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Sample records for accreting millisecond x-ray

  1. The accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar IGR J00291+5934: evidence for a long timescale spin evolution

    A. Patruno

    2010-01-01

    Accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars like IGR J00291+5934 are important because they can be used to test theories of pulsar formation and evolution. They give also the possibility of constraining gravitational wave emission theories and the equation of state of ultra-dense matter. Particularly crucia

  2. Quasi-periodic X-ray brightness fluctuations in an accreting millisecond pulsar

    Wijnands, R; Homan, J; Chakraborty, D; Markwardt, C B; Morgan, E H; Wijnands, Rudy; Klis, Michiel van der; Homan, Jeroen; Chakrabarty, Deepto; Markwardt, Craig B.; Morgan, Ed H.

    2003-01-01

    The relativistic plasma flows onto neutron stars that are accreting material from stellar companions can be used to probe strong-field gravity as well as the physical conditions in the supranuclear-density interiors of neutron stars. Plasma inhomogeneities orbiting a few kilometres above the stars are observable as X-ray brightness fluctuations on the millisecond dynamical timescale of the flows. Two frequencies in the kilohertz range dominate these fluctuations: the twin kilohertz quasi-periodic oscillations (kHz QPOs). Competing models for the origins of these oscillations (based on orbital motions) all predict that they should be related to the stellar spin frequency, but tests have been difficult because the spins were not unambiguously known. Here we report the detection of kHz QPOs from a pulsar whose spin frequency is known. Our measurements establish a clear link between kHz QPOs and stellar spin, but one not predicted by any current model. A new approach to understanding kHz QPOs is now required. We ...

  3. Broad-band spectral analysis of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar SAX J1748.9-2021

    Pintore, F.; Sanna, A.; Di Salvo, T.; Del Santo, M.; Riggio, A.; D'Aì, A.; Burderi, L.; Scarano, F.; Iaria, R.

    2016-04-01

    We analysed a 115-ks XMM-Newton observation and the stacking of 8 d of INTEGRAL observations, taken during the raise of the 2015 outburst of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar SAX J1748.9-2021. The source showed numerous type-I burst episodes during the XMM-Newton observation, and for this reason we studied separately the persistent and burst epochs. We described the persistent emission with a combination of two soft thermal components, a cold thermal Comptonization component (˜2 keV) and an additional hard X-ray emission described by a power law (Γ ˜ 2.3). The continuum components can be associated with an accretion disc, the neutron star (NS) surface and a thermal Comptonization emission coming out of an optically thick plasma region, while the origin of the high-energy tail is still under debate. In addition, a number of broad (σ = 0.1-0.4 keV) emission features likely associated with reflection processes have been observed in the XMM-Newton data. The estimated 1.0-50 keV unabsorbed luminosity of the source is ˜5 × 1037 erg s-1, about 25 per cent of the Eddington limit assuming a 1.4 M⊙ NS. We suggest that the spectral properties of SAX J1748.9-2021 are consistent with a soft state, differently from many other accreting X-ray millisecond pulsars which are usually found in the hard state. Moreover, none of the observed type-I burst reached the Eddington luminosity. Assuming that the burst ignition and emission are produced above the whole NS surface, we estimate an NS radius of ˜7-8 km, consistent with previous results.

  4. Broad-band spectral analysis of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar SAX J1748.9-2021

    Pintore, Fabio; Di Salvo, Tiziana; Del Santo, Melania; Riggio, Alessandro; D'Aì, Antonino; Burderi, Luciano; Scarano, Fabiana; Iaria, Rosario

    2016-01-01

    We analyzed a 115 ks XMM-Newton observation and the stacking of 8 days of INTEGRAL observations, taken during the raise of the 2015 outburst of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar SAX J1748.9-2021. The source showed numerous type-I burst episodes during the XMM-Newton observation, and for this reason we studied separately the persistent and burst epochs. We described the persistent emission with a combination of two soft thermal components, a cold thermal Comptonization component (~2 keV) and an additional hard X-ray emission described by a power-law (photon index ~2.3). The continuum components can be associated with an accretion disc, the neutron star (NS) surface and a thermal Comptonization emission coming out of an optically thick plasma region, while the origin of the high energy tail is still under debate. In addition, a number of broad (~0.1-0.4 keV) emission features likely associated to reflection processes have been observed in the XMM-Newton data. The estimated 1.0-50 keV unabsorbed luminosity ...

  5. The Accreting Millisecond X-ray Pulsar IGR J00291+5934: Evidence for a Long Timescale Spin Evolution

    Patruno, Alessandro

    2010-01-01

    Accreting Millisecond X-ray Pulsars like IGR J00291+5934 are important because it is possible to test theories of pulsar formation and evolution. They give also the possibility to constrain gravitational wave emission theories and the equation of state of ultra dense matter. Particularly crucial to our understanding is the measurement of the long term spin evolution of the accreting neutron star. An open question is whether these accreting pulsars are spinning up during an outburst and spinning down in quiescence as predicted by the recycling scenario. Until now it has been very difficult to measure torques, due to the presence of fluctuations in the pulse phases that compromise their measurements with standard coherent timing techniques. By applying a new method, I am now able to measure a spin up during an outburst and a spin down during quiescence. I ascribe the spin up (Fdot=5.1(3)x10^{-13}\\Hz/s) to accretion torques and the spin down (Fdot=-3.0(8)x10^{-15} Hz/s) to magneto dipole torques, as those observ...

  6. Application of the relativistic precession model to the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar IGR J17511-3057

    Stefanov, I. Zh.

    2016-03-01

    The observation of a pair of simultaneous twin kHz QPOs in the power density spectrum of a neutron star or a black hole allows its mass-angular-momentum relation to be constrained. Situations in which the observed simultaneous pairs are more than one allow the different models of the kHz QPOs to be falsified. Discrepancy between the estimates coming from the different pairs would call the used model into question. In the current paper, the relativistic precession model is applied to the twin kHz QPOs that appear in the light curves of three groups of observations of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar IGR J17511-3057. It was found that the predictions of one of the groups are practically in conflict with the other two. Another interesting result is that the region in which the kHz QPOs have been born is rather broad and extends quite far from the ISCO.

  7. Application of the relativistic precession model to the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar IGR J17511-3057

    Stefanov, Ivan Zh

    2015-01-01

    The observation of a pair of simultaneous twin kHz QPOs in the power density spectrum of a neutron star or a black hole allows its mass-angular-momentum relation to be constrained. Situations in which the observed simultaneous pairs are more than one allow the different models of the kHz QPOs to be falsified. Discrepancy between the estimates coming from the different pairs would call the used model into question. In the current paper the relativistic precession model is applied to the twin kHz QPOs that appear in the light curves of three groups of observations of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar IGR J17511-3057. It was found that the predictions of one of the groups are practically in conflict with the other two. Another interesting result is that the region in which the kHz QPOs have been born is rather broad and extends quite far from the ISCO.

  8. Orbital Evolution Measurement of the Accreting Millisecond X-ray Pulsar SAX J1808.4–3658

    Chetana Jain; Anjan Dutta; Biswajit Paul

    2007-12-01

    We present results from a pulse timing analysis of the accretion-powered millisecond X-ray pulsar SAX J1808.4–3658 using X-ray data obtained during four outbursts of this source. Extensive observations were made with the proportional counter array of the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) during the four outbursts that occurred in 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2005. Instead of measuring the arrival times of individual pulses or the pulse arrival time delay measurement that is commonly used to determine the orbital parameters of binary pulsars, we have determined the orbital ephemeris during each observation by optimizing the pulse detection against a range of trial ephemeris values. The source exhibits a significant pulse shape variability during the outbursts. The technique used by us does not depend on the pulse profile evolution, and is therefore, different from the standard pulse timing analysis. Using 27 measurements of orbital ephemerides during the four outbursts spread over more than 7 years and more than 31,000 binary orbits, we have derived an accurate value of the orbital period of 7249.156862(5) s (MJD = 50915) and detected an orbital period derivative of (3.14 ± 0.21) × 10-12 s s-1. We have included a table of the 27 mid-eclipse time measurements of this source that will be valuable for further studies of the orbital evolution of the source, especially with ASTROSAT. We point out that the measured rate of orbital period evolution is considerably faster than the most commonly discussed mechanisms of orbital period evolution like mass transfer, mass loss from the companion star and gravitational wave radiation. The present time scale of orbital period change, 73 Myr is therefore likely to be a transient high value of period evolution and similar measurements during subsequent outbursts of SAX J1808.4–3658 will help us to resolve this.

  9. X-ray coherent pulsations during a sub-luminous accretion disk state of the transitional millisecond pulsar XSS J12270-4859

    Papitto, A; Belloni, T M; Burgay, M; Pellizzoni, A; Possenti, A; Torres, D F

    2014-01-01

    Radio millisecond pulsars in binary systems are spun up to their present period by a Gyr-long phase of accretion of the mass transferred from a low-mass companion star. Recently, three such systems have been observed to switch between an accretion disk state and a radio pulsar regime over time-scales ranging from weeks to years, and were dubbed transitional millisecond pulsars. These sources have been often found in a sub-luminous accretion disk state, characterized by a lower X-ray luminosity (~1E33-1E34 erg/s) than the level usually attained by similar sources during X-ray outbursts (~1E36 erg/s), and by a bright radio and gamma-ray emission. The physical mechanism acting in this enigmatic state is still unclear. Here, we present the first detection of X-ray pulsations from the transitional millisecond pulsar XSS J12270-4859. Pulsations were detected by XMM-Newton during an observation performed while the source was in a sub-luminous accretion disk state. They had an rms amplitude of (7.7+/-0.5)% with a sec...

  10. The X-ray spectrum of the newly discovered accreting millisecond pulsar IGR J17511-3057

    Papitto, A; Di Salvo, T; Burderi, L; D'Aì, A; Iaria, R; Bozzo, E; Menna, M T

    2010-01-01

    We report on an XMM-Newton observation of the accreting millisecond pulsar, IGR J17511-3057. Pulsations at 244.8339512(1) Hz are observed with an RMS pulsed fraction of 14.4(3)%. A precise solution for the P_orb=12487.51(2)s binary system is derived. The measured mass function indicates a main sequence companion with a mass between 0.15 and 0.44 Msun. The XMM-Newton spectrum of the source can be modelled by at least three components, multicoloured disc emission, thermal emission from the NS surface and thermal Comptonization emission. Spectral fit of the XMM-Newton data and of the RXTE data, taken in a simultaneous temporal window, constrain the Comptonization parameters: the electron temperature, kT_e=51(+6,-4) keV, is rather high, while the optical depth (tau=1.34(+0.03,-0.06)) is moderate. The energy dependence of the pulsed fraction supports the interpretation of the cooler thermal component as coming from the accretion disc, and indicates that the Comptonizing plasma surrounds the hot spots on the NS sur...

  11. On Low Mass X-ray Binaries and Millisecond Pulsar

    Burderi, Luciano

    2013-01-01

    The detection, in 1998, of the first Accreting Millisecond Pulsar, started an exciting season of continuing discoveries in the fashinating field of compact binary systems harbouring a neutron star. Indeed, in these last three lustres, thanks to the extraordinary performances of astronomical detectors, on ground as well as on board of satellites, mainly in the Radio, Optical, X-ray, and Gamma-ray bands, astrophysicists had the opportunity to thoroughly investigate the so-called Recycling Scenario: the evolutionary path leading to the formation of a Millisecond Radio Pulsar. The most intriguing phase is certainly the spin-up stage during which, because of the accretion of matter and angular momentum, the neutron star accumulates an extraordinary amount of mechanical rotational energy, up to one percent of its whole rest-mass energy. These millisecond spinning neutron stars are truly extreme physical objects: General and Special Relativity are fully in action, since their surfaces, attaining speeds close to one ...

  12. Millisecond Oscillations During Thermonuclear X-ray Bursts

    Muno, M P

    2004-01-01

    I review the basic phenomenology and theory of the millisecond brightness oscillations observed during thermonuclear X-ray bursts from 13 of approximately 70 accreting neutron stars in low-mass X-ray binaries. Compelling observations indicate that the oscillations are produced by surface brightness patterns on the rapidly rotating neutron stars. However, it remains to be understood (1) why the brightness patterns producing them persist for up to 15 s during an X-ray burst, whereas the burning should cover the entire surface in less than 1 s, and (2) why the frequencies drift upward by about 5 Hz during the course of the burst. These peculiarities can probably be explained by taking into account the expansion of the surface layers caused by the burning, zonal flows that form due to pressure gradients between the equator and poles, and Rossby-Alfven modes that are excited in the surface ocean. Further progress toward understanding how burning progresses on the surface of the neutron star can be made with a next...

  13. X-ray bounds on the r-mode amplitude in millisecond pulsars

    Schwenzer, Kai; Güver, Tolga; Vurgun, Eda

    2016-01-01

    r-mode astroseismology provides a unique way to study the internal composition of compact stars. Due to their precise timing, recycled millisecond radio pulsars present a particularly promising class of sources. Although their thermal properties are still poorly constrained, X-ray data is very useful for astroseismology since r-modes could strongly heat a star. Using known and new upper bounds on the temperatures and luminosities of several non-accreting millisecond radio pulsars we derive bounds on the r-mode amplitude as low as $\\alpha\\lesssim10^{-8}$ and discuss the impact on scenarios for their internal composition.

  14. Investigation of the emission radii of kHz QPOs for the accreting millisecond X-Ray pulsars, Atoll and Z sources

    Wang, D H; Zhang, C M; Lei, Y J; Qu, J L; Song, L M

    2015-01-01

    We infer the emission positions of twin kilohertz quasi-periodic oscillations (kHz QPOs) in neutron star low mass X-ray binaries (NS-LMXBs) based on the Alfven wave oscillation model (AWOM). For most sources, the emission radii of kHz QPOs cluster around a region of 16-19 km with the assumed NS radii of 15 km. Cir X-1 has the larger emission radii of 23-38 km than those of the other sources, which may be ascribed to its large magnetosphere-disk radius or strong NS surface magnetic field. SAX J1808.4-3658 is also a particular source with the relative large emission radii of kHz QPOs of 20 - 23 km, which may be due to its large inferred NS radius of 18 - 19 km. The emission radii of kHz QPOs for all the sources are larger than the NS radii, and the possible explanations of which are presented. The similarity of the emission radii of kHz QPOs (16-19 km) for both the low/high luminosity Atoll/Z sources is found, which indicates that both sources share the similar magnetosphere- disk radii.

  15. Timing and spectral properties of the accreting millisecond pulsar SWIFT J1756.9-2508

    M. Linares; R. Wijnands; M. van der Klis; H. Krimm; C.B. Markwardt; D. Chakrabarty

    2008-01-01

    SWIFT J1756.9-2508 is one of the few accreting millisecond pulsars (AMPs) discovered to date. We report here the results of our analysis of its aperiodic X-ray variability, as measured with the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer during the 2007 outburst of the source. We detect strong (~35%) flat-topped br

  16. Polarized X-rays from accreting neutron stars

    Bhattacharya, Dipankar

    2016-07-01

    Accreting neutron stars span a wide range in X-ray luminosity and magnetic field strength. Accretion may be wind-fed or disk-fed, and the dominant X-ray flux may originate in the disk or a magnetically confined accretion column. In all such systems X-ray polarization may arise due to Compton or Magneto-Compton scattering, and on some occasions polarization of non-thermal emission from jet-like ejection may also be detectable. Spectral and temporal behaviour of the polarized X-rays would carry information regarding the radiation process, as well as of the matter dynamics - and can assist the detection of effects such as the Lense-Thirring precession. This talk will review our current knowledge of the expected X-ray polarization from accreting neutron stars and explore the prospects of detection with upcoming polarimetry missions.

  17. Do we see accreting magnetars in X-ray pulsars?

    Postnov K.A.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Strong magnetic field of accreting neutron stars (1014 G is hard to probe by Xray spectroscopy but can be indirectly inferred from spin-up/spin-down measurement in X-ray pulsars. The existing observations of slowly rotating X-ray pulsars are discussed. It is shown that magnetic fields of neutron stars derived from these observations (or lower limits in some cases fall within the standard 1012-1013 G range. Claims about the evidence for accreting magnetars are critically discussed in the light of recent progress in understanding of accretion onto slowly rotating neutron stars in the subsonic regime.

  18. X-ray reflection in oxygen-rich accretion discs of ultracompact X-ray binaries

    Madej, O. K.; Garcia, Jeronimo; Jonker, P. G.;

    2014-01-01

    donor star in these sources is a carbon-oxygen or oxygen-neon-magnesium white dwarf. Hence, the accretion disc is enriched with oxygen which makes the O viii Ly alpha line particularly strong. Modelling the X-ray reflection off a carbon- and oxygen-enriched, hydrogen- and helium-poor disc with models...... assuming solar composition likely biases several of the best-fitting parameters. In order to describe the X-ray reflection spectra self-consistently, we modify the currently available xillver reflection model. We present initial grids that can be used to model X-ray reflection spectra in UCXBs with carbon-oxygen......-rich (and hydrogen- and helium-poor) accretion disc. We find that the new reflection model provides a better overall description of the reflection spectra of 4U 0614+091 and 4U 1543-624 than the reflection models that assume solar abundances....

  19. Gravitational Radiation from Accreting Millisecond Pulsars

    Vigelius, Matthias; Melatos, Andrew

    2008-01-01

    It is widely assumed that the observed reduction of the magnetic field of millisecond pulsars can be connected to the accretion phase during which the pulsar is spun up by mass accretion from a companion. A wide variety of reduction mechanisms have been proposed, including the burial of the field by a magnetic mountain, formed when the accreted matter is confined to the poles by the tension of the stellar magnetic field. A magnetic mountain effectively screens the magnetic dipole moment. On the other hand, observational data suggests that accreting neutron stars are sources of gravitational waves, and magnetic mountains are a natural source of a time-dependent quadrupole moment. We show that the emission is sufficiently strong to be detectable by current and next generation long-baseline interferometers. Preliminary results from fully three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations are presented. We find that the initial axisymmetric state relaxes into a nearly axisymmetric configuration via toroidal ...

  20. Relativistic reflection X-ray spectra of accretion disks

    Khee-Gan Lee; Kinwah Wu; Steven V. Fuerst; Graziella Branduardi-Raymont; Oliver Crowley

    2009-01-01

    We have calculated the relativistic reflection component of the X-ray spectra of accretion disks in active galactic nuclei (AGN). Our calculations have shown that the spectra can be significantly modified by the motion of the accretion flow, and the gravity and rotation of the central black hole. The absorption edges in the spectra suffer severe en- ergy shifts and smearing, and the degree of distortion depends on the system parameters, in particular, the inner radius of the accretion disk and the disk viewing inclination angles. The effects are significant. Fluorescent X-ray emission lines from the inner accretion disk could be a powerful diagnostic of space-time distortion and dynamical relativistic effects near the event horizons of accreting black holes. However, improper treatment of the re- flection component in fitting the X-ray continuum could give rise to spurious line-like features. These features mimic the true fluorescent emission lines and may mask their relativistic signatures. Fully relativistic models for reflection continua together with the emission lines are needed in order to extract black-hole parameters from the AGN X-ray spectra.

  1. Accretion disk dynamics in X-ray binaries

    Peris, Charith Srian

    Accreting X-ray binaries consist of a normal star which orbits a compact object with the former transferring matter onto the later via an accretion disk. These accretion disks emit radiation across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. This thesis exploits two regions of the spectrum, exploring the (1) inner disk regions of an accreting black hole binary, GRS1915+105, using X-ray spectral analysis and (2) the outer accretion disks of a set of neutron star and black hole binaries using Doppler Tomography applied on optical observations. X-ray spectral analysis of black hole binary GRS1915+105: GRS1915+105 stands out as an exceptional black hole primarily due to the wild variability exhibited by about half of its X-ray observations. This study focused on the steady X-ray observations of the source, which were found to exhibit significant curvature in the harder coronal component within the RXTE/PCA band-pass. The roughly constant inner-disk radius seen in a majority of the steady-soft observations is strongly reminiscent of canonical soft state black-hole binaries. Remarkably, the steady-hard observations show the presence of growing truncation in the inner-disk. A majority of the steady observations of GRS1915+105 map to the states observed in canonical black hole binaries which suggests that within the complexity of this source is a simpler underlying basis of states. Optical tomography of X-ray binary systems: Doppler tomography was applied to the strong line features present in the optical spectra of X-ray binaries in order to determine the geometric structure of the systems' emitting regions. The point where the accretion stream hits the disk, also referred to as the "hotspot'', is clearly identified in the neutron star system V691 CrA and the black hole system Nova Muscae 1991. Evidence for stream-disk overflows exist in both systems, consistent with relatively high accretion rates. In contrast, V926 Sco does not show evidence for the presence of a hotspot which

  2. X-Ray Spectroscopy of Accretion Shocks in Young Stars

    Brickhouse, Nancy S.

