsic S stars, rather than bottom-heavy initial mass function. Read More

We present an analysis of optical spectra from the globular cluster RZ2109 in NGC4472, which hosts the first unambiguous globular cluster black hole. We use these spectra to determine the elemental composition of the emission line system associated with this source, and to constrain the age and metallicity of the host globular cluster. For the emission line system of RZ2109, our analysis indicates the [O III]5007 equivalent width is 33. Read More

We present a comprehensive high spatial-resolution imaging study of globular clusters (GCs) in NGC1399, the central giant elliptical cD galaxy in the Fornax galaxy cluster, conducted with HST/ACS. Using a novel technique to construct drizzled PSF libraries for HST/ACS data, we accurately determine the fidelity of GC structural parameter measurements from detailed artificial star cluster experiments. The measurement of rh for the major fraction of the NGC1399 GC system reveals a trend of increasing rh versus galactocentric distance, Rgal, out to about 10 kpc and a flat relation beyond. Read More


The brightest ultraluminous X-ray source currently known, HLX-1, has been observed to undergo five outburst cycles. The periodicity of these outbursts, and their high inferred maximum accretion rates of $\sim{\rm few}\times 10^{-4} M_\odot {\rm yr}^{-1}$, naturally suggest Roche lobe overflow at the pericenter of an eccentric orbit. It is, however, difficult for the Roche lobe overflow model to explain the apparent trend of decreasing decay times over the different outbursts while the integrated luminosity also drops. Read More

Affiliations: 1Texas Tech University, 2Yale University, 3Southern Connecticut State University, Yale University

We discuss the results of cross-correlating catalogs of bright X-ray binaries with the Yale Southern Proper Motion catalog (version 4.0). Several objects already known to have large proper motions from Hipparcos are recovered. Read More

Affiliations: 1Texas Tech University, 2NASA/GSFC, Johns Hopkins, 3NASA/GSFC, ESA-ESAC, 4Iowa State University, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 5NASA/GSFC, 6NASA/GSFC, 7NASA/GSFC, 8University of Crete

We have discovered a persistent, but highly variable X-ray source in the nearby starburst galaxy NGC 253. The source varies at the level of a factor of about 5 in count rate on timescales of a few hours. Two long observations of the source with Chandra and XMM-Newton show suggestive evidence for the source having a period of about 14-15 hours, but the time sampling in existing data is insufficient to allow a firm determination that the source is periodic. Read More

A number of recent studies have proposed that the stellar initial mass function (IMF) of early type galaxies varies systematically as a function of galaxy mass, with higher mass galaxies having bottom heavy IMFs. These bottom heavy IMFs have more low-mass stars relative to the number of high mass stars, and therefore naturally result in proportionally fewer neutron stars and black holes. In this paper, we specifically predict the variation in the number of black holes and neutron stars based on the power-law IMF variation required to reproduce the observed mass-to-light ratio trends with galaxy mass. Read More

There are 19 confirmed BH binaries in the Galaxy. 16 of them are X-ray transients hosting a ~5-15 Msun BH and a Roche-lobe overflowing low-mass companion. Companion masses are found mostly in 0. Read More

We provide the Chandra source list for the last ~quarter of the area covered by the Galactic Bulge Survey (GBS). The GBS targets two strips of 6\degr x 1\degr (12 square degrees in total), one above (1\degrRead More

In this chapter, I present a summary of observational tests of the basic picture of disk accretion. An emphasis is placed on tests relevant to black holes, but many of the fundamental results are drawn from studies of other classes of systems. Evidence is discussed for the basic structures of accretion flows. Read More

In this paper we present a combined analysis of data obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), Very Large Telescope (VLT), and Swift X-ray telescope (XRT) of the intermediate mass black hole ESO 243-49 HLX-1 that were taken 2 months apart between September and November 2010. Previous separate analyses of these data found that they were consistent with an irradiated accretion disc with contribution from either a very young or very old stellar population, and also indicated that the optical flux of the HLX-1 counterpart could be variable. Such variability could only be attributed to a varying accretion disc, so simultaneous analysis of all data sets should break the degeneracies in the model fits. Read More

An international consortium is presently constructing a beamformer for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile that will be available as a facility instrument. The beamformer will aggregate the entire collecting area of the array into a single, very large aperture. The extraordinary sensitivity of phased ALMA, combined with the extremely fine angular resolution available on baselines to the Northern Hemisphere, will enable transformational new very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) observations in Bands 6 and 7 (1. Read More

