The University of Southampton

Dr Matthew Middleton 


P&A Fellowship & Concordat Champion

Director of STAG, ED&I and DISCNet training committee member

SMARTNet chair

Councillor of the Royal Astronomical Society

Dr Matt Middleton was awarded his PhD in astronomy (with a focus on the connection between AGN and black hole binaries) from the University of Durham in 2010. Since then he has been a PDRA at Durham, a Marie-Curie Fellow at the University of Amsterdam (2012-2014) and STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellow at Cambridge, and at Southampton where he now holds the position of Associate Professor.

His interests focus on the nature of accretion onto compact objects as revealed via the coupling of the time and energy domains (spectral-timing) and specifically the changes in the accretion flow when it reaches and exceeds the classical Eddington limit. He employs a combination of analytical theory and observations across multiple bands but predominantly the X-rays. He is external collaborator for e-ROSITA and head of SMARTnet – a network for performing observations of transients (including binaries, AGN, TDEs etc.) simultaneously in multiple wavebands.

Within the University he teaches PHYS1005:Introduction to Astronomy, and PHYS3010:Stellar Evolution.


Research interests

AGN, XRBs, ULXs, accretion processes, mutli-wavelength astronomy, time-domain methods


Ingram, Adam, van der Klis, Michiel, Middleton, Matthew, Altamirano, Diego and Uttley, Phil (2017) Tomographic reflection modelling of quasi-periodic oscillations in the black hole binary H 1743–322. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 464 (3), 2979–2991. (doi:10.1093/mnras/stw2581).

Ingram, Adam, van der Klis, Michiel, Middleton, Matthew, Done, Chris, Altamirano, Diego, Heil, Lucy, Uttley, Phil and Axelsson, Magnus (2016) A quasi-periodic modulation of the iron line centroid energy in the black hole binary H1743-322. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 461 (2), 1967-1980. (doi:10.1093/mnras/stw1245).

Pinto, Ciro, Middleton, Matthew and Fabian, A.C. (2016) Resolved atomic lines reveal outflows in two ultraluminous X-ray sources. Nature, 533 (7601), 64-67. (doi:10.1038/nature17417).

Pinto, C., Fabian, A., Middleton, M. and Walton, D. (2017) Ultrafast outflows in ultraluminous X-ray sources. Astronomische Nachrichten, 338 (2-3), 234-240. (doi:10.1002/asna.201713336).

Furst, F., Walton, D.J., Harrison, F.A., Stern, D., Barret, D., Brightman, M., Fabian, A.C., Grefenstette, B., Madsen, K.K., Middleton, M.J., Miller, J.M., Pottschmidt, K., Ptak, A., Rana, V. and Webb, N. (2016) Discovery of coherent pulsations from the Ultraluminous X-ray Source NGC 7793 P13. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 831 (2), [L14]. (doi:10.3847/2041-8205/831/2/L14).

Walton, D.J., Fürst, F., Harrison, F.A. and Middleton, Matthew (2017) The broadband spectral variability of Holmberg IX X-1. The Astrophysical Journal. (doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aa683e).

Sutton, Andrew D., Swartz, Douglas A., Roberts, Timothy P., Middleton, Matthew J., Soria, Roberto and Done, Chris (2017) Crossing the Eddington Limit: examining disk spectra at high accretion rates. The Astrophysical Journal, 836 (1), [48]. (doi:10.3847/1538-4357/836/1/48).

Dauser, T., Middleton, M. and Wilms, J. (2017) Modeling the light curves of ultraluminous X-ray sources as precession. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 466 (2), 2236-2241. (doi:10.1093/mnras/stw3304).

Pinto, C., Alston, W., Soria, R., Middleton, M.J., Walton, D.J., Sutton, A.D., Fabian, A.C., Earnshaw, H., Urquhart, R., Kara, E. and Roberts, T.P. (2017) From ultraluminous X-ray sources to ultraluminous supersoft sources: NGC 55 ULX, the missing link. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 468 (3), 2865-2883.

Middleton, Matthew, Heil, Lucy, Pintore, Fabio, Walton, Dominic J. and Roberts, Timothy P. (2015) A spectral-timing model for ULXs in the supercritical regime. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 447 (4), 3243-3263. (doi:10.1093/mnras/stu2644).

Parker, Michael L., Pinto, Ciro, Uttley, Philip and Middleton, Matthew (2017) The response of relativistic outflowing gas to the inner accretion disk of a black hole. Nature, 543 (7643), 83-86. (doi:10.1038/nature21385).