    2011-01-01

    High resolution X-ray spectroscopy of accreting young stars is providing new insights into the physical conditions of the shocked plasma. While young stars exhibit exceedingly active coronae (>10 MK) with highly energetic flares, the relatively low temperature ( 3 MK), high density (>1012 cm-3) accretion shock can only be clearly distinguished at high spectral resolution. The nearby Classical T Tauri star TW Hydrae was the first to show evidence of accretion using 50 ks with the Chandra High Energy Transmission Grating (HETG). More recently a Chandra HETG Large Program (489 ks obtained over the course of one month) on TW Hydrae has found evidence for a new type of coronal structure. In the standard model, the accreting gas shocks near the atmosphere of the star and gently settles onto the surface as it slows down and cools. On TW Hydrae the observed post-shock region is not this predicted settling flow, since its mass is 30 times the mass of material that passes through the shock. Instead the stellar atmosphere must be heated to soft X-ray emitting temperatures. Of the CTTS systems observed with the gratings on Chandra and XMM-Newton not all show the accretion shock signature; however, all of them show excess soft X-ray emission related to accretion. The production of highly charged ions in the proximity of both open and closed magnetic field lines has important implications for coronal heating, winds and jets in the presence of accretion. This work is supported by the Chandra X-ray Observatory through a NASA contract with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.

  3. Quasi-spherical accretion in X-ray pulsars

    Postnov, K; Kochetkova, A; Hjalmarsdotter, L

    2011-01-01

    Quasi-spherical accretion in wind-fed X-ray pulsars is discussed. At X-ray luminosities <4 10^{36} erg/s, a hot convective shell is formed around the neutron star magnetosphere, and subsonic settling accretion regime sets in. In this regime, accretion rate onto neutron star is determined by the ability of plasma to enter magnetosphere via Rayleigh-Taylor instability. A gas-dynamic theory of settling accretion is constructed taking into account anisotropic turbulence. The angular momentum can be transferred through the quasi-static shell via large-scale convective motions initiating turbulence cascade. The angular velocity distribution in the shell is found depending on the turbulent viscosity prescription. Comparison with observations of long-period X-ray wind-fed pulsars shows that an almost iso-angular-momentum distribution is most likely realized in their shells. The theory explains long-term spin-down in wind- fed accreting pulsars (e.g. GX 1+4) and properties of short-term torque-luminosity correlatio...

  4. Shallow Decay of X-ray Afterglows in Short GRBs: Energy Injection from a Millisecond Magnetar?

    2007-01-01

    With the successful launch of Swift satellite, more and more data of early X-ray afterglows from short gamma-ray bursts have been collected. Some interesting features such as unusual afterglow light curves and unexpected X-ray flares are revealed. Especially, in some cases, there is a flat segment in the X-ray afterglow light curve. Here we present a simplified model in which we believe that the flattening part is due to energy injection from the central engine. We assume that this energy injection arises from the magnetic dipole radiation of a millisecond pulsar formed after the merger of two neutron stars. We check this model with the short GRB 060313. Our numerical results suggest that energy injection from a millisecond magnetar could make part of the X-ray afterglow light curve flat.

  5. TW Hya: Spectral Variability, X-Rays, and Accretion Diagnostics

    Dupree, A. K.; Brickhouse, N. S.; Cranmer, S. R.; Luna, G. J. M.; Schneider, E. E.; Bessell, M. S.; Bonanos, A.; Crause, L. A.; Lawson, W. A.; Mallik, S. V.; Schuler, S. C.

    2012-05-01

    The nearest accreting T Tauri star, TW Hya was intensively and continuously observed over ~17 days with spectroscopic and photometric measurements from four continents simultaneous with a long segmented exposure using the Chandra satellite. Contemporaneous optical photometry from WASP-S indicates a 4.74 day period was present during this time. The absence of a similar periodicity in the Hα flux and the total X-ray flux which are dominated by accretion processes and the stellar corona, respectively, points to a different source of photometric variations. The Hα emission line appears intrinsically broad and symmetric, and both the profile and its variability suggest an origin in the post-shock cooling region. An accretion event, signaled by soft X-rays, is traced spectroscopically for the first time through the optical emission line profiles. After the accretion event, downflowing turbulent material observed in the Hα and Hβ lines is followed by He I (λ5876) broadening near the photosphere. Optical veiling resulting from the heated photosphere increases with a delay of ~2 hr after the X-ray accretion event. The response of the stellar coronal emission to an increase in the veiling follows ~2.4 hr later, giving direct evidence that the stellar corona is heated in part by accretion. Subsequently, the stellar wind becomes re-established. We suggest a model that incorporates the dynamics of this sequential series of events: an accretion shock, a cooling downflow in a supersonically turbulent region, followed by photospheric and later, coronal heating. This model naturally explains the presence of broad optical and ultraviolet lines, and affects the mass accretion rates determined from emission line profiles.

  6. X-ray reverberation around accreting black holes

    Uttley, P; Fabian, A C; Kara, E; Wilkins, D R

    2014-01-01

    Luminous accreting stellar mass and supermassive black holes produce power-law continuum X-ray emission from a compact central corona. Reverberation time lags occur due to light travel time-delays between changes in the direct coronal emission and corresponding variations in its reflection from the accretion flow. Reverberation is detectable using light curves made in different X-ray energy bands, since the direct and reflected components have different spectral shapes. Larger, lower frequency, lags are also seen and are identified with propagation of fluctuations through the accretion flow and associated corona. We review the evidence for X-ray reverberation in active galactic nuclei and black hole X-ray binaries, showing how it can be best measured and how it may be modelled. The timescales and energy-dependence of the high frequency reverberation lags show that much of the signal is originating from very close to the black hole in some objects, within a few gravitational radii of the event horizon. We cons...

  7. TW Hya: Spectral Variability, X-Rays, and Accretion Diagnostics

    Dupree, A K; Cranmer, S R; Luna, G J M; Schneider, E E; Bessell, M S; Bonanos, A; Crause, L A; Lawson, W A; Mallik, S V; Schuler, S C

    2012-01-01

    The nearest accreting T Tauri star, TW Hya was observed with spectroscopic and photometric measurements simultaneous with a long se gmented exposure using the CHANDRA satellite. Contemporaneous optical photometry from WASP-S indicates a 4.74 day period was present during this time. Absence of a similar periodicity in the H-alpha flux and the total X-ray flux points to a different source of photometric variations. The H-alpha emission line appears intrinsically broad and symmetric, and both the profile and its variability suggest an origin in the post-shock cooling region. An accretion event, signaled by soft X-rays, is traced spectroscopically for the first time through the optical emission line profiles. After the accretion event, downflowing turbulent material observed in the H-alpha and H-beta lines is followed by He I (5876A) broadening. Optical veiling increases with a delay of about 2 hours after the X-ray accretion event. The response of the stellar coronal emission to an increase in the veiling follow...

  8. Swinging between rotation and accretion power in a binary millisecond pulsar

    Papitto, A; Bozzo, E; Rea, N

    2013-01-01

    We present the discovery of IGR J18245-2452, the first millisecond pulsar observed to swing between a rotation-powered, radio pulsar state, and an accretion-powered X-ray pulsar state (Papitto et al. 2013, Nature, 501, 517). This transitional source represents the most convincing proof of the evolutionary link shared by accreting neutron stars in low mass X-ray binaries, and radio millisecond pulsars. It demonstrates that swings between these two states take place on the same time-scales of luminosity variations of X-ray transients, and are therefore most easily interpreted in terms of changes in the rate of mass in-flow. While accreting mass, the X-ray emission of IGR J18245-2452 varies dramatically on time-scales ranging from a second to a few hours. We interpret a state characterised by a lower flux and pulsed fraction, and by sudden increases of the hardness of the X-ray emission, in terms of the onset of a magnetospheric centrifugal inhibition of the accretion flow. Prospects of finding new members of th...

  9. Quasispherical subsonic accretion in X-ray pulsars

    Shakura, Nikolai I.; Postnov, Konstantin A.; Kochetkova, A. Yu; Hjalmarsdotter, L.

    2013-04-01

    A theoretical model is considered for quasispherical subsonic accretion onto slowly rotating magnetized neutron stars. In this regime, the accreting matter settles down subsonically onto the rotating magnetosphere, forming an extended quasistatic shell. Angular momentum transfer in the shell occurs via large-scale convective motions resulting, for observed pulsars, in an almost iso-angular-momentum \\omega \\sim 1/R^2 rotation law inside the shell. The accretion rate through the shell is determined by the ability of the plasma to enter the magnetosphere due to Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities, with allowance for cooling. A settling accretion regime is possible for moderate accretion rates \\dot M \\lesssim \\dot M_* \\simeq 4\\times 10^{16} g s ^{-1}. At higher accretion rates, a free-fall gap above the neutron star magnetosphere appears due to rapid Compton cooling, and the accretion becomes highly nonstationary. Observations of spin-up/spin-down rates of quasispherically wind accreting equilibrium X-ray pulsars with known orbital periods (e.g., GX 301-2 and Vela X-1) enable us to determine the main dimensionless parameters of the model, as well as to estimate surface magnetic field of the neutron star. For equilibrium pulsars, the independent measurements of the neutron star magnetic field allow for an estimate of the stellar wind velocity of the optical companion without using complicated spectroscopic measurements. For nonequilibrium pulsars, a maximum value is shown to exist for the spin-down rate of the accreting neutron star. From observations of the spin-down rate and the X-ray luminosity in such pulsars (e.g., GX 1+4, SXP 1062, and 4U 2206+54), a lower limit can be put on the neutron star magnetic field, which in all cases turns out to be close to the standard value and which agrees with cyclotron line measurements. Furthermore, both explains the spin-up/spin-down of the pulsar frequency on large time-scales and also accounts for the irregular short

  10. Quasispherical subsonic accretion in X-ray pulsars

    A theoretical model is considered for quasispherical subsonic accretion onto slowly rotating magnetized neutron stars. In this regime, the accreting matter settles down subsonically onto the rotating magnetosphere, forming an extended quasistatic shell. Angular momentum transfer in the shell occurs via large-scale convective motions resulting, for observed pulsars, in an almost iso-angular-momentum ω∼1/R2 rotation law inside the shell. The accretion rate through the shell is determined by the ability of the plasma to enter the magnetosphere due to Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities, with allowance for cooling. A settling accretion regime is possible for moderate accretion rates .M∼*≅4×1016 g s-1. At higher accretion rates, a free-fall gap above the neutron star magnetosphere appears due to rapid Compton cooling, and the accretion becomes highly nonstationary. Observations of spin-up/spin-down rates of quasispherically wind accreting equilibrium X-ray pulsars with known orbital periods (e.g., GX 301-2 and Vela X-1) enable us to determine the main dimensionless parameters of the model, as well as to estimate surface magnetic field of the neutron star. For equilibrium pulsars, the independent measurements of the neutron star magnetic field allow for an estimate of the stellar wind velocity of the optical companion without using complicated spectroscopic measurements. For nonequilibrium pulsars, a maximum value is shown to exist for the spin-down rate of the accreting neutron star. From observations of the spin-down rate and the X-ray luminosity in such pulsars (e.g., GX 1+4, SXP 1062, and 4U 2206+54), a lower limit can be put on the neutron star magnetic field, which in all cases turns out to be close to the standard value and which agrees with cyclotron line measurements. Furthermore, both explains the spin-up/spin-down of the pulsar frequency on large time-scales and also accounts for the irregular short-term frequency fluctuations, which may correlate or

  11. The coevolution of decimetric millisecond spikes and hard X-ray emission during solar flares

    Aschwanden, Markus J.; Guedel, Manuel

    1992-01-01

    Results are presented of an analysis of a comprehensive data set of 27 solar flares with decimetric millisecond spikes between 1980 and 1989, simultaneously observed with the Zuerich radio spectrometers and the Hard X-ray Burst Spectrometer on the SMM spacecraft. Two contradictory relationships of the coevolution of hard X-ray and spiky radio emissions during flares are found: the temporal evolution of both emissions reveals a close functional dependence, but there is a substantial time delay between the two emissions. Five possible scenarios for the hard-X-ray-associated radio spike emission which may account for both their detailed coevolution and their substantial intervening time delay are discussed. All five scenarios are able to explain both the close coevolution of hard X-ray and radio emission as well as their mutual delay to some degree, but none of them can explain all observational aspects in a simple way.

  12. Settling accretion onto slowly rotating X-ray pulsars

    Shakura, N I; Kochetkova, A Yu; Hjalmarsdotter, L

    2013-01-01

    Quasi-spherical subsonic accretion onto slowly rotating magnetized NS is considered, when the accreting matter settles down subsonically onto the rotating magnetosphere, forming an extended quasi-static shell. The shell mediates the angular momentum transfer to/from the rotating NS magnetosphere by large-scale convective motions, which lead to an almost iso-angular-momentum rotation law inside the shell. The accretion rate through the shell is determined by the ability of the plasma to enter the magnetosphere due to Rayleigh-Taylor instability while taking cooling into account. The settling regime of accretion is possible for moderate X-ray luminosities L <4 10^36 erg/s. At higher luminosities a free-fall gap above the NS magnetosphere appears due to rapid Compton cooling, and accretion becomes highly non-stationary. From observations of spin-up/spin-down rates of wind accreting equilibrium XPSRs with known orbital periods (GX 301-2, Vela X-1), the main dimensionless parameters of the model and be determin...

  13. Bimodality of Wind-fed Accretion in High Mass X-ray Binaries

    Karino, S.

    2014-01-01

    We study an influence of X-ray photo-ionization from an accreting neutron star in a high mass X-ray binary. Our aim is to unveil a new principle governing X-ray luminosities of X-ray binaries, with a simple analysis of fluid equations simulating line-driven wind flow under influence of X-ray irradiation. In this study, we solve equation of motion of the accretion flow taking into account the line-driven acceleration and X-ray photo-ionization. Under the influence of X-ray irradiation, we find...

  14. The Rapid Burster and its X-ray bursts: extremes of accretion and thermonuclear burning

    Klis, van der, M.; Zand, in 't, J.J.M.; Watts, A.; Bagnoli, T.

    2015-01-01

    X-ray bursts originate from accreting neutron stars (NSs) in X-ray binaries (XRBs). They come in two flavours: thermonuclear bursts are due to the sudden runaway burning of the material accreted on the surface; accretion bursts signal a sudden change in the mass accretion rate, leading to enhanced emission in the innermost regions of the accretion flow. While thermonuclear bursts have been observed from 105 NSs as of writing, accretion bursts remain enigmatically confined to only two sources....

  15. Accretion in supergiant High Mass X-ray Binaries

    Manousakis, A; Blondin, J

    2013-01-01

    Supergiant High Mass X-ray Binary systems (sgHMXBs) consist of a massive, late type, star and a neutron star. The massive stars exhibits strong, radiatively driven, stellar winds. Wind accretion onto compact object triggers X-ray emission, which alters the stellar wind significantly. Hydrodynamic simulation has been used to study the neutron star - stellar wind interaction it two sgHMXBs: i) A heavily obscured sgHMXB (IGR J17252-3616) discovered by INTEGRAL. To account for observable quantities (i.e., absorbing column density) we have to assume a very slow wind terminal velocity of about 500 km/s and a rather massive neutron star. If confirmed in other obscured systems, this could provide a completely new stellar wind diagnostics. ii) A classical sgHMXB (Vela X-1) has been studied in depth to understand the origin of the off-states observed in this system. Among many models used to account for this observed behavior (clumpy wind, gating mechanism) we propose that self-organized criticality of the accretion st...

  16. Accretion in supergiant High Mass X-ray Binaries

    Manousakis Antonios

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Supergiant High Mass X-ray Binary systems (sgHMXBs consist of a massive, late type, star and a neutron star. The massive stars exhibits strong, radiatively driven, stellar winds. Wind accretion onto compact object triggers X-ray emission, which alters the stellar wind significantly. Hydrodynamic simulation has been used to study the neutron star - stellar wind interaction it two sgHMXBs: i A heavily obscured sgHMXB (IGR J17252–3616 discovered by INTEGRAL. To account for observable quantities (i.e., absorbing column density we have to assume a very slow wind terminal velocity of about 500 km/s and a rather massive neutron star. If confirmed in other obscured systems, this could provide a completely new stellar wind diagnostics. ii A classical sgHMXB (Vela X-1 has been studied in depth to understand the origin of the off-states observed in this system. Among many models used to account for this observed behavior (clumpy wind, gating mechanism we propose that self-organized criticality of the accretion stream is the likely reason for the observed behavior. In conclusion, the neutron star, in these two examples, acts very effciently as a probe to study stellar winds.

  17. Wind accretion in symbiotic X-ray binaries

    Postnov, K; González-Galán, A; Kuulkers, E; Kretschmar, P; Larsson, S; Finger, M H; Kochetkova, A; Lü, G; Yungelson, L

    2011-01-01

    The properties of wind accretion in symbiotic X-ray binaries (SyXBs) consisting of red-giant and magnetized neutron star (NS) are discussed. The spin-up/spin-down torques applied to NS are derived based on a hydrodynamic theory of quasi-spherical accretion onto magnetized NSs. In this model, a settling subsonic accretion proceeds through a hot shell formed around the NS magnetosphere. The accretion rate onto the NS is determined by the ability of the plasma to enter the magnetosphere.Due to large Reynolds numbers in the shell, the interaction of the rotating magnetosphere with plasma initiates a subsonic turbulence. The convective motions are capable of carrying the angular momentum through the shell. We carry out a population synthesis of SyXBs in the Galaxy with account for the spin evolution of magnetized NS. The Galactic number of SyXBs with bright (M_v<1) low-mass red-giant companion is found to be from \\sim 40 to 120, and their birthrate is \\sim 5\\times 10^{-5}-10^{-4} per year. According to our mode...

  18. CHANDRA X-RAY OBSERVATIONS OF 12 MILLISECOND PULSARS IN THE GLOBULAR CLUSTER M28

    We present a Chandra X-ray Observatory investigation of the millisecond pulsars in the globular cluster M28 (NGC 6626). In what is one of the deepest X-ray observations of a globular cluster, we firmly detect seven and possibly detect two of the 12 known M28 pulsars. With the exception of PSRs B1821-24 and J1824-2452H, the detected pulsars have relatively soft spectra, with X-ray luminosities 1030-1031 erg s-1 (0.3-8 keV), similar to most recycledpulsars in 47 Tucanae and the field of the Galaxy, implying thermal emission from the pulsar magnetic polar caps. We present the most detailed X-ray spectrum to date of the energetic PSR B1821-24. It is well described by a purely non-thermal spectrum with spectral photon index Γ = 1.23 and luminosity 1.4 x 1033Θ(D/5.5 kpc)2 erg s-1 (0.3-8 keV), where Θ is the fraction of the sky covered by the X-ray emission beam(s). We find no evidence for the previously reported line emission feature around 3.3 keV, most likely as a consequence of improvements in instrument calibration. The X-ray spectrum and pulse profile of PSR B1821-24 suggest that the bulk of unpulsed emission from this pulsar is not of thermal origin, and is likely due to low-level non-thermal magnetospheric radiation, an unresolved pulsar wind nebula, and/or small-angle scattering of the pulsed X-rays by interstellar dust grains. The peculiar binary PSR J1824-2452H shows a relatively hard X-ray spectrum and possible variability at the binary period, indicative of an intrabinary shock formed by interaction between the relativistic pulsar wind and matter from its non-degenerate companion star.

  19. Thermal X-rays from Millisecond Pulsars: Constraining the Fundamental Properties of Neutron Stars

    Bogdanov, Slavko; Rybicki, George B

    2008-01-01

    (Abridged) We model the X-ray properties of millisecond pulsars (MSPs) by considering hot spot emission from a weakly magnetized rotating neutron star (NS) covered by an optically-thick hydrogen atmosphere. We investigate the limitations of using the thermal X-ray pulse profiles of MSPs to constrain the mass-to-radius ($M/R$) ratio of the underlying NS. The accuracy is strongly dependent on the viewing angle and magnetic inclination. For certain systems, the accuracy is ultimately limited only by photon statistics implying that future X-ray observatories could, in principle, achieve constraints on $M/R$ and hence the NS equation of state to better than $\\sim$5%. We demonstrate that valuable information regarding the basic properties of the NS can be extracted even from X-ray data of fairly limited photon statistics through modeling of archival spectroscopic and timing observations of the nearby isolated PSRs J0030+0451 and J2124--3358. The X-ray emission from these pulsars is consistent with the presence of a...