We make the first attempt to estimate and interpret the biphase data for astronomical time series. The biphase is the phase of the bispectrum, which is the Fourier domain equivalent of the three-point correlation function. The bispectrum measures two key nonlinear properties of a time series -- its reversability in time, and the symmetry about the mean of its flux distribution -- for triplets of frequencies. Read More

We report new detections of the two transient ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) in NGC 5128 from an ongoing series of Chandra observations. Both sources have previously been observed Lx (2-3)E39 erg/s, at the lower end of the ULX luminosity range. The new observations allow us to study these sources in the luminosity regime frequented by the Galactic black hole X-ray binaries (BH XBs). Read More

We report the discovery of a candidate stellar-mass black hole in the Milky Way globular cluster M62. We detected the black hole candidate, which we term M62-VLA1, in the core of the cluster using deep radio continuum imaging from the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array. Read More

The way in which the X-ray photon index, {\Gamma}, varies as a function of count rate is a strong diagnostic of the emission processes and emission geometry around accreting compact objects. Here we present the results from a study using a new, and simple, method designed to improve sensitivity to the measurement of the variability of {\Gamma} on very short time-scales. We have measured {\Gamma} in ~2 million spectra, extracted from observations with a variety of different accretion rates and spectral states, on time-scales as short as 16 ms for the high mass X-ray binary Cygnus X-1, and have cross-correlated these measurements with the source count rate. Read More

We present a spectral investigation of X-ray binaries in NGC 5128 (Cen A), using six 100 ks Chandra observations taken over two months in 2007. We divide our sample into thermally and non-thermally dominated states based on the behavior of the fitted absorption column, and present the spectral parameters of sources with L >2x10^37 erg/s. The majority of sources are consistent with being neutron star low mass X-ray binaries (NS LMXBs) and we identify three transient black hole (BH) LMXB candidates coincident with the dust lane, which is the remnant of a small late-type galaxy. Read More

(abridged) We consider the effect of stellar remnants on the interstellar medium of a massive star cluster following the initial burst of star formation. We argue that accretion onto stellar-mass black holes (BHs) is an effective mechanism for rapid gas depletion in clusters of all masses, as long as they contain progenitor stars more massive than \gtrsim 50\msun. This scenario is attractive for the progenitor systems of present-day massive globular clusters (GCs) which likely had masses M \gtrsim 10^7\msun. Read More

Hundreds of stellar-mass black holes likely form in a typical globular star cluster, with all but one predicted to be ejected through dynamical interactions. Some observational support for this idea is provided by the lack of X-ray-emitting binary stars comprising one black hole and one other star ("black-hole/X-ray binaries") in Milky Way globular clusters, even though many neutron-star/X-ray binaries are known. Although a few black holes have been seen in globular clusters around other galaxies, the masses of these cannot be determined, and some may be intermediate-mass black holes that form through exotic mechanisms. Read More

We discuss a scenario for the very faint X-ray transients as X-ray binaries fed by winds from detached M-dwarf donors in binary stars within the "period gap" -- the range of periods where donor stars have become fully convective, and shrunken so that they no longer fill their Roche lobes, but have not yet re-attached due to the systems shrinking through gravitational radiation. This wind-fed detached binary scenario can reproduce the two key properties of the very faint X-ray transients -- their faintness, which defines them, and their relatively low duty cycle outbursts which require that they have low mean mass transfer rates. We discuss feasible observational tests of the scenario. Read More

We present optical HST/STIS spectroscopy of RZ 2109, a globular cluster in the elliptical galaxy NGC 4472. This globular cluster is notable for hosting an ultraluminous X-ray source as well as associated strong and broad [OIII] 4959, 5007 emission. We show that the HST/STIS spectroscopy spatially resolves the [OIII] emission in RZ 2109. Read More

Affiliations: 1Southampton, 2SRON/CfA, 3LSU, 4Warwick, 5LSU, 6SRON/CfA/Radboud University, 7Warwick/CfA, 8Amsterdam, 9Radboud University/KU Leuven

We discuss radio sources in the Chandra Galactic Bulge survey region. By cross-matching the X-ray sources in this field with the NVSS archival data, we find 12 candidate matches. We present a classification scheme for radio/X-ray matches in surveys taken in or near the Galactic Plane, taking into account other multi-wavelength data. Read More

We have searched for [OIII] 5007 emission in high resolution spectroscopic data from Flames/Giraffe VLT observations of 174 massive globular clusters (GCs) in NGC4472. No planetary nebulae (PNe) are observed in these clusters, constraining the number of PNe per bolometric luminosity, \alpha<0.8*10^{-7}PN/L_{\odot}. Read More