Walton, D.J., Mooley, K., King, A.L., Tomsick, J.A., Miller, J.M., Dauser, T., García, J.A., Bachetti, M., Brightman, M., Fabian, A.C., Forster, K., Fürst, F., Gandhi, P., Grefenstette, B.W., Harrison, F.A., Madsen, K.K., Meier, D.L., Middleton, M.J., Natalucci, L., Rahoui, F., Rana, V. and Stern, D. (2017) Living on a flare: Relativistic reflection in V404 Cyg observed by NuSTAR during Its summer 2015 outburst. The Astrophysical Journal, 839 (2), [110]. (doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aa67e8).

Middleton, M.J., Casella, P., Gandhi, P., Bozzo, E., Anderson, G., Degenaar, N., Donnarumma, I., Israel, G., Knigge, C., Lohfink, A., Markoff, S., Marsh, T., Rea, N., Tingay, S., Wiersema, K., Altamirano, D., Bhattacharya, D., Brandt, W.N., Carey, S., Charles, P., Trigo, M. Diaz, Done, C., Kotze, M., Eikenberry, S., Fender, R., Ferruit, P., Fuerst, F., Greiner, J., Ingram, A., Heil, L., Jonker, P., Komossa, S., Leibundgut, B., Maccarone, T., Malzac, J., McBride, V., Miller-Jones, J., Page, M., Rossi, E.M., Russell, D.M., Shahbaz, T., Sivakoff, G.R., Tanaka, M., Thompson, D.J., Uemura, M., Uttley, P., Moorsel, G. van, Doesburgh, M. Van, Warner, B., Wilkes, B., Wilms, J. and Woudt, P. (2017) Paving the way to simultaneous multi-wavelength astronomy. New Astronomy Reviews. (doi:10.1016/j.newar.2017.07.002).

Middleton, Matthew and King, Andrew (2017) Predicting ultraluminous X-ray source demographics from geometrical beaming. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 470 (1), l69-l71. (doi:10.1093/mnrasl/slx079).

Middleton, M.J., Fragile, P.C., Bachetti, M., Brightman, M., Jiang, Y-F, Ho, W.C.G., Roberts, T.P., Ingram, A.R., Dauser, T., Pinto, C., Walton, D.J., Fuerst, F., Fabian, A.C. and Gehrels, N. (2018) Lense-Thirring precession in ULXs as a possible means to constrain the neutron star equation of state. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 475 (1), 154-166. (doi:10.1093/mnras/stx2986).

Middleton, Matthew, Walton, Dominic J., Roberts, Timothy P. and Lucy, Heil (2013) Broad absorption features in wind-dominated ultraluminous X-ray sources? Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, L51-L53. (doi:10.1093/mnrasl/slt157).

buisson, D.J.K., Lohfink, A., Alston, W.N., Cackett, E.M., Chiang, C-Y, Dauser, T., De Marco, B, Fabian, A.C., Gallo, L.C., Garcia, J.A, jiang, J., Kara, E. and Middleton, Matthew (2017) Is there a UV/X-ray connection in IRAS 13224–3809? Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. (In Press)

Cardoso, Vitor, Hartnett, Gavin S., Middleton, Matthew, Pani, Paolo, Santos, Jorge E. and Campos Dias, Oscar (2018) Constraining the mass of dark photons and axion-like particles through black-hole superradiance. Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, 2018 (03), 043-043, [JCAP03(2018)043]. (doi:10.1088/1475-7516/2018/03/043).

Walton, D.J., Bachetti, M., Fürst, F., Barret, D., Brightman, M., Fabian, A.C., Grefenstette, B.W., Harrison, F.A., Heida, M., Kennea, J.A., Lau, R.M., Madsen, K.K., Middleton, M.J., Pinto, C., Steinert, J. and Webb, N. (2018) A potential cyclotron resonant scattering feature in the ultraluminous x-ray source pulsar NGC 300 ULX1 seen by NuSTAR and XMM-Newton. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 857 (1), [L3]. (doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aabadc).

Walton, D.J., Fürst, F., Heida, M., Harrison, F.A., Barret, D., Stern, D., Bachetti, M., Brightman, M., Fabian, A.C. and Middleton, M.J. (2018) Evidence for pulsar-like emission components in the broadband ULX sample. Astrophysical Journal, 856 (2), [128]. (doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aab610).