  20. Accretion and Outflows in X-ray Binaries: What's Really Going on During X-ray Quiescence

    MacDonald, Rachel K. D.; Bailyn, Charles D.; Buxton, Michelle

    2015-01-01

    X-ray binaries, consisting of a star and a stellar-mass black hole, are wonderful laboratories for studying accretion and outflows. They evolve on timescales quite accessible to us, unlike their supermassive cousins, and allow the possibility of gaining a deeper understanding of these two common astrophysical processes. Different wavelength regimes reveal different aspects of the systems: radio emission is largely generated by outflows and jets, X-ray emission by inner accretion flows, and optical/infrared (OIR) emission by the outer disk and companion star. The search for relationships between these different wavelengths is thus an area of active research, aiming to reveal deeper connections between accretion and outflows.Initial evidence for a strong, tight correlation between radio and X-ray emission has weakened as further observations and newly-discovered sources have been obtained. This has led to discussions of multiple tracks or clusters, or the possibility that no overall relation exists for the currently-known population of X-ray binaries. Our ability to distinguish among these options is hampered by a relative lack of observations at lower luminosities, and especially of truly X-ray quiescent (non-outbursting) systems. Although X-ray binaries spend the bulk of their existence in quiescence, few quiescent sources have been observed and multiple observations of individual sources are largely nonexistent. Here we discuss new observations of the lowest-luminosity quiescent X-ray binary, A0620-00, and the place this object occupies in investigations of the radio/X-ray plane. For the first time, we also incorporate simultaneous OIR data with the radio and X-ray data.In December 2013 we took simultaneous observations of A0620-00 in the X-ray (Chandra), the radio (EVLA), and the OIR (SMARTS 1.3m). These X-ray and radio data allowed us to investigate similarities among quiescent X-ray binaries, and changes over time for this individual object, in the radio/X-ray

  1. A NuSTAR Observation of the Gamma-ray-emitting X-ray Binary and Transitional Millisecond Pulsar Candidate 1RXS J154439.4–112820

    Bogdanov, Slavko

    2016-07-01

    I present a 40 ks Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array observation of the recently identified low-luminosity X-ray binary and transitional millisecond pulsar (tMSP) candidate 1RXS J154439.4‑112820, which is associated with the high-energy γ-ray source 3FGL J1544.6‑1125. The system is detected up to ∼30 keV with an extension of the same power-law spectrum and rapid large-amplitude variability between two flux levels observed in soft X-rays. These findings provide further evidence that 1RXS J154439.4‑112820 belongs to the same class of objects as the nearby bona fide tMSPs PSR J1023+0038 and XSS J12270‑4859 and therefore almost certainly hosts a millisecond pulsar accreting at low luminosity. I also examine the long-term accretion history of 1RXS J154439.4‑112820 based on archival optical, ultraviolet, X-ray, and γ-ray light curves covering approximately the past decade. Throughout this period, the source has maintained similar flux levels at all wavelengths, which is an indication that it has not experienced prolonged episodes of a non-accreting radio pulsar state but may spontaneously undergo such events in the future.

  2. Diagnosing the accretion flow in ultraluminous X-ray sources using soft X-ray atomic features

    Middleton, M.J.; Walton, D.J.; Fabian, A.; Roberts, T. P.; Heil, L.; Pinto, C.; Anderson, G; Sutton, A.

    2015-01-01

    The lack of unambiguous detections of atomic features in the X-ray spectra of ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) has proven a hindrance in diagnosing the nature of the accretion flow. The possible association of spectral residuals at soft energies with atomic features seen in absorption and/or emission and potentially broadened by velocity dispersion could therefore hold the key to understanding much about these enigmatic sources. Here we show for the first time that such residuals are seen i...

  3. The low-mass X-ray binary-millisecond radio pulsar birthrate problem revisited

    Hailang, Dai

    2009-01-01

    We investigate the birthrate problem for low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) and millisecond radio pulsars (MRPs) in this paper. We consider intermediate-mass and low-mss X-ray binaries (I/LMXBs) as the progenitors of MRPs, and calculate their evolutionary response to the cosmic star formation rate (SFR) both semi-analytically and numerically. With typical value (~1 Gyr) of the LMXB lifetime, one may expect comparable birthrates of LMXBs and MRPs, but the calculated number of LMXBs is an order of magnitude higher than observed in the Galaxy. Instead, we suggest that the birthrate problem could be solved if most MRPs have evolved from faint rather bright LMXBs. The former may have a population of ~ 104 in the Galaxy.

  4. The low-mass X-ray binary-millisecond radio pulsar birthrate problem revisited

    2010-01-01

    We investigate the birthrate problem for low-mass X-ray binaries(LMXBs) and millisecond radio pulsars(MRPs) in this paper.We consider intermediate-mass and low-mass X-ray binaries(I/LMXBs) to be the progenitors of MRPs,and calculate their evolutionary response to the cosmic star formation rate(SFR) both semi-analytically and numerically.With a typical value(1 Gyr) of the LMXB lifetime,one may expect comparable birthrates of LMXBs and MRPs,but the calculated number of LMXBs is an order of magnitude higher than that observed in the Galaxy.Instead,we suggest that the birthrate problem could be solved if most MRPs have evolved from faint to rather than bright LMXBs.The former may have a population of-104 in the Galaxy.

  5. A NuSTAR Observation of the Gamma-Ray-Emitting X-ray Binary and Transitional Millisecond Pulsar Candidate 1RXS J154439.4-112820

    Bogdanov, Slavko

    2015-01-01

    I present a 40 kilosecond Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) observation of the recently identified low-luminosity X-ray binary and transitional millisecond pulsar (tMSP) candidate 1RXS J154439.4-112820, which is associated with the high-energy gamma-ray source 3FGL J1544.6--1125. The system is detected up to ~30 keV with an extension of the same power-law spectrum and rapid large-amplitude variability between two flux levels observed in soft X-rays. These findings provide further evidence that 1RXS J154439.4-112820 belongs to the same class of objects as the nearby bona fide tMSPs PSR J1023+0038 and XSS J12270-4859 and therefore almost certainly hosts a millisecond pulsar accreting at low luminosities. I also examine the long-term accretion history of 1RXS J154439.4-112820 based on archival optical, ultraviolet, X-ray, and $\\gamma$-ray light curves covering the past $\\sim$decade. Throughout this period, the source has maintained similar flux levels at all wavelengths, which is an indication that ...

  6. Accretion disc atmospheres and winds in low-mass X-ray binaries

    Díaz Trigo, M.; Boirin, L.

    2016-05-01

    In the last decade, X-ray spectroscopy has enabled a wealth of discoveries of photoionised absorbers in X-ray binaries. Studies of such accretion disc atmospheres and winds are of fundamental importance to understand accretion processes and possible feedback mechanisms to the environment. In this work, we review the current observational state and theoretical understanding of accretion disc atmospheres and winds in low-mass X-ray binaries, focusing on the wind launching mechanisms and on the dependence on accretion state. We conclude with issues that deserve particular attention.

  7. Accretion disc atmospheres and winds in low-mass X-ray binaries

    Trigo, M Díaz

    2015-01-01

    In the last decade, X-ray spectroscopy has enabled a wealth of discoveries of photoionised absorbers in X-ray binaries. Studies of such accretion disc atmospheres and winds are of fundamental importance to understand accretion processes and possible feedback mechanisms to the environment. In this work, we review the current observational state and theoretical understanding of accretion disc atmospheres and winds in low-mass X-ray binaries, focusing on the wind launching mechanisms and on the dependence on accretion state. We conclude with issues that deserve particular attention.

  8. Neutron star crustal plate tectonics. I. Magnetic dipole evolution in millisecond pulsars and low-mass X-ray binaries

    Crust lattices in spinning-up or spinning-down neutron stars have growing shear stresses caused by neutron superfluid vortex lines pinned to lattice nuclei. For the most rapidly spinning stars, this stress will break and move the crust before vortex unpinning occurs. In spinning-down neutron stars, crustal plates will move an equatorial subduction zone in which the plates are forced into the stellar core below the crust. The opposite plate motion occurs in spinning-up stars. Magnetic fields which pass through the crust or have sources in it move with the crust. Spun-up neutron stars in accreting low-mass X-ray binaries LMXBs should then have almost axially symmetric magnetic fields. Spun-down ones with very weak magnetic fields should have external magnetic fields which enter and leave the neutron star surface only near its equator. The lowest field millisecond radiopulsars seem to be orthogonal rotators implying that they have not previously been spun-up in LMXBs but are neutron stars initially formed with periods near 0.001 s that subsequently spin down to their present periods. Accretion-induced white dwarf collapse is then the most plausible genesis for them. 29 refs

  9. X-ray spectra of hot accretion flows

    Niedzwiecki, Andrzej; Stepnik, Agnieszka

    2014-01-01

    We study radiative properties of hot accretion flows in a general relativistic model with an exact treatment of global Comptonization, developed in our recent works. We note a strong dependence of electron temperature on the strength of magnetic field and we clarify that the underlying mechanism involves the change of the flow structure, with more strongly magnetised flows approaching the slab geometry more closely. We find that the model with thermal synchrotron radiation being the main source of seed photons agrees with the spectral index vs Eddington ratio relation observed in black hole transients below 1 per cent of the Eddington luminosity, LEdd, and models with a weak direct heating of electrons (small delta) are more consistent with observations. Models with large delta predict slightly too soft spectra, furthermore, they strongly overpredict electron temperatures at ~0.01 LEdd. The low-luminosity spectra, at <0.001 LEdd, deviate from a power-law shape in the soft X-ray range and we note that the f...

  10. Possible Fermi Detection of the Accreting Millisecond Pulsar Binary SAX J1808.4-3658

    Xing, Yi; Wang, Zhongxiang; Jithesh, V.

    2015-01-01

    We report the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) detection of a $\\gamma$-ray source at the position of SAX J1808.4$-$3658. This transient low-mass X-ray binary contains an accreting millisecond puslar, which is only seen during its month-long outbursts and likely switches to be rotation powered during its quiescent state. Emission from the $\\gamma$-ray source can be described by a power law with an exponential cutoff, the characteristic form for pulsar emission. Folding the source's 2.0--300 Ge...

  11. On the dependence of the X-ray continuum variations with luminosity in accreting X-ray pulsars

    Postnov, K A; Klochkov, D; Laplace, E; Lukin, V V; Shakura, N I

    2015-01-01

    Using RXTE/ASM archival data, we investigate the behaviour of the spectral hardness ratio as a function of X-ray luminosity in a sample of six transient X-ray pulsars (EXO 2030+375, GX 304-1, 4U 0115+63, V 0332+63, A 0535+26 and MXB 0656-072). In all sources we find that the spectral hardness ratio defined as $F_{5-12\\mathrm{keV}}/ F_{1.33-3\\mathrm{keV}}$ increases with the ASM flux (1.33--12 keV) at low luminosities and then saturates or even slightly decreases above some critical X-ray luminosity falling into the range $\\sim(3-7)\\times10^{37}$~erg~s$^{-1}$. Two-dimensional structure of accretion columns in the radiation-diffusion limit is calculated for two possible geometries (filled and hollow cylinder) for mass accretion rates $\\dot M$ ranging from $10^{17}$ to 1.2$\\times 10^{18}$~g s$^{-1}$. The observed spectral behaviour in the transient X-ray pulsars with increasing $\\dot M$ can be reproduced by a Compton saturated sidewall emission from optically thick magnetized accretion columns with taking into a...

  12. The binary millisecond pulsar PSR J1023+0038 during its accretion state - I. Optical variability

    Shahbaz, T; Nevado, S P; Rodríguez-Gil, P; Casares, J; Dhillon, V S; Marsh, T R; Littlefair, S; Leckngam, A; Poshyachinda, S

    2015-01-01

    We present time-resolved optical photometry of the binary millisecond `redback' pulsar PSR J1023+0038 (=AY Sex) during its low-mass X-ray binary phase. The light curves taken between 2014 January and April show an underlying sinusoidal modulation due to the irradiated secondary star and accretion disc. We also observe superimposed rapid flaring on time-scales as short as ~20 s with amplitudes of ~0.1-0.5 mag and additional large flare events on time-scales of ~5-60 min with amplitudes ~0.5-1.0 mag. The power density spectrum of the optical flare light curves is dominated by a red-noise component, typical of aperiodic activity in X-ray binaries. Simultaneous X-ray and UV observations by the Swift satellite reveal strong correlations that are consistent with X-ray reprocessing of the UV light, most likely in the outer regions of the accretion disc. On some nights we also observe sharp-edged, rectangular, flat-bottomed dips randomly distributed in orbital phase, with a median duration of ~250 s and a median ingr...

  13. Evidence of Fast Magnetic Field Evolution in an Accreting Millisecond Pulsar

    Patruno, A

    2012-01-01

    The large majority of neutron stars (NSs) in low mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) have never shown detectable pulsations despite several decades of intense monitoring. The reason for this remains an unsolved problem that hampers our ability to measure the spin frequency of most accreting NSs. The accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar (AMXP) HETE J1900.1--2455 is an intermittent pulsar that exhibited pulsations at about 377 Hz for the first 2 months and then turned in a non-pulsating source. Understanding why this happened might help to understand why most LMXBs do not pulsate. We present a 7 year long coherent timing analysis of data taken with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. We discover new sporadic pulsations that are detected on a baseline of about 2.5 years. We find that the pulse phases anti-correlate with the X-ray flux as previously discovered in other AMXPs. We place stringent upper limits of 0.05% rms on the pulsed fraction when pulsations are not detected and identify an enigmatic pulse phase drift of ~180...

  14. Accretion, Ablation and Propeller Evolution in Close Millisecond Pulsar Binary Systems

    Kiel, P D

    2013-01-01

    A model for the formation and evolution of binary millisecond radio pulsars in systems with low mass companions (< 0.1 Msun) is investigated using a binary population synthesis technique. Taking into account the non conservative evolution of the system due to mass loss from an accretion disk as a result of propeller action and from the companion via ablation by the pulsar, the transition from the accretion powered to rotation powered phase is investigated. It is shown that the operation of the propeller and ablation mechanisms can be responsible for the formation and evolution of black widow millisecond pulsar systems from the low mass X-ray binary phase at an orbital period of ~0.1 day. For a range of population synthesis input parameters, the results reveal that a population of black widow millisecond pulsars characterized by orbital periods as long as ~0.4 days and companion masses as low as ~0.005 Msun can be produced. The orbital periods and minimum companion mass of this radio millisecond pulsar popu...

  15. X-ray deficiency on strong accreting T Tauri stars - Comparing Orion with Taurus

    Bustamante, Ignacio; Bouy, Hervé; Manara, Carlo; Ribas, Álvaro; Riviere-Marichalar, Pablo

    2015-01-01

    Depending on whether a T Tauri star accretes material from its circumstellar disk or not, different X-ray emission properties can be found. The accretion shocks produce cool heating of the plasma, contributing to the soft X-ray emission from the star. Using X-ray data from the Chandra Orion Ultra-deep Project and accretion rates that were obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope/WFPC2 photometric measurements in the Orion Nebula Cluster, we studied the relation between the accretion processes and the X-ray emissions of a coherent sample of T Tauri sources in the region. We performed regression and correlation analyses of our sample of T Tauri stars between the X-ray parameters, stellar properties, and the accretion measurements. We find that a clear anti-correlation is present between the residual X-ray luminosity and the accretion rates in our samples in Orion that is consistent with that found on the XMM-Newton Extended Survey of the Taurus molecular cloud (XEST) study. We provide a catalog with X-ray lumin...

  16. Low-Mass X-Ray Binaries, Millisecond Radio Pulsars, and the Cosmic Star Formation Rate

    White, N E; White, Nicholas E.; Ghosh, Pranab

    1998-01-01

    We report on the implications of the peak in the cosmic star-formation rate (SFR) at redshift z ~ 1.5 for the resulting population of low-mass X-ray binaries(LMXB) and for that of their descendants, the millisecond radio pulsars (MRP). Since the evolutionary timescales of LMXBs, their progenitors, and their descendants are thought be significant fractions of the time-interval between the SFR peak and the present epoch, there is a lag in the turn-on of the LMXB population, with the peak activity occurring at z ~ 0.5 - 1.0. The peak in the MRP population is delayed further, occurring at z < 0.5. We show that the discrepancy between the birthrate of LMXBs and MRPs, found under the assumption of a stead-state SFR, can be resolved for the population as a whole when the effects of a time-variable SFR are included. A discrepancy may persist for LMXBs with short orbital periods, although a detailed population synthesis will be required to confirm this. Further, since the integrated X-ray luminosity distribution of...

  17. On the dependence of the X-ray continuum variations with luminosity in accreting X-ray pulsars

    Postnov, K. A.; Gornostaev, M. I.; Klochkov, D.; Laplace, E.; Lukin, V. V.; Shakura, N. I.

    2015-09-01

    Using RXTE/ASM archival data, we investigate the behaviour of the spectral hardness ratio as a function of X-ray luminosity in a sample of six transient X-ray pulsars (EXO 2030+375, GX 304-1, 4U 0115+63, V 0332+63, A 0535+26 and MXB 0656-072). In all sources we find that the spectral hardness ratio defined as F5-12 keV/F1.33-3 keV increases with the ASM flux (1.33-12 keV) at low luminosities and then saturates or even slightly decreases above some critical X-ray luminosity falling into the range ˜(3-7) × 1037 erg s-1. Two-dimensional structure of accretion columns in the radiation-diffusion limit is calculated for two possible geometries (filled and hollow cylinder) for mass accretion rates dot{M} ranging from 1017 to 1.2 × 1018 g s-1. The observed spectral behaviour in the transient X-ray pulsars with increasing dot{M} can be reproduced by a Compton-saturated sidewall emission from optically thick magnetized accretion columns with taking into account the emission reflected from the neutron star atmosphere. At dot{M} above some critical value dot{M}_cr˜ (6-8)× 10^{17} g s-1, the height of the column becomes such that the contribution of the reflected component to the total emission starts decreasing, which leads to the saturation and even slight decrease of the spectral hardness. Hollow-cylinder columns have a smaller height than the filled-cylinder ones, and the contribution of the reflected component in the total emission does not virtually change with dot{M} (and hence the hardness of the continuum monotonically increases) up to higher mass accretion rates than dot{M}_cr for the filled columns.

  18. X-ray deficiency on strongly accreting T Tauri stars. Comparing Orion with Taurus

    Bustamante, I.; Merín, B.; Bouy, H.; Manara, C. F.; Ribas, Á.; Riviere-Marichalar, P.

    2016-03-01

    Context. Depending on whether a T Tauri star accretes material from its circumstellar disk or not, different X-ray emission properties can be found. The accretion shocks produce cool heating of the plasma, contributing to the soft X-ray emission from the star. Aims: Using X-ray data from the Chandra Orion Ultra-deep Project and accretion rates that were obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope/WFPC2 photometric measurements in the Orion Nebula Cluster (ONC), we studied the relation between the accretion processes and the X-ray emissions of a coherent sample of T Tauri sources in the region. Methods: We performed regression and correlation analyses of our sample of T Tauri stars between the X-ray parameters, stellar properties, and the accretion measurements. Results: We find that a clear anti-correlation is present between the residual X-ray luminosity and the accretion rates in our samples in Orion that is consistent with that found on the XMM-Newton Extended Survey of the Taurus molecular cloud (XEST) study. A considerable number of classified non-accreting sources show accretion rates comparable to those of classical T Tauri Stars (CTTS). Our data do not allow us to confirm the classification between classical and weak-line T Tauri stars (WTTS), and the number of WTTS in this work is small compared to the complete samples. Thus, we have used the entire samples as accretors in our analysis. We provide a catalog with X-ray luminosities (corrected from distance) and accretion measurements of an ONC T Tauri stars sample. Conclusions: Although Orion and Taurus display strong differences in their properties (total gas and dust mass, star density, strong irradiation from massive stars), we find that a similar relation between the residual X-ray emission and accretion rate is present in the Taurus molecular cloud and in the accreting samples from the ONC. The spread in the data suggests dependencies of the accretion rates and the X-ray luminosities other than the

  19. Jet-dominated advective systems: radio and X-ray luminosity dependence on the accretion rate

    Koerding, Elmar; Fender, Rob; Migliari, Simone

    2006-01-01

    We present a novel method to measure the accretion rate of radio emitting X-ray binaries (XRBs) and active galactic nuclei (AGN) independently of the X-ray luminosity. The radio emission of the jet is used as a tracer for the accretion rate and is normalised using sources of known accretion rates: island state neutron stars and efficiently radiating black holes close to a state transition. We show that the radio power in black holes and neutron stars is comparable for a given mass accretion r...