I present a brief review of the properties of jets from X-ray binaries, highlighting the disk-jet connection, in which there are strong correlations between X-ray and radio power for black holes and for neutron star in low/hard spectral states, and reduced emission in soft states. I discuss how some of the new "deviant" black hole systems which follow the relation normally found for neutron stars might fit into such a picture. I close by highlighting a few open questions which might be best addressed with soft gamma-ray observations. Read More

With a goal of searching for accreting intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs), we report the results of ultra-deep Jansky VLA radio continuum observations of the cores of three Galactic globular clusters: M15, M19, and M22. We reach rms noise levels of 1.5-2. Read More

Affiliations: 1University of Southampton, 2American Museum of Natural History and University of Southampton

We explore the possible contribution of classical and recurrent novae from isolated white dwarfs accreting from the intracluster medium to the abundances of "second generation" globular cluster stellar populations. We show that under reasonable assumptions the helium abundances of clusters can be enhanced substantially by these novae and argue that novae should be considered as an important, and perhaps even dominant channel in the evolution of the intracluster medium. We also discuss a possible test for whether helium enhancement really is the cause of the multiple main sequences in globular clusters that is independent of the positions of stars in the color-magnitude diagram. Read More

In this paper we discuss the recently discovered radio transient in the nuclear region of M\,82. It has been suggested that this source is an X-ray binary, which, given the radio flux density, would require an X-ray luminosity, $L_{\rm X}\,\sim6\times10^{42}$\,erg\,s$^{-1}$ if it were a stellar mass black hole that followed established empirical relations for X-ray binaries. The source is not detected in the analysis of the X-ray archival data. Read More

We present a multi-facility study of the optical spectrum of the extragalactic globular cluster RZ2109, which hosts a bright black hole X-ray source. The optical spectrum of RZ2109 shows strong and very broad [O III]\lambda \lambda 4959,5007 emission in addition to the stellar absorption lines typical of a globular cluster. We use observations over an extended period of time to constrain the variability of these [O III] emission lines. Read More

Accurate stellar population synthesis models are vital in understanding the properties and formation histories of galaxies. In order to calibrate and test the reliability of these models, they are often compared with observations of star clusters. However, relatively little work has compared these models in the ugriz filters, despite the recent widespread use of this filter set. Read More

We present a wide field study of the Globular Clusters/Low Mass X-ray Binary (LMXB) connection in the giant elliptical NGC1399. The large FOV of the ACS/WFC, combined with the HST and Chandra high resolution, allow us to constrain the LMXB formation scenarios in elliptical galaxies. We confirm that NGC1399 has the highest LMXB fraction in GCs of all nearby elliptical galaxies studied so far, even though the exact value depends on galactocentric distance due to the interplay of a differential GC vs galaxy light distribution and the GC color dependence. Read More

Affiliations: 1University of Southampton, 2University of Southampton, 3University of California

While jets appear as a fundamental result of accretion processes onto compact objects in X-ray binaries, there is as yet no standard model for their underlying physics. The origin of the observed disk-jet coupling also remains largely unknown. X-ray variability studies have revealed complex variability in the accretion flow onto stellar-mass black holes and neutron stars, on timescales as short as milliseconds. Read More

(Abridged) Proxies for the stellar collision rates in globular clusters are often used. We present comparisons between these proxies and the full integrated collision rate for King models. Gamma, defined to be rho_0^3/2 r_c^2$, where $\rho_0$ is the central cluster density, and r_c is the core radius, is an accurate representation of the collision rate from the King model to within about 25% for all but the least concentrated clusters. Read More

Affiliations: 1University of Southampton, 2University of Southampton, 3University of Southampton

We compare the rotation rate of neutron stars in low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) with the orbital period of the binaries. We find that, while short orbital period LMXBs span a range of neutron star rotation rates, all the long period LMXBs have fast rotators. We also find that the rotation rates are highest for the systems with the highest mean mass accretion rates, as can be expected if the accretion rate correlates with the orbital period. Read More

Results are presented from recent VLBI observations of Cygnus X-1 during X-ray spectral state changes. Using the EVN in e-VLBI mode and the VLBA with disk recording, we observed the X-ray binary at very high angular resolution and studied changes in the compact jets as the source made transitions from hard X-ray states to softer states. The radio light curves show that these transitions were accompanied by radio flaring events followed by a quenching of the radio emission, as expected from the current paradigm for disc-jet coupling in X-ray binaries. Read More