Brightman, M., Harrison, F.A., Fürst, F., Middleton, M.J., Walton, D.J., Stern, D., Fabian, A.C., Heida, M., Barret, D. and Bachetti, M. (2018) Magnetic field strength of a neutron-star-powered ultraluminous X-ray source. Nature Astronomy, 2 (4), 312-316. (doi:10.1038/s41550-018-0391-6).

Walton, D.J., Fürst, F., Harrison, F.A., Stern, D., Bachetti, M., Barret, D., Brightman, M., Fabian, A.C., Middleton, M.J., Ptak, A. and Tao, L. (2018) Super-Eddington accretion on to the neutron star NGC7793 P13: broad-band X-ray spectroscopy and ultraluminous X-ray sources. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 473 (4), 4360-4376. (doi:10.1093/mnras/stx2650).

Fürst, Felix, Walton, D.J., Heida, M., Barret, D., Brightman, M., Fabian, A.C. and Middleton, Matthew (2018) A tale of two periods: determination of the orbital ephemeris of the super-Eddington pulsar NGC7793 P13. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 616, 1-10, [A186]. (doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201833292).

Alston, W.N., Fabian, A.C., Buisson, D.J.K., Kara, E., Parker, M.L., Lohfink, A.M., Uttley, P., Wilkins, D.R., Pinto, C., De Marco, B., Cackett, E.M., Middleton, M.J., Walton, D.J., Reynolds, C.S., Jiang, J., Gallo, L.C., Zogbhi, A., Miniutti, G., Dovciak, M. and Young, A.J. (2019) The remarkable X-ray variability of IRAS 13224–3809 – I. The variability process. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 482 (2), 2088-2106. (doi:10.1093/mnras/sty2527).

Earnshaw, H. P., Roberts, T. P., Middleton, M. J., Walton, D. J. and Mateos, S. (2019) A new, clean catalogue of extragalactic non-nuclear X-ray sources in nearby galaxies. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 483 (4), 5554-5573. (doi:10.1093/mnras/sty3403).

Mushtukov, Alexander A., Ingram, Adam, Middleton, Matthew, Nagirner, Dmitrij I. and van der Klis, Michael (2019) Timing properties of ULX pulsars: optically thick envelopes and outflows. Monthly Notice of the Royal Astronomical Society, 484 (1), 687–697. (doi:10.1093/mnras/sty3525).

Wiktorowicz, Grzegorz, Lasota, Jean-Pierre, Middleton, Matthew and Belczynski, Krzysztof (2019) The observed vs total population of ULXs. The Astronomical Journal, 875 (1), [53]. (doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ab0f27).

Miller-Jones, James C.A., Tetarenko, Alexandra J., Sivakoff, Gregory R., Middleton, Matthew J., Altamirano, Diego, Anderson, Gemma E., Belloni, Tomaso M., Fender, Rob P., Jonker, Peter G., Körding, Elmar G., Krimm, Hans A., Maitra, Dipankar, Markoff, Sera, Migliari, Simone, Mooley, Kunal P., Rupen, Michael P., Russell, David M., Russell, Thomas D., Sarazin, Craig L., Soria, Roberto and Tudose, Valeriu (2019) A rapidly changing jet orientation in the stellar-mass black-hole system V404 Cygni. Nature, 569 (7756), 374-377. (doi:10.1038/s41586-019-1152-0).

Beri, Aru, Tetarenko, B. E., Bahramian, A., Altamirano, Diego, Gandhi, Poshak, Sivakoff, G. R., Degenaar, N., Middleton, M. J., Wijnands, R., Hernándz Santisteban, J. V. and Paice, John A. (2019) The black hole X-ray transient Swift J1357.2-0933 as seen with Swift and NuSTAR during its 2017 outburst. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 485 (3), 3064-3075. (doi:10.1093/mnras/stz616).

Sathyaprakash, R., Roberts, T. P., Walton, D. J., Fuerst, F., Bachetti, M., Pinto, C., Alston, W. N., Earnshaw, H. P., Fabian, A. C., Middleton, M.J. and Soria, R. (2019) The discovery of weak coherent pulsations in the ultraluminous X-ray source NGC 1313 X-2. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, 488 (1), L35-L40. (doi:10.1093/mnrasl/slz086).

Castro, A., Altamirano, D., Michel, R., Gandhi, P., Santisteban, J. V. Hernández, Echevarría, J., Tejada, C., Knigge, C., Sierra, G., Colorado, E., Hernández-Landa, J., Whiter, D., Middleton, M., García, B., Guisa, G. and Castro-Segura, N. (2019) OPTICAM: A triple-camera optical system designed to explore the fastest timescales in Astronomy. Revista Mexicana de Astronomía y Astrofísica, 55, 1-14. (doi:10.22201/ia.01851101p.2019.55.02.20).