  20. Modeling the optical-X-ray accretion lag in LMC X-3: Insights into black-hole accretion physics

    Steiner, James F.; McClintock, Jeffrey E. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Orosz, Jerome A. [Department of Astronomy, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182-1221 (United States); Buxton, Michelle M.; Bailyn, Charles D. [Astronomy Department, Yale University, P.O. Box 208101, New Haven, CT 06520-8101 (United States); Remillard, Ronald A. [MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, MIT, 70 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States); Kara, Erin, E-mail: jsteiner@cfa.harvard.edu [Department of Astronomy, Cambridge University, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA (United Kingdom)

    2014-03-10

    The X-ray persistence and characteristically soft spectrum of the black hole X-ray binary LMC X-3 make this source a touchstone for penetrating studies of accretion physics. We analyze a rich, ten-year collection of optical/infrared (OIR) time-series data in conjunction with all available contemporaneous X-ray data collected by the All-Sky Monitor and Proportional Counter Array detectors aboard the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. A cross-correlation analysis reveals an X-ray lag of ≈2 weeks. Motivated by this result, we develop a model that reproduces the complex OIR light curves of LMC X-3. The model is comprised of three components of emission: stellar light, accretion luminosity from the outer disk inferred from the time-lagged X-ray emission, and light from the X-ray-heated star and outer disk. Using the model, we filter a strong noise component out of the ellipsoidal light curves and derive an improved orbital period for the system. Concerning accretion physics, we find that the local viscous timescale in the disk increases with the local mass accretion rate; this in turn implies that the viscosity parameter α decreases with increasing luminosity. Finally, we find that X-ray heating is a strong function of X-ray luminosity below ≈50% of the Eddington limit, while above this limit X-ray heating is heavily suppressed. We ascribe this behavior to the strong dependence of the flaring in the disk upon X-ray luminosity, concluding that for luminosities above ≈50% of Eddington, the star lies fully in the shadow of the disk.

  1. Modeling the optical-X-ray accretion lag in LMC X-3: Insights into black-hole accretion physics

    The X-ray persistence and characteristically soft spectrum of the black hole X-ray binary LMC X-3 make this source a touchstone for penetrating studies of accretion physics. We analyze a rich, ten-year collection of optical/infrared (OIR) time-series data in conjunction with all available contemporaneous X-ray data collected by the All-Sky Monitor and Proportional Counter Array detectors aboard the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. A cross-correlation analysis reveals an X-ray lag of ≈2 weeks. Motivated by this result, we develop a model that reproduces the complex OIR light curves of LMC X-3. The model is comprised of three components of emission: stellar light, accretion luminosity from the outer disk inferred from the time-lagged X-ray emission, and light from the X-ray-heated star and outer disk. Using the model, we filter a strong noise component out of the ellipsoidal light curves and derive an improved orbital period for the system. Concerning accretion physics, we find that the local viscous timescale in the disk increases with the local mass accretion rate; this in turn implies that the viscosity parameter α decreases with increasing luminosity. Finally, we find that X-ray heating is a strong function of X-ray luminosity below ≈50% of the Eddington limit, while above this limit X-ray heating is heavily suppressed. We ascribe this behavior to the strong dependence of the flaring in the disk upon X-ray luminosity, concluding that for luminosities above ≈50% of Eddington, the star lies fully in the shadow of the disk.

  2. The X-ray Softening of Accreting Black Holes Toward Quiescence

    Plotkin, Richard; Gallo, E.; Jonker, P. G.

    2013-04-01

    There is strong motivation to better understand accretion of matter onto black holes. Black hole accretion is at the heart of phenomena like stellar mass black hole X-ray binaries (BHXBs), Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), and black hole feedback. In addition, studying black hole accretion can provide broad insight into many other classes of objects where similar physics is at play (e.g., young stars, white dwarfs, neutrons stars, gamma-ray bursts). Unfortunately, we know surprisingly little about black hole accretion at extremely low accretion rates, even though the most common type of black hole accretes very weakly. For example, most transient BHXBs spend the bulk of their time in a quiescent state with mass accretion rates 10^-9 -- 10^-6 L/L_Edd, and many supermassive black holes in the local Universe accrete just as weakly. Here, we present Chandra X-ray spectroscopy for nine quiescent BHXB systems, including multiple observations for several systems as they fade back into quiescence following an outburst. Our systems show softer X-ray spectra in quiescence compared to the canonical "low-hard state". With our dataset, we are in a unique position to track how BHXB X-ray spectra evolve as they return to quiescence following an outburst, both for individual sources and also for the ensemble average. We thus place new constraints on how quickly BHXB X-ray spectra soften as they fade, and we propose a physically meaningful definition for quiescence. Finally, we will discuss implications for the X-ray emission mechanism(s) and accretion flow (and outflow) geometries in quiescence, and we will make comparisons to AGN and neutron star X-ray binaries.

  3. Clumpy wind accretion in supergiant neutron star high mass X-ray binaries

    Bozzo, E.; Oskinova, L.; Feldmeier, A.; Falanga, M.

    2016-05-01

    The accretion of the stellar wind material by a compact object represents the main mechanism powering the X-ray emission in classical supergiant high mass X-ray binaries and supergiant fast X-ray transients. In this work we present the first attempt to simulate the accretion process of a fast and dense massive star wind onto a neutron star, taking into account the effects of the centrifugal and magnetic inhibition of accretion ("gating") due to the spin and magnetic field of the compact object. We made use of a radiative hydrodynamical code to model the nonstationary radiatively driven wind of an O-B supergiant star and then place a neutron star characterized by a fixed magnetic field and spin period at a certain distance from the massive companion. Our calculations follow, as a function of time (on a total timescale of several hours), the transitions of the system through all different accretion regimes that are triggered by the intrinsic variations in the density and velocity of the nonstationary wind. The X-ray luminosity released by the system is computed at each time step by taking into account the relevant physical processes occurring in the different accretion regimes. Synthetic lightcurves are derived and qualitatively compared with those observed from classical supergiant high mass X-ray binaries and supergiant fast X-ray transients. Although a number of simplifications are assumed in these calculations, we show that taking into account the effects of the centrifugal and magnetic inhibition of accretion significantly reduces the average X-ray luminosity expected for any neutron star wind-fed binary. The present model calculations suggest that long spin periods and stronger magnetic fields are favored in order to reproduce the peculiar behavior of supergiant fast X-ray transients in the X-ray domain.

  4. The White Dwarf Mass and the Accretion Rate of Recurrent Novae: An X-ray Perspective

    Mukai, Koji; Sokoloski, Jennifer L.; Nelson, Thomas; Luna, Gerardo J. M.

    2011-01-01

    We present recent results of quiescent X-ray observations of recurrent novae (RNe) and related objects. Several RNe are luminous hard X-ray sources in quiescence, consistent with accretion onto a near Chandrasekhar mass white dwarf. Detection of similar hard X-ray emissions in old novae and other cataclysmic variables may lead to identification of additional RN candidates. On the other hand, other RNe are found to be comparatively hard X-ray faint. We present several scenarios that may explain this dichotomy, which should be explored further.

  5. Seeing to the Event Horizon: Probing Accretion Physics with X-ray Reflection

    Wilkins, Dan

    2015-09-01

    Accretion onto supermassive black holes in active galactic nuclei is known to power some of the most luminous objects we see in the Universe, which through their vast energy outputs must have played an important role in shaping the large scale structure of the Universe we see today. Much remains unknown, however, about the fine details of this process; exactly how energy is liberated from accretion flows onto black holes, how the 'corona' that produces the intense X-ray continuum is formed and what governs this process over time. I will outline how the detection of X-rays reflected from the discs of accreting material around black holes by the present generation of large X-ray observatories, shifted in energy and blurred by relativistic effects in the strong gravitational field close to the black hole, has enabled measurements of the inner regions of the accretion flow in unprecedented detail. In particular, exploiting the shift in energy of atomic emission lines by relativistic effects as a function of location on the disc has enabled the measurement of the illumination pattern of the accretion flow by the X-ray continuum from which the geometry of the emitting region can be inferred and how the detection of time lags between the primary and reflected X-rays owing to the additional path the reflected rays must travel between the corona and the disc places further constraints on the nature of the emitting corona. These techniques allow the evolution of the corona that accompanies transitions from high to low X-ray flux to be studied, giving clues to the physical process that forms and powers the intense X-ray source and uncovering evidence for the potential launching of jets. I will discuss the great steps forward in understanding accretion physics that can be made with the Athena X-ray observatory, combining detailed analysis of observations with predictions and models from general relativistic ray tracing simulations. In particular, I will discuss how high

  6. Settling accretion onto slowly rotating X-ray pulsars

    Shakura, N. I.; Postnov, K. A.; Kochetkova, A. Yu.; Hjalmarsdotter, L.

    2013-01-01

    Quasi-spherical subsonic accretion onto slowly rotating magnetized NS is considered, when the accreting matter settles down subsonically onto the rotating magnetosphere, forming an extended quasi-static shell. The shell mediates the angular momentum transfer to/from the rotating NS magnetosphere by large-scale convective motions, which lead to an almost iso-angular-momentum rotation law inside the shell. The accretion rate through the shell is determined by the ability of the plasma to enter ...

  7. X-ray Outflows and Super-Eddington Accretion in the Ultraluminous X-ray Source Holmberg IX X-1

    Walton, D J; Harrison, F A; Fabian, A C; Roberts, T P; Middleton, M J; Reis, R C

    2013-01-01

    Studies of X-ray continuum emission and flux variability have not conclusively revealed the nature of ultra-luminous X-ray sources (ULXs) at the high-luminosity end of the distribution (those with Lx > 1e40 erg/s). These are of particular interest because the luminosity requires either super-Eddington accretion onto a black hole of mass ~10 Msun, or more standard accretion onto an intermediate-mass black hole. Super-Eddington accretion models predict strong outflowing winds, making atomic absorption lines a key diagnostic of the nature of extreme ULXs. To search for such features, we have undertaken a long, 500 ks observing campaign on Holmberg IX X-1 with Suzaku. This is the most sensitive dataset in the iron K bandpass for a bright, isolated ULX to date, yet we find no statistically significant atomic features in either emission or absorption; any undetected narrow features must have equivalent widths less than 15-20 eV at 99% confidence. These limits are far below the >150 eV lines expected if observed tre...

  8. Sub-millisecond time-resolved SAXS using a continuous-flow mixer and X-ray microbeam

    Graceffa, Rita; Nobrega, R. Paul; Barrea, Raul A.; Kathuria, Sagar V.; Chakravarthy, Srinivas; Bilsel, Osman; Irving, Thomas C.

    2013-01-01

    Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) is a well established technique to probe the nanoscale structure and interactions in soft matter. It allows one to study the structure of native particles in near physiological environments and to analyze structural changes in response to variations in external conditions. The combination of microfluidics and SAXS provides a powerful tool to investigate dynamic processes on a molecular level with sub-millisecond time resolution. Reaction kinetics in the sub...

  9. X-ray reflection in oxygen-rich accretion discs of ultra-compact X-ray binaries

    Madej, O K; Jonker, P G; Parker, M L; Ross, R; Fabian, A C; Chenevez, J

    2014-01-01

    We present spectroscopic X-ray data of two candidate ultra-compact X-ray binaries: 4U~0614+091 and 4U~1543$-$624. We confirm the presence of a broad O VIII Ly$\\alpha$ reflection line (at $\\approx18\\ \\AA$) using {\\it XMM-Newton} and {\\it Chandra} observations obtained in 2012 and 2013. The donor star in these sources is carbon-oxygen or oxygen-neon-magnesium white dwarf. Hence, the accretion disc is enriched with oxygen which makes the O VIII Ly$\\alpha$ line particularly strong. We also confirm the presence of a strong absorption edge at $\\approx14$ \\AA\\ so far interpreted in the literature as due to absorption by neutral neon in the circumstellar and interstellar medium. However, the abundance required to obtain a good fit to this edge is $\\approx3-4$ times solar, posing a problem for this interpretation. Furthermore, modeling the X-ray reflection off a carbon and oxygen enriched, hydrogen and helium poor disc with models assuming solar composition likely biases several of the best-fit parameters. In order to...

  10. Soft X-Ray Excess from Shocked Accreting Plasma in Active Galactic Nuclei

    Fukumura, Keigo; Clark, Peter; Tombesi, Francesco; Takahashi, Masaaki

    2016-01-01

    We propose a novel theoretical model to describe a physical identity of the soft X-ray excess, ubiquitously detected in many Seyfert galaxies, by considering a steady-state, axisymmetric plasma accretion within the innermost stable circular orbit (ISCO) around a black hole (BH) accretion disk. We extend our earlier theoretical investigations on general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic (GRMHD) accretion which has implied that the accreting plasma can develop into a standing shock for suitable physical conditions causing the downstream flow to be sufficiently hot due to shock compression. We numerically calculate to examine, for sets of fiducial plasma parameters, a physical nature of fast MHD shocks under strong gravity for different BH spins. We show that thermal seed photons from the standard accretion disk can be effectively Compton up-scattered by the energized sub-relativistic electrons in the hot downstream plasma to produce the soft excess feature in X-rays. As a case study, we construct a three-paramet...

  11. Free-fall accretion and emitting caustics in wind-fed X-ray sources

    Illarionov, Andrei F.; Beloborodov, Andrei M.

    2001-05-01

    In wind-fed X-ray binaries the accreting matter is Compton-cooled and falls freely on to the compact object. The matter has a modest angular momentum l and accretion is quasi-spherical at large distances from the compact object. Initially small non-radial velocities grow in the converging supersonic flow and become substantial in the vicinity of the accretor. The streamlines with l>(GMR*)1/2 (where M and R* are the mass and radius of the compact object) intersect outside R* and form a two-dimensional caustic which emits X-rays. The streamlines with low angular momentum, langular momentum distribution of the accreting matter. The apparent luminosity depends on the side from which the star is observed and can change periodically with the orbital phase of the binary. The accretor then appears as a `Moon-like' X-ray source.

  12. Ultraluminous X-ray sources as super-Eddington accretion disks

    Fabrika, Sergei; Atapin, Kirill

    2016-01-01

    The origin of Ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) in external galaxies whose X-ray luminosities exceed those of the brightest black holes in our Galaxy by hundreds and thousands of times is mysterious. The most popular models for the ULXs involve either intermediate mass black holes (IMBHs) or stellar-mass black holes accreting at super-Eddington rates. Here we review the ULX properties, their X-ray spectra indicate a presence of hot winds in their accretion disks supposing the supercritical accretion. However, the strongest evidences come from optical spectroscopy. The spectra of the ULX counterparts are very similar to that of SS 433, the only known supercritical accretor in our Galaxy.

  13. X-Ray Iron Line Constraints on the Inner Accretion Disk and Black Hole Spin

    Reynolds, C. S.

    2000-01-01

    The broad iron line, seen in the X-ray spectra of many AGN, is thought to originate from the inner regions of the black hole accretion disk. I will summarize recent developments in using this line to probe the accretion disk structure, as well as the mass and spin of black holes n Seyfert galaxies. In particular, I will present observational evidence suggesting that the inner regions of the accretion disks in low-luminosity AGN (LLAGN) are distinctly different from those in higher-luminosity AGN. This tentative result lends support models of LLAGN based upon advective accretion disks.

  14. On the observability of T Tauri accretion shocks in the X-ray band

    Sacco, G G; Argiroffi, C; Maggio, A; Peres, G; Reale, F; Curran, R L

    2010-01-01

    Context. High resolution X-ray observations of classical T Tauri stars (CTTSs) show a soft X-ray excess due to high density plasma (n_e=10^11-10^13 cm^-3). This emission has been attributed to shock-heated accreting material impacting onto the stellar surface. Aims. We investigate the observability of the shock-heated accreting material in the X-ray band as a function of the accretion stream properties (velocity, density, and metal abundance) in the case of plasma-beta<<1 in the post-shock zone. Methods. We use a 1-D hydrodynamic model describing the impact of an accretion stream onto the chromosphere, including the effects of radiative cooling, gravity and thermal conduction. We explore the space of relevant parameters and synthesize from the model results the X-ray emission in the [0.5-8.0] keV band and in the resonance lines of O VII (21.60 Ang) and Ne IX (13.45 Ang), taking into account the absorption from the chromosphere. Results. The accretion stream properties influence the temperature and the s...

  15. X-ray optical depth diagnostics of T Tauri accretion shocks

    Argiroffi, C; Peres, G; Drake, J J; Santiago, J Lopez; Sciortino, S; Stelzer, B

    2009-01-01

    In classical T Tauri stars, X-rays are produced by two plasma components: a hot low-density plasma, with frequent flaring activity, and a high-density lower temperature plasma. The former is coronal plasma related to the stellar magnetic activity. The latter component, never observed in non-accreting stars, could be plasma heated by the shock formed by the accretion process. However its nature is still being debated. Our aim is to probe the soft X-ray emission from the high-density plasma component in classical T Tauri stars to check whether this is plasma heated in the accretion shock or whether it is coronal plasma. High-resolution X-ray spectroscopy allows us to measure individual line fluxes. We analyze X-ray spectra of the classical T Tauri star MP Muscae and TW Hydrae. Our aim is to evaluate line ratios to search for optical depth effects, which are expected in the accretion-driven scenario. We also derive the plasma emission measure distributions EMD, to investigate whether and how the EMD of accreting...

  16. A statistical study of the relation between soft X-ray excess and accretion disk

    2010-01-01

    To study the origin of the soft X-ray excess,we compile a sample of 94 unobscured,radio-quiet QSOs and Seyfert galaxies with available data from GALEX and ROSAT.We find that 50 sources show strong soft X-ray excess and the other 44 show weak/no soft X-ray excess.Systematic analyses of the data indicate that the difference in soft X-rays is mainly but not only resulting from different accretion rates(in units of Eddington rate).The statistical study of the sources with soft X-ray excess shows that the strength of soft X-ray excess weakly and positively correlates with the Eddington ratio and increases with the increase of the strength of UV radiations relative to the X-rays.Provided that the UV emissions are from the thin disk,the correlations imply that the origin of soft X-ray excess is associated with the thin disk,either by means of Comptonization of the disk photons or in some other ways.

  17. Understanding X-ray Reflection as a Probe of Accreting Black Holes

    Wilkins, Dan

    2014-01-01

    Active galactic nuclei (AGN) are some of the most luminous objects we see in the Universe, powered by the accretion of matter onto a supermassive black hole in the centre of a galaxy, yet many of the physical processes by which the energy is released and injected into the surroundings remain a mystery. X-rays are emitted from a ‘corona’ of energetic particles surrounding the black hole and as well as being observed directly, they are seen to be reflected from the accreting disc, producing a number of spectral features including emission lines that are broadened by relativistic effects in the proximity of the black hole. In my thesis, I develop methods through which detailed measurement of the reflected X-rays from the accretion disc can be used to probe the innermost regions of accretion flow and corona, right down to the innermost stable orbit and the event horizon. Novel spectral analysis techniques allow us to reconstruct, from the observed relativistic X-ray reflection spectrum the spatially resolved illumination pattern of the accretion disc and will discuss how comparing this to the results of systematic general relativistic ray tracing simulations I have developed, we are able to constrain the location and geometry of the X-ray emitting corona and understand the dramatic change of the narrow line Seyfert 1 galaxy 1H 0707-495 into an extremely low flux state in terms of a collapse in the corona. I will discuss how measurements of the X-ray variability, specifically the reverberation time lags that are observed between variability in the directly observed X-rays from the corona and those reflected from the accretion disc add a further dimension to the study of accreting black holes, letting us not only build up a three dimensional image of the immediate vicinity of the black hole but also to probe mechanisms by which the energy is released from the accretion flow; techniques that will let us exploit not just current instrumentation but future proposed X-ray

  18. Irradiated, colour-temperature-corrected accretion discs in ultraluminous X-ray sources

    Sutton, Andrew D.; Done, Chris; Roberts, Timothy P.

    2014-11-01

    Although attempts have been made to constrain the stellar types of optical counterparts to ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs), the detection of optical variability instead suggests that they may be dominated by reprocessed emission from X-rays which irradiate the outer accretion disc. Here, we report results from a combined X-ray and optical spectral study of a sample of ULXs, which were selected for having broadened disc-like X-ray spectra and known optical counterparts. We simultaneously fit optical and X-ray data from ULXs with a new spectral model of emission from an irradiated, colour-temperature-corrected accretion disc around a black hole, with a central Comptonizing corona. We find that the ULXs require reprocessing fractions of ˜10-3, which is similar to sub-Eddington thermal dominant state black hole binaries (BHBs), but less than has been reported for ULXs with soft ultraluminous X-ray spectra. We suggest that the reprocessing fraction may be due to the opposing effects of self-shielding in a geometrically thick supercritical accretion disc and reflection from far above the central black hole by optically thin material ejected in a natal super-Eddington wind. Then, the higher reprocessing fractions reported for ULXs with wind-dominated X-ray spectra may be due to enhanced scattering on to the outer disc via the stronger wind in these objects. Alternatively, the accretion discs in these ULXs may not be particularly geometrically thick, rather they may be similar in this regard to the thermal dominant state BHBs.

  19. Electromagnetic Spindown of a Transient Accreting Millisecond Pulsar During Quiescence

    Melatos, A.; Mastrano, A.

