X-ray emission from the nucleus of the dwarf elliptical galaxy NGC 3226

I. M. George, R. F. Mushotzky, T. Yaqoob, T. J. Turner, S. Kraemer, A. F. Ptak, K. Nandra, D. M. Crenshaw, H. Netzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present the first high-resolution X-ray image of the dwarf elliptical galaxy NGC 3226. The data were obtained during an observation of the nearby Seyfert Galaxy NGC 3227 using the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. We detect a point X-ray source spatially consistent with the optical nucleus of NGC 3226 and a recently detected, compact, flat-spectrum radio source. The X-ray spectrum can be measured up to ∼10 keV and is consistent with a power law with a photon index 1.7 ≲ Γ ≲; 2.2 or thermal bremsstrahlung emission with 4 keV ≲ kT ≲ 10 keV. In both cases, the luminosity in the 2-10 keV band ≃1040 h-175 ergs s-1. We find marginal evidence that the nucleus varies within the observation. These characteristics support evidence from other wave bands that NGC 3226 harbors a low-luminosity active nucleus. We also comment on two previously unknown, fainter X-ray sources ≲15″ from the nucleus of NGC 3226. Their proximity to the nucleus (with projected distances of ≲1.3 h-175 kpc) suggests both are within NGC 3226 and thus have luminosities (approximately a few times 1038 to a few times 1039 ergs s-1) consistent with black hole binary systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-172
Number of pages6
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 1
StatePublished - 20 Sep 2001


  • Galaxies: active
  • Galaxies: dwarf
  • Galaxies: individual (NGC 3226)
  • Galaxies: nuclei
  • X-rays: binaries
  • X-rays: galaxies


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