Middleton, M.J., Fragile, P.C., Ingram, A. and Roberts, T.P. (2019) The Lense-Thirring timing-accretion plane for ULXs. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 489 (1), 282-296. (doi:10.1093/mnras/stz2005).

Pinto, C., Walton, D.J., Kara, E., Parker, M.L., R., Soria, Kosec, P., Middleton, Matthew, Alston, W.N., Fabian, A.C., Guainazzi, M., Roberts, T.P., Fuerst, F., Earnshaw, H.P., Sathyaprakash, R. and Barret, D. (2020) XMM-Newton campaign on ultraluminous X-ray source NGC 1313 X-1: wind versus state variability. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. (doi:10.1093/mnras/staa118).

Bachetti, Matteo, Maccarone, Thomas J., Brightman, Murray, Brumback, McKinley C., Fürst, Felix, Harrison, Fiona A., Heida, Marianne, Israel, Gian Luca, Middleton, Matthew, Tomsick, John A., Webb, Natalie A. and Walton, Dominic J. (2020) All at once: Transient pulsations, spin-down, and a glitch from the pulsating ultraluminous x-ray source M82 X-2. The Astrophysical Journal, 891 (1), [44]. (doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ab6d00).

Earnshaw, Hannah P., Heida, Marianne, Brightman, Murray, Fürst, Felix, Harrison, Fiona A., Jaodand, Amruta, Middleton, Matthew, Roberts, Timothy P., Sathyaprakash, Rajath and Stern, Daniel (2020) The (Re)appearance of NGC 925 ULX-3, a New Transient ULX. Astrophysical Journal, 891 (2), [153]. (doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ab77b8/meta).

Walton, D J, Pinto, C, Nowak, M, Bachetti, M, Sathyaprakash, R, Kara, E, Roberts, T P, Soria, R, Brightman, M, Canizares, C R, Earnshaw, H P, Fürst, F, Heida, M, Middleton, M J, Stern, D, Tao, L, Webb, N, Alston, W N, Barret, D, Fabian, A C, Harrison, F A and Kosec, P (2020) The unusual broad-band X-ray spectral variability of NGC 1313 X-1 seen with XMM–Newton, Chandra, and NuSTAR. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 494 (4), 6012-6029. (doi:10.1093/mnras/staa1129).

Beri, Aru, Naik, Sachindra, Singh, K. P., Jaisawal, Gaurava K., Bhattacharyya, Sudip, Charles, Philip, Ho, Wynn C. G., Maitra, Chandreyee, Bhattacharya, Depankar, Dewangan, Gulab C., Middleton, Matthew, Altamirano, Diego, Gandhi, Poshak and Raichur, Harsha (2020) AstroSat observations of the first Galactic ULX pulsar Swift J0243.6+6124. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 500 (1), 565-575. (doi:10.1093/mnras/staa3254).

Middleton, Matthew and Ashton, Dominic Ian (2021) Searching for energy-resolved quasi-periodic oscillations in AGN. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 501 (4), 5478–5499. (doi:10.1093/mnras/staa4024).

Middleton, Matthew, Mills, Brianna S. and Davis, Shane W. (2021) The Black Hole spin in GRS 1915+105, revisited. Astrophysical Journal. (doi:10.3847/1538-4357/abf2b7).

Pinto, C., Soria, R., Walton, D.J., D’A`ı, A., Pintore, Fabio, Alston, W.N., Fuerst, F., Middleton, Matthew, Roberts, T.P., Del Santo, M., Barret, D., Ambrosi, E., Robba, A., Earnshaw, H. and Fabian, A.C. (2021) XMM-Newton campaign on the ultraluminous X-ray source NGC 247 ULX-1: outflows. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. (doi:10.1093/mnras/stab1648). (In Press)

Alston, W.N., Pinto, C., Barret, D., D'Ai, A., Del Santo, M., Earnshaw, H., Fabian, A.C., Fuerst, F., Kara, E., Kosec, P., Middleton, Matthew, Parker, M.L., Pintore, F., Robba, A., Roberts, T.P., Sathyaprakash, R., Walton, D. and Ambrosi, E. (2021) Quasi-periodic dipping in the ultraluminous X-ray source, NGC 247 ULX-1. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. (In Press)

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