    2016-02-01

    The measured spindown rates in quiescence of the transient accreting millisecond pulsars IGR J00291+5934, XTE J1751-305, SAX J1808.4-3658, and Swift J1756.9-2508 have been used to estimate the magnetic moments of these objects assuming standard magnetic dipole braking. It is shown that this approach leads to an overestimate if the amount of residual accretion is enough to distort the magnetosphere away from a force-free configuration through magnetospheric mass loading or crushing, so that the lever arm of the braking torque migrates inside the light cylinder. We derive an alternative spindown formula and calculate the residual accretion rates where the formula is applicable. As a demonstration we apply the alternative spindown formula to produce updated magnetic moment estimates for the four objects above. We note that based on current uncertain observations of quiescent accretion rates, magnetospheric mass loading and crushing are neither firmly indicated nor ruled out in these four objects. Because quiescent accretion rates are not measured directly (only upper limits are placed), without more data it is impossible to be confident about whether the thresholds for magnetospheric mass loading or crushing are reached or not.

  20. Accretion mode of the Ultra-Luminous X-ray source M82 X-2

    Karino, S

    2016-01-01

    Periodic pulsations have been found in emission from the ultra-luminous X-ray source (ULX) M82 X-2, strongly suggesting that the emitter is a rotating neutron star rather than a black hole. However, the radiation mechanisms and accretion mode involved have not yet been clearly established. In this paper, we examine the applicability to this object of standard accretion modes for high mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs). We find that spherical wind accretion, which drives OB-type HMXBs, cannot apply here but that there is a natural explanation in terms of an extension of the picture for standard Be-type HMXBs. We show that a neutron star with a moderately strong magnetic field, accreting from a disc-shaped wind emitted by a Be-companion, could be compatible with the observed relation between spin and orbital period. A Roche lobe overflow picture is also possible under certain conditions.

  1. Hot accretion flow with radiative cooling: state transitions in black hole X-ray binaries

    Wu, Mao-Chun; Xie, Fu-Guo; Yuan, Ye-Fei; Gan, Zhao-Ming

    2016-01-01

    We investigate state transitions in black hole X-ray binaries through different parameters by using two-dimensional axisymmetric hydrodynamical simulation method. For radiative cooling in hot accretion flow, we take into account the bremsstrahlung, synchrotron and synchrotron-self Comptonization self-consistently in the dynamics. Our main result is that the state transitions occur when the accretion rate reaches a critical value $\\dot M \\sim 3\\alpha\\ \\dot M_{\\rm Edd}$, above which cold and de...

  2. Inhomogeneous accretion discs and the soft states of black hole X-ray binaries

    Dexter, Jason; Quataert, Eliot

    2012-01-01

    Observations of black hole binaries (BHBs) have established a rich phenomenology of X-ray states. The soft states range from the low variability, accretion disc dominated thermal state (TD) to the higher variability, non-thermal steep power law state (SPL). The disc component in all states is typically modeled with standard thin disc accretion theory. However, this theory is inconsistent with optical/UV spectral, variability, and gravitational microlensing observations of active galactic nucl...

  3. A new model for the X-ray continuum of the magnetized accreting pulsars

    Farinelli, Ruben; Ferrigno, Carlo; Bozzo, Enrico; Becker, Peter A.

    2016-06-01

    Context. Accreting highly magnetized pulsars in binary systems are among the brightest X-ray emitters in our Galaxy. Although a number of high-quality broad-band (0.1-100 keV) X-ray observations are available, the spectral energy distribution of these sources is usually investigated by adopting pure phenomenological models rather than models linked to the physics of accretion. Aims: In this paper, a detailed spectral study of the X-ray emission recorded from the high-mass X-ray binary pulsars Cen X-3, 4U 0115+63, and Her X-1 is carried out by using BeppoSAX and joined Suzaku +NuStar data, together with an advanced version of the compmag model, which provides a physical description of the high-energy emission from accreting pulsars, including the thermal and bulk Comptonization of cyclotron and bremsstrahlung seed photons along the neutron star accretion column. Methods: The compmag model is based on an iterative method for solving second-order partial differential equations, whose convergence algorithm has been improved and consolidated during the preparation of this paper. Results: Our analysis shows that the broad-band X-ray continuum of all considered sources can be self-consistently described by the compmag model. The cyclotron absorption features (not included in the model) can be accounted for by using Gaussian components. From the fits of the compmag model to the data we inferred the physical properties of the accretion columns in all sources, finding values reasonably close to those theoretically expected according to our current understanding of accretion in highly magnetized neutron stars. Conclusions: The updated version of the compmag model has been tailored to the physical processes that are known to occur in the columns of highly magnetized accreting neutron stars and it can thus provide a better understanding of the high-energy radiation from these sources. The availability of broad-band high-quality X-ray data, such as those provided by BeppoSAX in

  4. Irradiated, colour-temperature-corrected accretion discs in ultraluminous X-ray sources

    Sutton, Andrew D; Roberts, Timothy P

    2014-01-01

    Although attempts have been made to constrain the stellar types of optical counterparts to ULXs, the detection of optical variability instead suggests that they may be dominated by reprocessed emission from X-rays which irradiate the outer accretion disc. Here, we report results from a combined X-ray and optical spectral study of a sample of ULXs, which were selected for having broadened disc-like X-ray spectra, and known optical counterparts. We simultaneously fit optical and X-ray data from ULXs with a new spectral model of emission from an irradiated, colour-temperature-corrected accretion disc around a black hole, with a central Comptonising corona. We find that the ULXs require reprocessing fractions of $\\sim 10^{-3}$, which is similar to sub-Eddington thermal dominant state BHBs, but less than has been reported for ULXs with soft ultraluminous X-ray spectra. We suggest that the reprocessing fraction may be due to the opposing effects of self-shielding in a geometrically thick super-critical accretion di...

  5. Time-dependent X-ray emission from unstable accretion disks around black holes

    Mineshige, Shin; Kim, Soon-Wook; Wheeler, J. Craig

    1990-01-01

    The spectral evolution of accretion disks in X-ray binaries containing black holes is studied, based on the disk instability model. The thermal transition of the outer portions of the disk controls the mass flow rate into the inner portions of the disk, thus modulating the soft X-ray flux which is thought to arise from the inner disk. Calculated soft X-ray spectra are consistent with the observations of the X-ray transient A0620 - 00 and especially ASM 2000 + 25, the soft X-ray spectra of which are well fitted by blackbody radiation with a fixed inner edge of the disk, Rin, and with monotonically decreasing temperature at Rin with time. Since the gas pressure is always dominant over the radiation pressure during the decay in these models, a two-temperature region is difficult to create. Instead, it is suggested that hard X-rays are generated in a hot (kT greater than 10 keV) accretion disk corona above the cool (kT less than 1 keV) disk.

  6. Accretion regimes in the X-ray pulsar 4U 1901+03

    Reig, P

    2016-01-01

    The source 4U 1901+03 is a high-mass X-ray pulsar than went into outburst in 2003. Observation performed with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer showed spectral and timing variability, including the detection of flares, quasi-periodic oscillations, complex changes in the pulse profiles, and pulse phase dependent spectral variability. We re-analysed the data covering the 2003 X-ray outburst and focused on several aspects of the variability that have not been discussed so far. These are the 10 keV feature and the X-ray spectral states and their association with accretion regimes, including the transit to the propeller state at the end of the outburst. We find that 4U 1901+03 went through three accretion regimes over the course of the X-ray outburst. At the peak of the outburst and for a very short time, the X-ray flux may have overcome the critical limit that marks the formation of a radiative shock at a certain distance above the neutron star surface. Most of the time, however, the source is in the subcritical re...

  7. Probing the Birth of Post-merger Millisecond Magnetars with X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Emission

    Wang, Ling-Jun; Dai, Zi-Gao; Liu, Liang-Duan; Wu, Xue-Feng

    2016-05-01

    There is growing evidence that a stable magnetar could be formed from the coalescence of double neutron stars. In previous papers, we investigated the signature of formation of stable millisecond magnetars in radio and optical/ultraviolet bands by assuming that the central rapidly rotating magnetar deposits its rotational energy in the form of a relativistic leptonized wind. We found that the optical transient PTF11agg could be the first evidence for the formation of post-merger millisecond magnetars. To enhance the probability of finding more evidence for the post-merger magnetar formation, it is better to extend the observational channel to other photon energy bands. In this paper, we propose to search the signature of post-merger magnetar formation in X-ray and especially gamma-ray bands. We calculate the synchrotron self-Compton (SSC) emission of the reverse shock powered by post-merger millisecond magnetars. We find that the SSC component peaks at 1 {GeV} in the spectral energy distribution and extends to ≳ 10 {TeV} for typical parameters. These energy bands are quite suitable for Fermi Large Area Telescope and Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), which, with their current observational sensitivities, can detect the SSC emission powered by post-merger magnetars up to 1 {Gpc}. NuSTAR, which is sensitive in X-ray bands, can detect the formation of post-merger millisecond magnetars at redshift z∼ 1. Future improvements in the sensitivity of CTA can also allow us to probe the birth of post-merger millisecond magnetars at redshift z∼ 1. However, because of the γ‑γ collisions, strong high-energy emission is clearly predicted only for ejecta masses lower than {10}-3 {M}ȯ .

  8. Probing the Accretion Geometry of Black Holes with X-Ray Polarization

    Schnitman, Jeremy D.

    2011-01-01

    In the coming years, new space missions will be able to measure X-ray polarization at levels of 1% or better in the approx.1-10 keV energy band. In particular, X-ray polarization is an ideal tool for determining the nature of black hole (BH) accretion disks surrounded by hot coronae. Using a Monte Carlo radiation transport code in full general relativity, we calculate the spectra and polarization features of these BH systems. At low energies, the signal is dominated by the thermal flux coming directly from the optically thick disk. At higher energies, the thermal seed photons have been inverse-Compton scattered by the corona, often reflecting back off the disk before reaching the observer, giving a distinctive polarization signature. By measuring the degree and angle of this X-ray polarization, we can infer the BH inclination, the emission geometry of the accretion flow, and also determine the spin of the black hole.

  9. Diagnosing the accretion flow in ultraluminous X-ray sources using soft X-ray atomic features

    Middleton, Matthew J; Fabian, Andrew; Roberts, Timothy P; Heil, Lucy; Pinto, Ciro; Anderson, Gemma; Sutton, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    The lack of unambiguous detections of atomic features in the X-ray spectra of ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) has proven a hindrance in diagnosing the nature of the accretion flow. The possible association of spectral residuals at soft energies with atomic features seen in absorption and/or emission and potentially broadened by velocity dispersion could therefore hold the key to understanding much about these enigmatic sources. Here we show for the first time that such residuals are seen in several sources and appear extremely similar in shape, implying a common origin. Via simple arguments we assert that emission from extreme colliding winds, absorption in a shell of material associated with the ULX nebula and thermal plasma emission associated with star formation are all highly unlikely to provide an origin. Whilst CCD spectra lack the energy resolution necessary to directly determine the nature of the features (i.e. formed of a complex of narrow lines or intrinsically broad), studying the evolution of t...

  10. A new model for the X-ray continuum of the magnetized accreting pulsars

    Farinelli, R; Bozzo, E; Becker, P A

    2016-01-01

    Accreting highly magnetized pulsars in binary systems are among the brightest X-ray emitters in our Galaxy. Although a number of high statistical quality broad-band (0.1-100 keV) X-ray observations are available, the spectral energy distribution of these sources is usually investigated by adopting pure phenomenological models, rather than models linked to the physics of accretion. In this paper, a detailed spectral study of the X-ray emission recorded from the high-mass X-ray binary pulsars Cen X-3, 4U 0115+63, and Her X-1 is carried out by using BeppoSAX and joined Suzaku+NuStar data, together with an advanced version of the compmag model. The latter provides a physical description of the high energy emission from accreting pulsars, including the thermal and bulk Comptonization of cyclotron and bremsstrahlung seed photons along the neutron star accretion column. The compmag model is based on an iterative method for solving second-order partial differential equations, whose convergence algorithm has been impr...

  11. A new look at spherical accretion in High Mass X-ray Binaries

    Ikhsanov, N R; Beskrovnaya, N G; 10.1063/1.3701365

    2012-01-01

    Currently used model of spherical accretion onto a magnetized rotating neutron star encounters major difficulties in explaining the entry rate of accreting material into the stellar field and spin evolution of long-period X-ray pulsars. These difficulties can be, however, avoided if the magnetic field of the material captured by the neutron star is incorporated into the model. The magnetic field of the flow itself under certain conditions controls the accretion process and significantly affects the parameters of the accreting material. The mode by which the accretion flow enters the stellar magnetosphere in that case can be associated with Bohm (or turbulent) diffusion and the torque applied to the neutron star appears to be substantially higher than that evaluated in the non-magnetized accretion scenario.

  12. Understanding X-ray reflection as a probe of accreting black holes

    Wilkins, Daniel Richard

    2013-01-01

    The reflection of the X-rays emitted from a corona of energetic particles surrounding an accreting black hole from the accretion disc is investigated in the context of probing the structure of the central regions as well as the physical processes that power some of the brightest objects seen in the Universe. A method is devised to measure the emissivity profile of the accretion disc, that is the reflected flux as a function of radius in the disc. This method exploits the variation in the D...

  13. X-ray reflected spectra from accretion disk models.II. Diagnostic tools for X-ray observations

    Garcia, J; Mushotzky, R F

    2011-01-01

    We present a comprehensive study of the emission spectra from accreting sources. We use our new reflection code to compute the reflected spectra from an accretion disk illuminated by X-rays. This set of models covers different values of ionization parameter, solar iron abundance and photon index for the illuminating spectrum. These models also include the most complete and recent atomic data for the inner-shell of the iron and oxygen isonuclear sequences. We concentrate our analysis to the 2-10 keV energy region, and in particular to the iron K-shell emission lines. We show the dependency of the equivalent width (EW) of the Fe K$\\alpha$ with the ionization parameter. The maximum value of the EW is $\\sim 800$ eV for models with log $\\xi\\sim 1.5$, and decreases monotonically as $\\xi$ increases. For lower values of $\\xi$ the Fe K$\\alpha$ EW decreases to a minimum near log $\\xi\\sim 0.8$. We produce simulated CCD observations based on our reflection models. For low ionized, reflection dominated cases, the 2-10 keV...

  14. Evidence for Magneto-Levitation Accretion in Long-Period X-ray Pulsars

    Ikhsanov, Nazar; Likh, Yury

    2014-01-01

    Study of observed spin evolution of long-period X-ray pulsars challenges quasi-spherical and Keplerian disk accretion scenarios. It suggests that the magnetospheric radius of the neutron stars is substantially smaller than Alfven radius and the spin-down torque applied to the star from accreting material significantly exceeds the value predicted by the theory. We show that these problems can be avoided if the fossil magnetic field of the accretion flow itself is incorporated into the accretion model. The initially spherical flow in this case decelerates by its own magnetic field and converts into a non-Keplerian disk (magnetic slab) in which the material is confined by its intrinsic magnetic field ("levitates") and slowly moves towards the star on a diffusion timescale. Parameters of pulsars expected within this magneto-levitation accretion scenario are evaluated.

  15. Discovery of the Accretion-Powered Millisecond Pulsar SWIFT 51756.9-2508 with a Low-Mass Companion

    Krimm, H.A.; Markwardt, C.B.; Deloye, C.J.; Romano, P.; Chakrabarty, S.; Campana. S.; Cummings, J.C.; Galloway, D.K.; Gehrels, N.; Hartman, J.M.; Kaaret, P.; Morgan, E.H.; Tueller, J

    2007-01-01

    We report on the discovery by the Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Explorer of the eighth known transient accretion-powered millisecond pulsar: SWIFT J1756.9-2508, as part of routine observations with the Swift Burst Alert Telescope hard X-ray transient monitor. The pulsar was subsequently observed by both the X-Ray Telescope on Swift and the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer Proportional Counter Array. It has a spin frequency of 182 Hz (5.5 ms) and an orbital period of 54.7 minutes. The minimum companion mass is between 0.0067 and 0.0086 Solar Mass, depending on the mass of the neutron star, and the upper limit on the mass is 0.030 Solar Mass (95% confidence level). Such a low mass is inconsistent with brown dwarf models. and comparison with white dwarf models suggests that the companion is a He-dominated donor whose thermal cooling has been at least modestly slowed by irradiation from the accretion flux. No X-ray bursts. dips, eclipses or quasi-periodic oscillations were detected. The current outburst lasted approx. 13 days and no earlier outbursts were found in archival data.

  16. Timing of the accreting millisecond pulsar SAX J1748.9-2021 during its 2015 outburst

    Sanna, A; Riggio, A; Pintore, F; Di Salvo, T; Gambino, A F; Iaria, R; Matranga, M; Scarano, F

    2016-01-01

    We report on the timing analysis of the 2015 outburst of the intermittent accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar SAX J1748.9-2021 observed on March 4 by the X-ray satellite XMM-Newton. By phase-connecting the time of arrivals of the observed pulses, we derived the best-fit orbital solution for the 2015 outburst. We investigated the energy pulse profile dependence finding that the pulse fractional amplitude increases with energy while no significant time lags are detected. Moreover, we investigated the previous outbursts from this source, finding previously undetected pulsations in some intervals during the 2010 outburst of the source. Comparing the updated set of orbital parameters, in particular the value of the time of passage from the ascending node, with the orbital solutions reported from the previous outbursts, we estimated for the first time the orbital period derivative corresponding with $\\dot{P}_{orb}=(1.1\\pm0.3)\\times 10^{-10}$ s/s. We note that this value is significant at 3.5 sigma confidence level, ...

  17. Clumpy wind accretion in supergiant neutron star high mass X-ray binaries

    Bozzo, E; Feldmeier, A; Falanga, M

    2016-01-01

    The accretion of the stellar wind material by a compact object represents the main mechanism powering the X-ray emission in classical supergiant high mass X-ray binaries and supergiant fast X-ray transients. In this work we present the first attempt to simulate the accretion process of a fast and dense massive star wind onto a neutron star, taking into account the effects of the centrifugal and magnetic inhibition of accretion ("gating") due to the spin and magnetic field of the compact object. We made use of a radiative hydrodynamical code to model the non-stationary radiatively driven wind of an O-B supergiant star and then place a neutron star characterized by a fixed magnetic field and spin period at a certain distance from the massive companion. Our calculations follow, as a function of time (on a total time scale of several hours), the transition of the system through all different accretion regimes that are triggered by the intrinsic variations in the density and velocity of the non-stationary wind. Th...

  18. Free-fall accretion and emitting caustics in wind-fed X-ray sources

    Illarionov, A F; Illarionov, Andrei F.; Beloborodov, Andrei M.

    2000-01-01

    In wind-fed X-ray binaries, the accreting matter is Compton cooled and falls freely onto the compact object. The matter has a modest angular momentum, $l$, and accretion is quasi-spherical at large distances from the compact object. Initially small non-radial velocities grow in the converging supersonic flow and become substantial in the vicinity of the accretor. The streamlines with $l>(GMR_*)^{1/2}$ (where $M$ and $R_*$ are the mass and radius of the compact object) intersect outside $R_*$ and form a two-dimensional caustic which emits X-rays. The streamlines with low angular momentum, $l<(GMR_*)^{1/2}$, run into the accretor. If the accretor is a neutron star, a large X-ray luminosity results. We show that the distribution of accretion rate/luminosity over the star surface is sensitive to the angular momentum distribution of the accreting matter. The apparent luminosity depends on the side from which the star is observed and can change periodically with the orbital phase of the binary. The accretor then...

  19. X-ray iron line variability constraints on the inner accretion disk

    Reynolds, C S

    2000-01-01

    After reviewing the basic physics of X-ray reflection in AGN, we present three case studies which illustrate the current state of X-ray reflection studies. For the low-luminosity AGN NGC4258, we find that the iron line is much narrower than is typically found in higher luminosity AGN. We argue that this is evidence for either a truncated cold accretion disk (possibly due to a transition to an advection dominate accretion flow at r ~ 100GM/c^2) or a large r ~ 100GM/c^2 X-ray emitting corona surrounding the accretion disk. We also present results for the higher luminosity Seyfert nuclei in NGC5548 and MCG-6-30-15. In both of these sources, RXTE shows that the iron line equivalent width decreases with increasing luminosity. Furthermore, the iron line equivalent width is found to be anticorrelated with the relative strength of the reflection continuum, contrary to all simple reflection models. It is proposed that continuum-flux correlated changes in the ionization of the accretion disk surface can explain this sp...

  20. Theory of quasi-spherical accretion in X-ray pulsars

    Shakura, N.; Postnov, K.; Kochetkova, A.; Hjalmarsdotter, L.

    2012-02-01

    A theoretical model for quasi-spherical subsonic accretion on to slowly rotating magnetized neutron stars is constructed. In this model, the accreting matter subsonically settles down on to the rotating magnetosphere forming an extended quasi-static shell. This shell mediates the angular momentum removal from the rotating neutron star magnetosphere during spin-down episodes by large-scale convective motions. The accretion rate through the shell is determined by the ability of the plasma to enter the magnetosphere. The settling regime of accretion can be realized for moderate accretion rates ? g s-1. At higher accretion rates, a free-fall gap above the neutron star magnetosphere appears due to rapid Compton cooling, and accretion becomes highly non-stationary. From observations of the spin-up/spin-down rates (the angular rotation frequency derivative ?, and ? near the torque reversal) of X-ray pulsars with known orbital periods, it is possible to determine the main dimensionless parameters of the model, as well as to estimate the magnetic field of the neutron star. We illustrate the model by determining these parameters for three wind-fed X-ray pulsars GX 301-2, Vela X-1 and GX 1+4. The model explains both the spin-up/spin-down of the pulsar frequency on large time-scales and the irregular short-term frequency fluctuations, which can correlate or anticorrelate with the X-ray flux fluctuations in different systems. It is shown that in real pulsars an almost iso-angular-momentum rotation law with ω˜ 1/R2, due to strongly anisotropic radial turbulent motions sustained by large-scale convection, is preferred.

  1. Identification of the High-Energy Gamma-Ray Source 3FGL J1544.6-1125 as a Transitional Millisecond Pulsar Binary in an Accreting State

    Bogdanov, Slavko

    2015-01-01

    We present X-ray, ultraviolet, and optical observations of 1RXS J154439.4-112820, the most probable counterpart of the unassociated Fermi LAT source 3FGL J1544.6-1125. The optical data reveal rapid variability, which is a feature of accreting systems. The X-ray data exhibit large-amplitude flux variations in the form of fast switching (within ~10 s) between two distinct flux levels that differ by a factor of $\\approx$10. The detailed optical and X-ray behavior is virtually identical to that seen in the accretion-disk-dominated states of the transitional millisecond pulsar binaries PSR J1023+0038 and XSS J12270-4859, which are also associated with $\\gamma$-ray sources. Based on the available observational evidence, we conclude that 1RXS J154439.4-112820 and 3FGL J1544.6-1125 are the same object, with the X-rays arising from intermittent low-luminosity accretion onto a millisecond pulsar and the $\\gamma$-rays originating from an accretion-driven outflow. 1RXS J154439.4-112820 is only the fourth $\\gamma$-ray emi...

  2. Hot accretion flow with radiative cooling: state transitions in black hole X-ray binaries

    Wu, Mao-Chun; Xie, Fu-Guo; Yuan, Ye-Fei; Gan, Zhaoming

    2016-06-01

    We investigate state transitions in black hole X-ray binaries through different parameters by using two-dimensional axisymmetric hydrodynamical simulation method. For radiative cooling in hot accretion flow, we take into account the bremsstrahlung, synchrotron and synchrotron self-Comptonization self-consistently in the dynamics. Our main result is that the state transitions occur when the accretion rate reaches a critical value dot{M} ˜ 3α dot{M}_Edd, above which cold and dense clumpy/filamentary structures are formed, embedded within the hot gas. We argued this mode likely corresponds to the proposed two-phase accretion model, which may be responsible for the intermediate state of black hole X-ray binaries. When the accretion rate becomes sufficiently high, the clumpy/filamentary structures gradually merge and settle down on to the mid-plane. Eventually the accretion geometry transforms to a disc-corona configuration. In summary, our results are consistent with the truncated accretion scenario for the state transition.

  3. Application of a physical continuum model to recent X-ray observations of accreting pulsars

    Marcu-Cheatham, Diana Monica; Pottschmidt, Katja; Wolff, Michael Thomas; Becker, Peter A.; Wood, Kent S.; Wilms, Joern; Britton Hemphill, Paul; Gottlieb, Amy; Fuerst, Felix; Schwarm, Fritz-Walter; Ballhausen, Ralf

    2016-04-01

    We present a uniform spectral analysis in the 0.5-50 keV energy range of a sample of accreting pulsars by applying an empirical broad-band continuum cut-off power-law model. We also apply the newly implemented physical continuum model developed by Becker and Wolff (2007, ApJ 654, 435) to a number of high-luminosity sources. The X-ray spectral formation process in this model consists of the Comptonization of bremsstrahlung, cyclotron, and black body photons emitted by the hot, magnetically channeled, accreting plasma near the neutron star surface. This model describes the spectral formation in high-luminosity accreting pulsars, where the dominant deceleration mechanism is via a radiation-dominated radiative shock. The resulting spectra depend on five physical parameters: the mass accretion rate, the radius of the accretion column, the electron temperature and electron scattering cross-sections inside the column, and the magnetic field strength. The empirical model is fitted to Suzaku data of a sample of high-mass X-ray binaries covering a broad luminosity range (0.3-5 x 10 37 erg/s). The physical model is fitted to Suzaku data from luminous sources: LMC X-4, Cen X-3, GX 304-1. We compare the results of the two types of modeling and summarize how they can provide new insight into the process of accretion onto magnetized neutron stars.

  4. Hot accretion flow with radiative cooling: state transitions in black hole X-ray binaries

    Wu, Mao-Chun; Yuan, Ye-Fei; Gan, Zhao-Ming

    2016-01-01

    We investigate state transitions in black hole X-ray binaries through different parameters by using two-dimensional axisymmetric hydrodynamical simulation method. For radiative cooling in hot accretion flow, we take into account the bremsstrahlung, synchrotron and synchrotron-self Comptonization self-consistently in the dynamics. Our main result is that the state transitions occur when the accretion rate reaches a critical value $\\dot M \\sim 3\\alpha\\ \\dot M_{\\rm Edd}$, above which cold and dense clumpy/filamentary structures are formed, embedded within the hot gas. We argued this mode likely corresponds to the proposed two-phase accretion model, which may be responsible for the intermediate state of black hole X-ray binaries. When the accretion rate becomes sufficiently high, the clumpy/filamentary structures gradually merge and settle down onto the mid-plane. Eventually the accretion geometry transforms to a disc-corona configuration. In summary our results are consistent with the truncated accretion scenari...

  5. Improved methods for modeling pulse shapes of accreting millisecond pulsars

    Leahy, D; Cadeau, C

    2006-01-01

    Raytracing computations for light emitted from the surface of a rapidly rotating neutron star are carried out in order to construct light curves for accreting millisecond pulsars. These calculations are for realistic models of rapidly rotating neutron stars which take into account both the correct exterior metric and the oblate shape of the star. We find that the most important effect, comparing the full raytracing computations with simpler approximations currently in use, arises from the oblate shape of the rotating star. Approximating a rotating neutron star as a sphere introduces serious errors in fitted values of the star's radius and mass if the rotation rate is very large. However, for lower rotation rates acceptable mass and radius values can be obtained using the spherical approximation.

  6. The infrared/X-ray correlation of GX 339-4: Probing hard X-ray emission in accreting black holes

    Coriat, M; Buxton, M M; Bailyn, C D; Tomsick, J A; Koerding, E; Kalemci, E

    2009-01-01

    GX 339-4 has been one of the key sources for unravelling the accretion ejection coupling in accreting stellar mass black holes. After a long period of quiescence between 1999 and 2002, GX 339-4 underwent a series of 4 outbursts that have been intensively observed by many ground based observatories [radio, infrared(IR), optical] and satellites (X-rays). Here, we present results of these broad-band observational campaigns, focusing on the optical-IR (OIR)/X-ray flux correlations over the four outbursts. We found tight OIR/X-ray correlations over four decades with the presence of a break in the IR/X-ray correlation in the hard state. This correlation is the same for all four outbursts. This can be interpreted in a consistent way by considering a synchrotron self-Compton origin of the X-rays in which the break frequency varies between the optically thick and thin regime of the jet spectrum. We also highlight the similarities and differences between optical/X-ray and IR/X-ray correlations which suggest a jet origi...

  7. Optical and X-ray emission from stable millisecond magnetars formed from the merger of binary neutron stars

    Metzger, Brian D

    2013-01-01

    The coalescence of binary neutron stars (NSs) may in some cases produce a stable massive NS remnant rather than a black hole. Due to the substantial angular momentum from the binary, such a remnant is born rapidly rotating and likely acquires a strong magnetic field (a `millisecond magnetar'). Magnetic spin-down deposits a large fraction of the rotational energy from the magnetar behind the small quantity of mass ejected during the merger. This has the potential for creating a bright transient that could be useful for determining whether a NS or black hole was formed in the merger. We investigate the expected signature of such an event, including for the first time the important impact of electron/positron pairs injected by the millisecond magnetar into the surrounding nebula. These pairs cool via synchrotron and inverse Compton emission, producing a pair cascade and hard X-ray spectrum. A fraction of these X-rays are absorbed by the ejecta walls and re-emitted as thermal radiation, leading to an optical/UV t...

  8. Population synthesis of accreting white dwarfs - II. X-ray and UV emission

    Chen, Hai-Liang; Woods, T. E.; Yungelson, L. R.; Gilfanov, M.; Han, Zhanwen

    2015-11-01

    Accreting white dwarfs (WDs) with non-degenerate companions are expected to emit in soft X-rays and the UV, if accreted H-rich material burns stably. They are an important component of the unresolved emission of elliptical galaxies, and their combined ionizing luminosity may significantly influence the optical line emission from warm interstellar medium (ISM). In an earlier paper, we modelled populations of accreting WDs, first generating WD with main-sequence, Hertzsprung gap and red giant companions with the population synthesis code BSE, and then following their evolution with a grid of evolutionary tracks computed with MESA. Now we use these results to estimate the soft X-ray (0.3-0.7 keV), H- and He II-ionizing luminosities of nuclear burning WDs and the number of supersoft X-ray sources for galaxies with different star formation histories. For the starburst case, these quantities peak at ˜1 Gyr and decline by ˜1-3 orders of magnitude by the age of 10 Gyr. For stellar ages of ˜10 Gyr, predictions of our model are consistent with soft X-ray luminosities observed by Chandra in nearby elliptical galaxies and He II 4686 Å/H β line ratio measured in stacked Sloan Digital Sky Survey spectra of retired galaxies, the latter characterizing the strength and hardness of the UV radiation field. However, the soft X-ray luminosity and He II 4686 Å/H β ratio are significantly overpredicted for stellar ages of ≲4-8 Gyr. We discuss various possibilities to resolve this discrepancy and tentatively conclude that it may be resolved by a modification of the typically used criteria of dynamically unstable mass-loss for giant stars.

  9. X-Ray Reflected Spectra from Accretion Disk Models. II. Diagnostic Tools for X-Ray Observations

    Garcia, J.; Kallman, T. R.; Mushotzky, R. F.

    2011-01-01

    We present a comprehensive study of the emission spectra from accreting sources. We use our new reflection code to compute the reflected spectra from an accretion disk illuminated by X-rays. This set of models covers different values of ionization parameter, solar iron abundance and photon index for the illuminating spectrum. These models also include the most complete and recent atomic data for the inner-shell of the iron and oxygen isonuclear sequences. We concentrate our analysis to the 2 - 10 keV energy region, and in particular to the iron K-shell emission lines. We show the dependency of the equivalent width (EW) of the Fe Ka with the ionization parameter. The maximum value of the EW is approx. 800 eV for models with log Epsilon approx. 1.5, and decreases monotonically as Epsilon increases. For lower values of Epsilon the Fe K(alpha) EW decreases to a minimum near log Epsilon approx. 0.8. We produce simulated CCD observations based on our reflection models. For low ionized, reflection dominated cases, the 2 -10 keV energy region shows a very broad, curving continuum that cannot be represented by a simple power-law. We show that in addition to the Fe K-shell emission, there are other prominent features such as the Si and S L(alpha) lines, a blend of Ar VIII-XI lines, and the Ca x K(alpha) line. In some cases the S xv blends with the He-like Si RRC producing a broad feature that cannot be reproduced by a simple Gaussian profile. This could be used as a signature of reflection.

  10. DISCOVERY OF PSR J1227−4853: A TRANSITION FROM A LOW-MASS X-RAY BINARY TO A REDBACK MILLISECOND PULSAR

    XSS J12270−4859 is an X-ray binary associated with the Fermi Large Area Telescope gamma-ray source 1FGL J1227.9−4852. In 2012 December, this source underwent a transition where the X-ray and optical luminosity dropped and the spectral signatures of an accretion disk disappeared. We report the discovery of a 1.69 millisecond pulsar (MSP), PSR J1227−4853, at a dispersion measure of 43.4 pc cm−3 associated with this source, using the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) at 607 MHz. This demonstrates that, post-transition, the system hosts an active radio MSP. This is the third system after PSR J1023+0038 and PSR J1824−2452I showing evidence of state switching between radio MSP and low-mass X-ray binary states. We report timing observations of PSR J1227−4853 with the GMRT and Parkes, which give a precise determination of the rotational and orbital parameters of the system. The companion mass measurement of 0.17–0.46 M⊙ suggests that this is a redback system. PSR J1227−4853 is eclipsed for about 40% of its orbit at 607 MHz with additional short-duration eclipses at all orbital phases. We also find that the pulsar is very energetic, with a spin-down luminosity of ∼1035 erg s−1. We report simultaneous imaging and timing observations with the GMRT, which suggests that eclipses are caused by absorption rather than dispersion smearing or scattering

  11. DISCOVERY OF PSR J1227−4853: A TRANSITION FROM A LOW-MASS X-RAY BINARY TO A REDBACK MILLISECOND PULSAR

    Roy, Jayanta; Bhattacharyya, Bhaswati; Stappers, Ben [Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester, M13 9PL (United Kingdom); Ray, Paul S.; Wolff, Michael; Wood, Kent S. [Space Science Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375-5352 (United States); Chengalur, Jayaram N. [National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Pune 411 007 (India); Deneva, Julia [NRC Research Associate, resident at Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375-5352 (United States); Camilo, Fernando [Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027 (United States); Johnson, Tyrel J. [College of Science, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA, resident at Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375 (United States); Hessels, Jason W. T.; Bassa, Cees G. [ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, Postbus 2, 7990 AA, Dwingeloo (Netherlands); Keane, Evan F. [Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, Mail H30, P.O. Box 218, VIC 3122 (Australia); Ferrara, Elizabeth C.; Harding, Alice K. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)

    2015-02-10

    XSS J12270−4859 is an X-ray binary associated with the Fermi Large Area Telescope gamma-ray source 1FGL J1227.9−4852. In 2012 December, this source underwent a transition where the X-ray and optical luminosity dropped and the spectral signatures of an accretion disk disappeared. We report the discovery of a 1.69 millisecond pulsar (MSP), PSR J1227−4853, at a dispersion measure of 43.4 pc cm{sup −3} associated with this source, using the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) at 607 MHz. This demonstrates that, post-transition, the system hosts an active radio MSP. This is the third system after PSR J1023+0038 and PSR J1824−2452I showing evidence of state switching between radio MSP and low-mass X-ray binary states. We report timing observations of PSR J1227−4853 with the GMRT and Parkes, which give a precise determination of the rotational and orbital parameters of the system. The companion mass measurement of 0.17–0.46 M{sub ⊙} suggests that this is a redback system. PSR J1227−4853 is eclipsed for about 40% of its orbit at 607 MHz with additional short-duration eclipses at all orbital phases. We also find that the pulsar is very energetic, with a spin-down luminosity of ∼10{sup 35} erg s{sup −1}. We report simultaneous imaging and timing observations with the GMRT, which suggests that eclipses are caused by absorption rather than dispersion smearing or scattering.

  12. X-ray accretion signatures in the close CTTS binary V4046 Sgr

    Günther, H; Schmitt, J H M M; Robrade, J; Ness, J U

    2006-01-01

    We present Chandra HETGS observations of the classical T Tauri star (CTTS) V4046 Sgr. The He-like triplets of O VII, Ne IX, and Si XIII are clearly detected. Similar to the CTTS TW Hya and BP Tau, the forbidden lines of O VII and Ne IX are weak compared to the intercombination line, indicating high plasma densities in the X-ray emitting regions. The Si XIII triplet, however, is within the low-density limit, in agreement with the predictions of the accretion funnel infall model with an additional stellar corona. V4046 Sgr is the first close binary exhibiting these features. Together with previous high-resolution X-ray data on TW Hya and BP Tau, and in contrast to T Tau, now three out of four CTTS show evidence of accretion funnels.

  13. Accretion disk winds in active galactic nuclei: X-ray observations, models, and feedback

    Tombesi, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    Powerful winds driven by active galactic nuclei (AGN) are often invoked to play a fundamental role in the evolution of both supermassive black holes (SMBHs) and their host galaxies, quenching star formation and explaining the tight SMBH-galaxy relations. A strong support of this "quasar mode" feedback came from the recent X-ray observation of a mildly relativistic accretion disk wind in a ultraluminous infrared galaxy (ULIRG) and its connection with a large-scale molecular outflow, providing a direct link between the SMBH and the gas out of which stars form. Spectroscopic observations, especially in the X-ray band, show that such accretion disk winds may be common in local AGN and quasars. However, their origin and characteristics are still not fully understood. Detailed theoretical models and simulations focused on radiation, magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) or a combination of these two processes to investigate the possible acceleration mechanisms and the dynamics of these winds. Some of these models have been dir...

  14. Pulse-to-pulse variations in accreting X-ray pulsars

    Kretschmar Peter

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In most accreting X-ray pulsars, the periodic signal is very clear and easily shows up as soon as data covering sufficient pulse periods (a few ten are available. The mean pulse profile is often quite typical for a given source and with minor variations repeated and recognisable across observations done years or even decades apart. At the time scale of individual pulses, significant pulse-to-pulse variations are commonly observed. While at low energies some of these variations might be explained by absorption, in the hard X-rays they will reflect changes in the accretion and subsequent emission. The amount of these variations appears to be quite different between sources and contains information about the surrounding material as well ass possibly interactions at the magnetosphere. We investigate such variations for a sample of well-known sources.

  15. X-ray Reflected Spectra from Accretion Disk Models. I. Constant Density Atmospheres

    Garcia, Javier; Kallman, Timothy R.

    2009-01-01

    We present new models for illuminated accretion disks, their structure and reprocessed emission. We consider the effects of incident X-rays on the surface of an accretion disk by solving simultaneously the equations of radiative transfer, energy balance and ionization equilibrium over a large range of column densities. We assume plane-parallel geometry and azimuthal symmetry, such that each calculation corresponds to a ring at a given distance from the central object. Our models include recent and complete atomic data for K-shell of the iron and oxygen isonuclear sequences. We examine the effect on the spectrum of fluorescent Ka line emission and absorption in the emitted spectrum. We also explore the dependence of the spectrum on the strength of the incident X-rays and other input parameters, and discuss the importance of Comptonization on the emitted spectrum.

  16. Constraints on Compact Star Parameters from Burst Oscillation Light Curves of the Accreting Millisecond Pulsar XTE J1814-338

    Bhattacharya, S; Miller, M C; Markwardt, C B; Bhattacharyya, Sudip; Strohmayer, Tod E.; Markwardt, Craig B.

    2004-01-01

    Detailed modeling of the millisecond brightness oscillations from low mass X-ray binaries during thermonuclear bursts can provide us with important information about compact star parameters. Until now the implementation of this idea has not been entirely successful, largely because of the negligible amount of harmonic content in burst oscillation lightcurves. However, the recent discovery of unique, non-sinusoidal burst oscillation lightcurves from the accreting millisecond pulsar XTE J1814-338 has changed this situation. We, therefore, for the first time, make use of this opportunity to constrain compact star structure parameters effectively. In our detailed study of the lightcurves of 22 bursts we fit the burst oscillation lightcurves with fully general relativistic models that include light-bending and frame-dragging for lightcurve calculation, and compute numerically the structure of compact stars using realistic equations of state. We find that the 90% confidence interval of the dimensionless radius to m...

  17. X-rays from T Tau: A test case for accreting T Tauri stars

    Güdel, M; Mel'nikov, S Y; Audard, M; Telleschi, A; Briggs, K R

    2006-01-01

    We test models for the generation of X-rays in accreting T Tauri stars (TTS), using X-ray data from the classical TTS T Tau. High-resolution spectroscopy from the Reflection Grating Spectrometers on XMM-Newton is used to infer electron densities, element abundances and the thermal structure of the X-ray source. We also discuss the ultraviolet light curve obtained by the Optical Monitor, and complementary ground-based photometry. A high-resolution image from Chandra constrains contributions from the two companions of T Tau N. The X-ray grating spectrum is rich in emission lines, but shows an unusual mixture of features from very hot (~30 MK) and very cool (1-3 MK) plasma, both emitted by similar amounts of emission measure. The cool plasma confirms the picture of a soft excess in the form of an enhanced OVII/OVIII Lya flux ratio, similar to that previously reported for other accreting TTS. Diagnostics from lines formed by this plasma indicate low electron densities (<~ 1E10 cm-3). The Ne/Fe abundance ratio ...

  18. Accretion disk winds in active galactic nuclei: X-ray observations, models, and feedback

    Tombesi, F.

    2016-05-01

    Powerful winds driven by active galactic nuclei (AGN) are often invoked to play a fundamental role in the evolution of both supermassive black holes (SMBHs) and their host galaxies, quenching star formation and explaining the tight SMBH-galaxy relations. A strong support of this ``quasar mode'' feedback came from the recent X-ray observation of a mildly relativistic accretion disk wind in a ultraluminous infrared galaxy (ULIRG) and its connection with a large-scale molecular outflow, providing a direct link between the SMBH and the gas out of which stars form. Spectroscopic observations, especially in the X-ray band, show that such accretion disk winds may be common in local AGN and quasars. However, their origin and characteristics are still not fully understood. Detailed theoretical models and simulations focused on radiation, magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) or a combination of these two processes to investigate the possible acceleration mechanisms and the dynamics of these winds. Some of these models have been directly compared to X-ray spectra, providing important insights into the wind physics. However, fundamental improvements on these studies will come only from the unprecedented energy resolution and sensitivity of the upcoming X-ray observatories, namely ASTRO-H (launch date early 2016) and Athena (2028).

  19. Sub-millisecond time-resolved SAXS using a continuous-flow mixer and X-ray microbeam

    The development of a high-duty-cycle microsecond time-resolution SAXS capability at the Biophysics Collaborative Access Team beamline (BioCAT) 18ID at the Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, USA, is reported. Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) is a well established technique to probe the nanoscale structure and interactions in soft matter. It allows one to study the structure of native particles in near physiological environments and to analyze structural changes in response to variations in external conditions. The combination of microfluidics and SAXS provides a powerful tool to investigate dynamic processes on a molecular level with sub-millisecond time resolution. Reaction kinetics in the sub-millisecond time range has been achieved using continuous-flow mixers manufactured using micromachining techniques. The time resolution of these devices has previously been limited, in part, by the X-ray beam sizes delivered by typical SAXS beamlines. These limitations can be overcome using optics to focus X-rays to the micrometer size range providing that beam divergence and photon flux suitable for performing SAXS experiments can be maintained. Such micro-SAXS in combination with microfluidic devices would be an attractive probe for time-resolved studies. Here, the development of a high-duty-cycle scanning microsecond-time-resolution SAXS capability, built around the Kirkpatrick–Baez mirror-based microbeam system at the Biophysics Collaborative Access Team (BioCAT) beamline 18ID at the Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, is reported. A detailed description of the microbeam small-angle-scattering instrument, the turbulent flow mixer, as well as the data acquisition and control and analysis software is provided. Results are presented where this apparatus was used to study the folding of cytochrome c. Future prospects for this technique are discussed

  20. Sub-millisecond time-resolved SAXS using a continuous-flow mixer and X-ray microbeam

    Graceffa, Rita, E-mail: rita.graceffa@gmail.com [Illinois Institute of Technology, 3101 South Dearborn, Chicago, IL 60616 (United States); Nobrega, R. Paul [University of Massachusetts Medical School, 364 Plantation Street, LRB 919, Worcester, MA 01605 (United States); Barrea, Raul A. [Illinois Institute of Technology, 3101 South Dearborn, Chicago, IL 60616 (United States); Kathuria, Sagar V. [University of Massachusetts Medical School, 364 Plantation Street, LRB 919, Worcester, MA 01605 (United States); Chakravarthy, Srinivas [Illinois Institute of Technology, 3101 South Dearborn, Chicago, IL 60616 (United States); Bilsel, Osman [University of Massachusetts Medical School, 364 Plantation Street, LRB 919, Worcester, MA 01605 (United States); Irving, Thomas C. [Illinois Institute of Technology, 3101 South Dearborn, Chicago, IL 60616 (United States)

    2013-11-01

    The development of a high-duty-cycle microsecond time-resolution SAXS capability at the Biophysics Collaborative Access Team beamline (BioCAT) 18ID at the Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, USA, is reported. Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) is a well established technique to probe the nanoscale structure and interactions in soft matter. It allows one to study the structure of native particles in near physiological environments and to analyze structural changes in response to variations in external conditions. The combination of microfluidics and SAXS provides a powerful tool to investigate dynamic processes on a molecular level with sub-millisecond time resolution. Reaction kinetics in the sub-millisecond time range has been achieved using continuous-flow mixers manufactured using micromachining techniques. The time resolution of these devices has previously been limited, in part, by the X-ray beam sizes delivered by typical SAXS beamlines. These limitations can be overcome using optics to focus X-rays to the micrometer size range providing that beam divergence and photon flux suitable for performing SAXS experiments can be maintained. Such micro-SAXS in combination with microfluidic devices would be an attractive probe for time-resolved studies. Here, the development of a high-duty-cycle scanning microsecond-time-resolution SAXS capability, built around the Kirkpatrick–Baez mirror-based microbeam system at the Biophysics Collaborative Access Team (BioCAT) beamline 18ID at the Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, is reported. A detailed description of the microbeam small-angle-scattering instrument, the turbulent flow mixer, as well as the data acquisition and control and analysis software is provided. Results are presented where this apparatus was used to study the folding of cytochrome c. Future prospects for this technique are discussed.

  1. Optical and X-ray emission from stable millisecond magnetars formed from the merger of binary neutron stars

    Metzger, Brian D.; Piro, Anthony L.

    2014-04-01

    The coalescence of binary neutron stars (NSs) may in some cases produce a stable massive NS remnant rather than a black hole. Due to the substantial angular momentum from the binary, such a remnant is born rapidly rotating and likely acquires a strong magnetic field (a `millisecond magnetar'). Magnetic spin-down deposits a large fraction of the rotational energy from the magnetar behind the small quantity of mass ejected during the merger. If the magnetar outflow is indeed trapped behind the ejecta (instead of placing most of its energy into a collimated jet), this has the potential for creating a bright transient that could be useful for determining whether an NS or black hole was formed in the merger. We investigate the expected signature of such an event, including for the first time the important impact of e± pairs injected by the millisecond magnetar into the surrounding nebula. These pairs cool via synchrotron and inverse Compton emission, producing a pair cascade and hard X-ray spectrum. A fraction of these X-rays are absorbed by the ejecta walls and re-emitted as thermal radiation, leading to an optical/UV transient peaking at a luminosity of ˜1043-1044 erg s-1 on a time-scale of several hours to days. This is dimmer than predicted by simpler analytic models because the large optical depth of e± pairs across the nebula suppresses the efficiency with which the magnetar spin-down luminosity is thermalized. Nevertheless, the optical/UV emission is more than two orders of magnitude brighter than a radioactively powered `kilonova'. In some cases, nebular X-rays are sufficiently luminous to re-ionize the ejecta, in which case non-thermal X-rays escape the ejecta unattenuated with a similar peak luminosity and time-scale as the optical radiation. We discuss the implications of our results for the temporally extended X-ray emission that is observed to follow some short gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), including the kilonova candidates GRB 080503 and GRB 130603B.

  2. Thermonuclear Burning on the Accreting X-Ray Pulsar GRO J1744-28

    Bildsten, L; Bildsten, Lars; Brown, Edward F.

    1996-01-01

    We investigate the thermal stability of nuclear burning on the accreting X-ray pulsar GRO J1744-28. The neutron star's dipolar magnetic field is 50 years. We also discuss the nature of the binary and point out that a velocity measurement of the stellar companion (most likely a Roche-lobe filling giant with m_K>17) will constrain the neutron star mass.

  3. Variable X-Ray and UV emission from AGB stars: Accretion activity associated with binarity

    Sahai, Raghvendra; Sanz-Forcada, Jorge; Sánchez Contreras, Carmen

    2016-07-01

    Almost all of our current understanding of the late evolutionary stages of (1 — 8) Mʘ stars is based on single-star models. However, binarity can drastically affect late stellar evolution, producing dramatic changes in the history and geometry of mass loss that occurs in stars as they evolve off the AGB to become planetary nebulae (PNe). A variety of binary models have been proposed, which can lead to the generation of accretion disks and magnetic fields, which in turn produce the highly collimated jets that have been proposed as the primary agents for the formation of bipolar and multipolar PNe. However, observational evidence of binarity in AGB stars is sorely lacking simply these stars are very luminous and variable, invalidating standard techniques for binary detection. Using an innovative technique of searching for UV emission from AGB stars with GALEX, we have identified a class of AGB stars with far- ultraviolet excesses (fuvAGB stars), that are likely candidates for active accretion associated with a binary companion. We have carried out a pilot survey for X-ray emission from fuvAGB stars. The X-ray fluxes are found to vary in a stochastic or quasi-periodic manner on roughly hour-long times-scales, and simultaneous UV observations show similar variations in the UV fluxes. We discuss several models for the X-ray emission and its variability and find that the most likely scenario for the origin of the X-ray (and FUV) emission involves accretion activity around a main-sequence companion star, with confinement by strong magnetic fields associated with the companion and/or an accretion disk around it.

  4. Free-fall accretion and emitting caustics in wind-fed X-ray sources

    Illarionov, Andrei F.; Beloborodov, Andrei M.

    2000-01-01

    In wind-fed X-ray binaries the accreting matter is Compton cooled and falls freely onto the compact object. The matter has a modest angular momentum $l$ and accretion is quasi-spherical at large distances from the compact object. Initially small non-radial velocities grow in the converging supersonic flow and become substantial in the vicinity of the accretor. The streamlines with $l>(GMR_*)^{1/2}$ (where $M$ and $R_*$ are the mass and radius of the compact object) intersect outside $R_*$ and...

  5. A Deep Chandra X-ray Spectrum of the Accreting Young Star TW Hydrae

    Brickhouse, N. S.; Cranmer, S. R.; Dupree, A. K.; Luna, G. J. M.; Wolk, S.

    2010-01-01

    We present X-ray spectral analysis of the accreting young star TW Hydrae from a 489 ks observation using the Chandra High Energy Transmission Grating. The spectrum provides a rich set of diagnostics for electron temperature T_e, electron density N_e, hydrogen column density N_H, relative elemental abundances and velocities and reveals its source in 3 distinct regions of the stellar atmosphere: the stellar corona, the accretion shock, and a very large extended volume of warm postshock plasma. ...

  6. Exploring the X-ray and gamma-ray properties of the redback millisecond pulsar PSR J1723-2837

    Hui, C Y; Takata, J; Kong, A K H; Cheng, K S; Wu, J H K; Lin, L C C; Wu, E M H

    2013-01-01

    We have investigated the X-ray and $\\gamma$-ray properties of the redback millisecond pulsar PSR J1723-2837 with XMM-Newton, Chandra and Fermi. We have discovered the X-ray orbital modulation of this binary system with the minimum that coincides with the phases of radio eclipse. The X-ray emission is clearly non-thermal in nature which can be well described by a simple power-law with a photon index of $\\sim1.2$. The phase-averaged luminosity is $\\sim9\\times10^{31}$ erg/s in 0.3-10 keV which consumes $\\sim0.2\\%$ of the spin-down power. We have detected the $\\gamma-$ray emission in $0.1-300$ GeV from this system at a significance of $\\sim6\\sigma$ for the first time. The $\\gamma-$rays in this energy range consumes $\\sim2\\%$ of the spin-down power and can be modeled by a power-law with a photon index of $\\sim2.6$. We discuss the high energy properties of the new redback in the context of a intrabinary shock model.

  7. Probing the Birth of Post-merger Millisecond Magnetars by X-ray and Gamma-ray Emission

    Wang, L J; Liu, L D; Wu, X F

    2016-01-01

    There is growing evidence that a stable magnetar could be formed from the coalescence of double neutron stars. In previous papers, we investigated the signature of formation of stable millisecond magnetars in radio and optical/ultraviolet bands by assuming that the central rapidly rotating magnetar deposits its rotational energy in the form of a relativistic leptonized wind. We found that the optical transient PTF11agg could be the first evidence for the formation of post-merger millisecond magnetars. To enhance the probability of finding more evidence for the post-merger magnetar formation, it is better to extend the observational channel to other photon energy bands. In this paper we propose to search the signature of post-merger magnetar formation in X-ray and especially gamma-ray bands. We calculate the SSC emission of the reverse shock powered by post-merger millisecond magnetars. We find that the SSC component peaks at $1\\,{\\rm GeV}$ in the spectral energy distribution and extends to $\\gtrsim 10\\,{\\rm T...

  8. Population synthesis of accreting white dwarfs: II. X-ray and UV emission

    Chen, Hai-Liang; Yungelson, L R; Gilfanov, M; Han, Zhanwen

    2015-01-01

    Accreting white dwarfs (WDs) with non-degenerate companions are expected to emit in soft X-rays and the UV, if accreted H-rich material burns stably. They are an important component of the unresolved emission of elliptical galaxies, and their combined ionizing luminosity may significantly influence the optical line emission from warm ISM. In an earlier paper we modeled populations of accreting WDs, first generating WD with main-sequence, Hertzsprung gap and red giant companions with the population synthesis code \\textsc{BSE}, and then following their evolution with a grid of evolutionary tracks computed with \\textsc{MESA}. Now we use these results to estimate the soft X-ray (0.3-0.7keV), H- and He II-ionizing luminosities of nuclear burning WDs and the number of super-soft X-ray sources for galaxies with different star formation histories. For the starburst case, these quantities peak at $\\sim 1$ Gyr and decline by $\\sim 1-3$ orders of magnitude by the age of 10 Gyr. For stellar ages of $\\sim$~10 Gyr, predict...

  9. Hard X-ray emitting black hole fed by accretion of low angular momentum matter

    Igumenshchev, I V; Abramowicz, M A; Igumenshchev, Igor V.; Illarionov, Andrei F.; Abramowicz, Marek Artur

    1999-01-01

    Observed spectra of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) and luminous X-ray binaries in our Galaxy suggest that both hot (~10^9 K) and cold (~10^6 K) plasma components exist close to the central accreting black hole. Hard X-ray component of the spectra is usually explained by Compton upscattering of optical/UV photons from optically thick cold plasma by hot electrons. Observations also indicate that some of these objects are quite efficient in converting gravitational energy of accretion matter into radiation. Existing theoretical models have difficulties in explaining the two plasma components and high intensity of hard X-rays. Most of the models assume that the hot component emerges from the cold one due to some kind of instability, but no one offers a satisfactory physical explanation for this. Here we propose a solution to these difficulties that reverses what was imagined previously: in our model the hot component forms first and afterward it cools down to form the cold component. In our model, accretion flow ha...

  10. Anisotropy of X-ray bursts from neutron stars with concave accretion disks

    He, Chong-Chong

    2015-01-01

    Emission from neutron stars and accretion disks in low-mass X-ray binaries is not isotropic. The non-spherical shape of the disk as well as blocking of the neutron star by the disk and vice versa cause the observed flux to depend on the inclination angle of the disk with respect to the line of sight. This is of special importance for the interpretation of Type I X-ray bursts, which are powered by the thermonuclear burning of matter accreted onto the neutron star. Because part of the X-ray burst is reflected off the disk, the observed burst flux depends on the anisotropies for both direct emission from the neutron star and reflection off the disk. This influences measurements of source distance, mass accretion rate, and constraints on the neutron star equation of state. Previous studies made predictions of the anisotropy factor for the total burst flux, assuming a geometrically flat disk. Recently, detailed observations of two exceptionally long bursts (so-called superbursts) allowed for the first time for the...

  11. Soft X-Ray Excess from Shocked Accreting Plasma in Active Galactic Nuclei

    Fukumura, Keigo; Hendry, Douglas; Clark, Peter; Tombesi, Francesco; Takahashi, Masaaki

    2016-08-01

    We propose a novel theoretical model to describe the physical identity of the soft X-ray excess that is ubiquitously detected in many Seyfert galaxies, by considering a steady-state, axisymmetric plasma accretion within the innermost stable circular orbit around a black hole (BH) accretion disk. We extend our earlier theoretical investigations on general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic accretion, which implied that the accreting plasma can develop into a standing shock under suitable physical conditions, causing the downstream flow to be sufficiently hot due to shock compression. We perform numerical calculations to examine, for sets of fiducial plasma parameters, the physical nature of fast magnetohydrodynamic shocks under strong gravity for different BH spins. We show that thermal seed photons from the standard accretion disk can be effectively Compton up-scattered by the energized sub-relativistic electrons in the hot downstream plasma to produce the soft excess feature in X-rays. As a case study, we construct a three-parameter Comptonization model of inclination angle θ obs, disk photon temperature kT in, and downstream electron energy kT e to calculate the predicted spectra in comparison with a 60 ks XMM-Newton/EPIC-pn spectrum of a typical radio-quiet Seyfert 1 active galactic nucleus, Ark 120. Our χ 2-analyses demonstrate that the model is plausible for successfully describing data for both non-spinning and spinning BHs with derived ranges of 61.3 keV ≲ kT e ≲ 144.3 keV, 21.6 eV ≲ kT in ≲ 34.0 eV, and 17.°5 ≲ θ obs ≲ 42.°6, indicating a compact Comptonizing region of three to four gravitational radii that resembles the putative X-ray coronae.

  12. Theory of quasi-spherical accretion in X-ray pulsars

    Shakura, N; Kochetkova, A; Hjalmarsdotter, L

    2011-01-01

    A theoretical model for quasi-spherical subsonic accretion onto slowly rotating magnetized neutron stars is constructed. In this model the accreting matter subsonically settles down onto the rotating magnetosphere forming an extended quasi-static shell. This shell mediates the angular momentum removal from the rotating neutron star magnetosphere during spin-down episodes by large-scale convective motions. The accretion rate through the shell is determined by the ability of the plasma to enter the magnetosphere. The settling regime of accretion can be realized for moderate accretion rates $\\dot M< \\dot M_*\\simeq 4\\times 10^{16}$ g/s. At higher accretion rates a free-fall gap above the neutron star magnetosphere appears due to rapid Compton cooling, and accretion becomes highly non-stationary. From observations of the spin-up/spin-down rates (the angular rotation frequency derivative $\\dot \\omega^*$, and $\\partial\\dot\\omega^*/\\partial\\dot M$ near the torque reversal) of X-ray pulsars with known orbital perio...

  13. The Luminosity and Energy Dependence of Pulse Phase Lags in the Accretion-powered Millisecond Pulsar SAX J1808.4-3658

    Hartman, Jacob M; Chakrabarty, Deepto

    2008-01-01

    Soft phase lags, in which X-ray pulses in lower energy bands arrive later than pulses in higher energy bands, have been observed in nearly all accretion-powered millisecond pulsars, but their origin remains an open question. In a study of the 2.5 ms accretion-powered pulsar SAX J1808.4-3658, we report that the magnitude of these lags is strongly dependent on the accretion rate. During the brightest stage of the outbursts from this source, the lags increase in magnitude as the accretion rate drops; when the outbursts enter their dimmer flaring-tail stage, the relationship reverses. We evaluate this complex dependence in the context of two theoretical models for the lags, one relying on the scattering of photons by the accretion disk and the other invoking a two-component model for the photon emission. In both cases, the turnover suggests that we are observing the source transitioning into the "propeller" accretion regime.

  14. Quick scanning monochromator for millisecond in situ and in operando X-ray absorption spectroscopy.

    Müller, O; Lützenkirchen-Hecht, D; Frahm, R

    2015-09-01

    The design and capabilities of a novel Quick scanning Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (QEXAFS) monochromator are presented. The oscillatory movement of the crystal stage is realized by means of a unique open-loop driving scheme operating a direct drive torque motor. The entire drive mechanics are installed inside of a goniometer located on the atmospheric side of the vacuum chamber. This design allows remote adjustment of the oscillation frequency and spectral range, giving complete control of QEXAFS measurements. It also features a real step-scanning mode, which operates without a control loop to prevent induced vibrations. Equipped with Si(111) and Si(311) crystals on a single stage, it facilitates an energy range from 4.0 keV to 43 keV. Extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectra up to k = 14.4 Å(-1) have been acquired within 17 ms and X-ray absorption near edge structure spectra covering more than 200 eV within 10 ms. The achieved data quality is excellent as shown by the presented measurements. PMID:26429455

  15. Quick scanning monochromator for millisecond in situ and in operando X-ray absorption spectroscopy

    Müller, O.; Lützenkirchen-Hecht, D.; Frahm, R.

    2015-09-01

    The design and capabilities of a novel Quick scanning Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (QEXAFS) monochromator are presented. The oscillatory movement of the crystal stage is realized by means of a unique open-loop driving scheme operating a direct drive torque motor. The entire drive mechanics are installed inside of a goniometer located on the atmospheric side of the vacuum chamber. This design allows remote adjustment of the oscillation frequency and spectral range, giving complete control of QEXAFS measurements. It also features a real step-scanning mode, which operates without a control loop to prevent induced vibrations. Equipped with Si(111) and Si(311) crystals on a single stage, it facilitates an energy range from 4.0 keV to 43 keV. Extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectra up to k = 14.4 Å-1 have been acquired within 17 ms and X-ray absorption near edge structure spectra covering more than 200 eV within 10 ms. The achieved data quality is excellent as shown by the presented measurements.

  16. Quasi-spherical accretion in low-luminosity X-ray pulsars: Theory vs. observations

    Postnov, K; Kochetkova, A; Hjalmarsdotter, L

    2012-01-01

    Quasi-spherical subsonic accretion can be realized in slowly rotating wind-fed X-ray pulsars (XPSRs) at X-ray luminosities <4 10^{36} erg/s. In this regime the accreting matter settles down subsonically onto the rotating magnetosphere, forming an extended quasi-static shell. The shell mediates the angular momentum removal from the rotating NS magnetosphere by shear turbulent viscosity in the boundary layer or via large-scale convective motions. In the last case the differential rotation law in the shell is close to iso-angular-momentum rotation. The accretion rate through the shell is determined by the ability of the plasma to enter the magnetosphere due to Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities while taking cooling into account. Measurements of spin-up/spin-down rates of quasi-spherically wind accreting XPSRs in equilibrium with known orbital periods (like e.g. GX 301-2 and Vela X-1) enable determination of the main dimensionless parameters of the model and the NS magnetic field. For equilibrium pulsars with indep...

  17. Inhomogeneous accretion discs and the soft states of black hole X-ray binaries

    Dexter, Jason; Quataert, Eliot

    2012-10-01

    Observations of black hole binaries (BHBs) have established a rich phenomenology of X-ray states. The soft states range from the low variability, accretion disc dominated thermal (TD) state to the higher variability, non-thermal steep power law (SPL) state. The disc component in all states is typically modelled with standard thin disc accretion theory. However, this theory is inconsistent with optical/UV spectral, variability and gravitational microlensing observations of active galactic nuclei (AGNs), the supermassive analogues of BHBs. An inhomogeneous disc (ID) model with large (≃0.4 dex) temperature fluctuations in each radial annulus can qualitatively explain all of these AGN observations. The inhomogeneity may be a consequence of instabilities in radiation-dominated discs, and therefore may be present in BHBs as well. We show that ID models can explain many features of the TD and SPL states of BHBs. The observed relationships between spectral hardness, disc fraction and rms variability amplitude in BHBs are reproduced with temperature fluctuations similar to those inferred in AGNs, suggesting a unified picture of luminous accretion discs across orders of magnitude in black hole mass. This picture can be tested with spectral fitting of ID models, X-ray polarization observations and radiation magnetohydrodynamic simulations. If BHB accretion discs are indeed inhomogeneous, only the most disc-dominated states (disc fraction ≳0.95) can be used to robustly infer black hole spin using current continuum fitting methods.

  18. An X-ray Outburst from the Rapidly Accreting Young Star That Illuminates McNeil's Nebula

    Kästner, J H; Grosso, N; Weintraub, D A; Simon, T; Franck, A; Hamaguchi, K; Ozawa, H; Henden, A

    2004-01-01

    Young, low-mass stars are luminous X-ray sources whose powerful X-ray flares may exert a profound influence over the process of planet formation. The origin of such emission is uncertain. Although many or perhaps most recently formed, low-mass stars emit X-rays as a consequence of solar-like coronal activity, it has also been suggested that X-ray emission may be a direct result of mass accretion onto the forming star. Here we report X-ray imaging spectroscopy observations which reveal a factor ~50 increase in the X-ray flux from a young star that is presently undergoing a spectacular optical/IR outburst. The outburst is thought to be due to the sudden onset of a phase of rapid accretion. The coincidence of a surge in X-ray brightness with the optical/IR eruption demonstrates that strongly enhanced high-energy emission from young stars can occur as a consequence of high accretion rates. We suggest that such accretion- enhanced X-ray emission from erupting young stars may be short-lived, because intense star-di...

  19. A Deep Chandra X-Ray Spectrum of the Accreting Young Star TW Hydrae

    Brickhouse, N. S.; Cranmer, S. R.; Dupree, A. K.; Luna, G. J. M.; Wolk, S.

    2010-02-01

    We present X-ray spectral analysis of the accreting young star TW Hydrae from a 489 ks observation using the Chandra High Energy Transmission Grating. The spectrum provides a rich set of diagnostics for electron temperature Te , electron density Ne , hydrogen column density NH , relative elemental abundances, and velocities, and reveals its source in three distinct regions of the stellar atmosphere: the stellar corona, the accretion shock, and a very large extended volume of warm postshock plasma. The presence of Mg XII, Si XIII, and Si XIV emission lines in the spectrum requires coronal structures at ~10 MK. Lower temperature lines (e.g., from O VIII, Ne IX, and Mg XI) formed at 2.5 MK appear more consistent with emission from an accretion shock. He-like Ne IX line ratio diagnostics indicate that Te = 2.50 ± 0.25 MK and Ne = 3.0 ± 0.2 × 1012 cm-3 in the shock. These values agree well with standard magnetic accretion models. However, the Chandra observations significantly diverge from current model predictions for the postshock plasma. This gas is expected to cool radiatively, producing O VII as it flows into an increasingly dense stellar atmosphere. Surprisingly, O VII indicates Ne = 5.7+4.4 -1.2 × 1011 cm-3, 5 times lower than Ne in the accretion shock itself and ~7 times lower than the model prediction. We estimate that the postshock region producing O VII has roughly 300 times larger volume and 30 times more emitting mass than the shock itself. Apparently, the shocked plasma heats the surrounding stellar atmosphere to soft X-ray emitting temperatures and supplies this material to nearby large magnetic structures—which may be closed magnetic loops or open magnetic field leading to mass outflow. Our model explains the soft X-ray excess found in many accreting systems as well as the failure to observe high Ne signatures in some stars. Such accretion-fed coronae may be ubiquitous in the atmospheres of accreting young stars.

  20. Nucleic acid fragmentation on the millisecond timescale using a conventional X-ray rotating anode source: application to protein–DNA footprinting

    Henn, Arnon; Halfon, Jacob; Kela, Itai; Orion, Itzhak; Sagi, Irit

    2001-01-01

    Nucleic acid fragmentation (footprinting) by ·OH radicals is used often as a tool to probe nucleic acid structure and nucleic acid–protein interactions. This method has proven valuable because it provides structural information with single base pair resolution. Recent developments in the field introduced the ‘synchrotron X-ray footprinting’ method, which uses a high-flux X-ray source to produce single base pair fragmentation of nucleic acid in tens of milliseconds. We developed a complementar...

  1. Spectral formation in accreting X-ray pulsars: bimodal variation of the cyclotron energy with luminosity

    Becker, P. A.; Klochkov, D.; Schönherr, G.; Nishimura, O.; Ferrigno, C.; Caballero, I.; Kretschmar, P.; Wolff, M. T.; Wilms, J.; Staubert, R.

    2012-08-01

    Context. Accretion-powered X-ray pulsars exhibit significant variability of the cyclotron resonance scattering feature (CRSF) centroid energy on pulse-to-pulse timescales, and also on much longer timescales. Two types of spectral variability are observed. For sources in group 1, the CRSF energy is negatively correlated with the variable source luminosity, and for sources in group 2, the opposite behavior is observed. The physical basis for this bimodal behavior is currently not well understood. Aims: We explore the hypothesis that the accretion dynamics in the group 1 sources is dominated by radiation pressure near the stellar surface, and that Coulomb interactions decelerate the gas to rest in the group 2 sources. Methods: We derive a new expression for the critical luminosity, Lcrit, such that radiation pressure decelerates the matter to rest in sources with X-ray luminosity LX > Lcrit. The formula for Lcrit is based on a simple physical model for the structure of the accretion column in luminous X-ray pulsars that takes into account radiative deceleration, the energy dependence of the cyclotron cross section, the thermodynamics of the accreting gas, the dipole structure of the pulsar magnetosphere, and the diffusive escape of radiation through the column walls. We show that for typical neutron star parameters, Lcrit = 1.5 × 1037 B1216/15 erg s-1, where B12 is the surface magnetic field strength in units of 1012 G. Results: The formula for the critical luminosity is evaluated for five sources, using the maximum value of the CRSF centroid energy to estimate the surface magnetic field strength B12. The results confirm that the group 1 sources are supercritical (LX > Lcrit) and the group 2 sources are subcritical (LX function of LX for both the group 1 (supercritical) and the group 2 (subcritical) sources as a result of the variation of the emission height in the column.

  2. An Ultraluminous X-ray Source Powered by An Accreting Neutron Star

    Bachetti, M; Walton, D J; Grefenstette, B W; Chakrabarty, D; Fürst, F; Barret, D; Beloborodov, A; Boggs, S E; Christensen, F E; Craig, W W; Fabian, A C; Hailey, C J; Hornschemeier, A; Kaspi, V; Kulkarni, S R; Maccarone, T; Miller, J M; Rana, V; Stern, D; Tendulkar, S P; Tomsick, J; Webb, N A; Zhang, W W

    2014-01-01

    Ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULX) are off-nuclear point sources in nearby galaxies whose X-ray luminosity exceeds the theoretical maximum for spherical infall (the Eddington limit) onto stellar-mass black holes. Their luminosity ranges from $10^{40}$ erg s$^{-1} $10^{40}$ erg s$^{-1}$), which require black hole masses MBH >50 solar masses and/or significant departures from the standard thin disk accretion that powers bright Galactic X-ray binaries. Here we report broadband X-ray observations of the nuclear region of the galaxy M82, which contains two bright ULXs. The observations reveal pulsations of average period 1.37 s with a 2.5-day sinusoidal modulation. The pulsations result from the rotation of a magnetized neutron star, and the modulation arises from its binary orbit. The pulsed flux alone corresponds to $L_X$(3 - 30 keV) = $4.9 \\times 10^{39}$ erg s$^{-1}$. The pulsating source is spatially coincident with a variable ULX which can reach $L_X$ (0.3 - 10 keV) = $1.8 \\times 10^{40}$ erg s$^{-1}$. This ...

  3. Signs of Magnetic Accretion in the X-ray Pulsar Binary GX 301-2

    Ikhsanov, N R

    2012-01-01

    Observations of the cyclotron resonance scattering feature in the X-ray spectrum of GX 301-2 suggest that the surface field of the neutron star is B_CRSF ~ 4 x 10^{12}G. The same value has been derived in modelling the rapid spin-up episodes in terms of the Keplerian disk accretion scenario. However, the spin-down rate observed during the spin-down trends significantly exceeds the value expected in currently used spin-evolution scenarios. This indicates that either the surface field of the star exceeds 50 x B_CRSF, or a currently used accretion scenario is incomplete. We show that the above discrepancy can be avoided if the accreting material is magnetized. The magnetic pressure in the accretion flow increases more rapidly than its ram pressure and, under certain conditions, significantly affects the accretion picture. The spin-down torque applied to the neutron star in this case is larger than that evaluated within a non-magnetized accretion scenario. We find that the observed spin evolution of the pulsar ca...

  4. The Radio/X-Ray Correlation and Black Hole Fundamental Plane for Young Radio Sources: Implications for X-Ray Origin and Accretion Mode

    Fan, Xu-Liang; Bai, Jin-Ming

    2016-02-01

    We find that the young radio sources (gigahertz-peaked spectrum and compact steep spectrum radio sources) follow in the radio/X-ray correlation with b=0.61+/- 0.07 ({L}R\\propto {L}Xb), and the fundamental plane of black hole activity with the form {log}{L}R={0.58}-0.03+0.03{log}{L}X+{0.42}-0.07+0.09{log}{M}{BH}+{13.83}-0.97+0.91 and the intrinsic scatter σ =0.29. The flatter coefficient between radio and X-ray bands denies the jet origin of the X-ray emission in these types of sources. Meanwhile, the higher ratio of X-ray luminosity to Eddington luminosity ({L}X/{L}{Edd}) suggests that the X-ray emission is produced by the hot corona coupling with the standard thin disk. The deviation with the radiative efficient fundamental plane proposed by Dong et al. is mainly due to the extended radio emission in young radio sources. This fundamental plane manifests that even the kiloparsec-scaled radio emission has a tight connection with the accretion process, and could be suitable for the radio-loud active galactic nuclei whose radio and X-ray emission are dominated by the extended jets and the radiative efficient accretion flow, respectively. Otherwise, the high-excitation galaxies and low-excitation galaxies do not have obvious distinctions in the radio/X-ray correlation and the fundamental plane.

  5. High-Resolution X-Ray Spectroscopy of the Accretion Disk Corona Source 4U 1822-37

    Cottam, J; Kahn, S M; Paerels, F B S; Liedahl, D A; Cottam, Jean; Sako, Masao; Kahn, Steven M.; Paerels, Frits; Liedahl, Duane A.

    2001-01-01

    We present a preliminary analysis of the X-ray spectrum of the accretion disk corona source, 4U 1822-37, obtained with the High Energy Transmission Grating Spectrometer onboard the Chandra X-ray Observatory. We detect discrete emission lines from photoionized iron, silicon, magnesium, neon, and oxygen, as well as a bright iron fluorescence line. Phase-resolved spectroscopy suggests that the recombination emission comes from an X-ray illuminated bulge located at the predicted point of impact between the disk and the accretion stream. The fluorescence emission originates in an extended region on the disk that is illuminated by light scattered from the corona.

  6. X-Ray Spectra from MHD Simulations of Accreting Black Holes

    Schnittman, Jeremy D.; Krolik, Julian H.; Noble, Scott C.

    2012-01-01

    We present the results of a new global radiation transport code coupled to a general relativistic magneto-hydrodynamic simulation of an accreting, nonrotating black hole. For the first time, we are able to explain from first principles in a self-consistent way the X-ray spectra observed from stellar-mass black holes, including a thermal peak, Compton reflection hump, power-law tail, and broad iron line. Varying only the mass accretion rate, we are able to reproduce the low/hard, steep power-law, and thermal-dominant states seen in most galactic black hole sources. The temperature in the corona is T(sub e) 10 keV in a boundary layer near the disk and rises smoothly to T(sub e) greater than or approximately 100 keV in low-density regions far above the disk. Even as the disk's reflection edge varies from the horizon out to approximately equal to 6M as the accretion rate decreases, we find that the shape of the Fe Ka line is remarkably constant. This is because photons emitted from the plunging region are strongly beamed into the horizon and never reach the observer. We have also carried out a basic timing analysis of the spectra and find that the fractional variability increases with photon energy and viewer inclination angle, consistent with the coronal hot spot model for X-ray fluctuations.

  7. REVISITING PUTATIVE COOL ACCRETION DISKS IN ULTRALUMINOUS X-RAY SOURCES

    Soft, potentially thermal spectral components observed in some ultra-luminous X-ray sources (ULXs) can be fit with models for emission from cool, optically thick accretion disks. If that description is correct, the low temperatures that are observed imply accretion onto 'intermediate-mass' black holes. Subsequent work has found that these components may follow an inverse relationship between luminosity and temperature, implying a non-blackbody origin for this emission. We have re-analyzed numerous XMM-Newton spectra of extreme ULXs. Crucially, observations wherein the source fell on a chip gap were excluded owing to their uncertain flux calibration, and the neutral column density along the line of sight to a given source was jointly determined by multiple spectra. The luminosity of the soft component is found to be positively correlated with temperature, and to be broadly consistent with L∝T 4 in the measured band pass, as per blackbody emission from a standard thin disk. These results are nominally consistent with accretion onto black holes with masses above the range currently known in Galactic X-ray binaries, though there are important caveats. Emission from inhomogeneous or super-Eddington disks may also be consistent with the data

  8. Accretion disk signatures in Type I X-ray Bursts: prospects for future missions

    Keek, L; Ballantyne, D R

    2016-01-01

    Type I X-ray bursts and superbursts from accreting neutron stars illuminate the accretion disk and produce a reflection signal that evolves as the burst fades. Examining the evolution of reflection features in the spectra will give insight into the burst-disk interaction, a potentially powerful probe of accretion disk physics. At present, reflection has been observed during only two bursts of exceptional duration. We investigate the detectability of reflection signatures with four of the latest well-studied X-ray observatory concepts: Hitomi, NICER, Athena, and LOFT. Burst spectra are modeled for different values for the flux, temperature, and the disk ionization parameter, which are representative for most known bursts and sources. The effective area and through-put of a Hitomi-like telescope are insufficient for characterizing burst reflection features. NICER and Athena will detect reflection signatures in Type I bursts with peak fluxes $\\ge 10^{-7.5}$ erg cm$^{-2}$ s$^{-1}$, and also effectively constrain ...

  9. Formation of Binary Millisecond Pulsars by Accretion-Induced Collapse of White Dwarfs under Wind-Driven Evolution

    Ablimit, Iminhaji

    2014-01-01

    Accretion-induced collapse of massive white dwarfs (WDs) has been proposed to be an important channel to form binary millisecond pulsars (MSPs). Recent investigations on thermal timescale mass transfer in WD binaries demonstrate that the resultant MSPs are likely to have relatively wide orbit periods ($\\gtrsim 10$ days). Here we calculate the evolution of WD binaries taking into account the excited wind from the companion star induced by X-ray irradiation of the accreting WD, which may drive rapid mass transfer even when the companion star is less massive than the WD. This scenario can naturally explain the formation of the strong-field neutron star in the low-mass X-ray binary 4U 1822$-$37. After AIC the mass transfer resumes when the companion star refills its Roche lobe, and the neutron star is recycled due to mass accretion. A large fraction of the binaries will evolve to become binary MSPs with a He WD companion, with the orbital periods distributed between $\\gtrsim 0.1$ day and $\\lesssim 30$ days, while...

  10. The Effect of X-ray Irradiation on the Time Dependent Behaviour of Accretion Disks with Stochastic Perturbations

    Maqbool, Bari; Iqbal, Naseer; Ahmad, Naveel

    2015-01-01

    The UV emission from X-ray binaries, is more likely to be produced by reprocessing of X-rays by the outer regions of an accretion disk. The structure of the outer disk may be altered due to the presence of X-ray irradiation and we discuss the physical regimes where this may occur and point out certain X-ray binaries where this effect may be important. The long term X-ray variability of these sources is believed to be due to stochastic fluctuations in the outer disk, which propagate inwards giving rise to accretion rate variation in the X-ray producing inner regions. The X-ray variability will induce structural variations in the outer disk which in turn may affect the inner accretion rate. To understand the qualitative behaviour of the disk in such a scenario, we adopt simplistic assumptions that the disk is fully ionised and is not warped. We develop and use a time dependent global hydrodynamical code to study the effect of a sinusoidal accretion rate perturbation introduced at a specific radius. The response...

  11. Hard X-ray Detection and Timing of Accretion-Powered Pulsars with BATSE

    Chakrabarty, Deepto; Prince, Thomas A.

    1996-01-01

    The BATSE all-sky monitor on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory is a superb tool for the study of accretion-powered pulsars. In the first part of this thesis, I describe its capabilities for hard X-ray observations above 20 keV, present techniques for timing analysis of the BATSE data, and discuss general statistical issues for the detection of pulsed periodic signals in both the time and frequency domains. BATSE’s 1-day pulsed sensitivity in the 20–60 keV ...

  12. X-ray accretion signatures in the close CTTS binary V4046 Sgr

    Günther, H. M.; Liefke, C.; Schmitt, J. H. M. M.; Robrade, J.; Ness, J. -U.

    2006-01-01

    We present Chandra HETGS observations of the classical T Tauri star (CTTS) V4046 Sgr. The He-like triplets of O VII, Ne IX, and Si XIII are clearly detected. Similar to the CTTS TW Hya and BP Tau, the forbidden lines of O VII and Ne IX are weak compared to the intercombination line, indicating high plasma densities in the X-ray emitting regions. The Si XIII triplet, however, is within the low-density limit, in agreement with the predictions of the accretion funnel infall model with an additio...

  13. Testing theories for longterm accretion variability in black hole X-ray binaries

    Cambier, Hal J.

    Many X-ray sources are now understood to be "black hole X-ray binaries'' in which a stellar remnant black hole either tidally "squeezes'' gas off a companion star, or pulls in some fraction the companion's wind. This gas can drain inward through a dense, thin disk characterized by thermalized radiation, or a sparse and radiatively-inefficient flow, or some combination of the two. Observations at other energies often provide crucial information, but our primary tools to study accretion, especially closest to the black hole, are X-ray spectra and their time evolution. This evolution includes numerous behaviors spanning orders of magnitude in timescale and luminosity, and also hints at spatial structure since draining is generally faster at smaller radii. This includes variability at time-scales of weeks to months which remains difficult to explain despite an abundance of possible variability mechanisms since direct simulations covering the full spatial and temporal range remain impractical. After reviewing general aspects of accretion, I present both more and less familiar forms of longterm variability. Based on these, I argue the problem involves finding a physical process (or combination) that can generate repeatable yet adjustable cycles in luminosity and evolution of low and high energy spectral components, while letting the ionization instability dominate conventional outbursts. Specific models examined include: disks embedded in, and interacting with, hot, sparse flows, and another instability that quenches viscous-draining of the disk at more fundamental level. Testing these theories, alone and in combination, motivates building a very general and simplified numerical model presented here. I find that two-phase flow models still predict excessive recondensation in LMC X-3 among other problems, while the viscosity-quenching instability may account for rapid drops and slow recoveries in disk accretion rate but also likely requires diffusivity orders of magnitude

  14. A radiation-hydrodynamic model of accretion columns for ultra-luminous X-ray pulsars

    Kawashima, Tomohisa; Ohsuga, Ken; Ogawa, Takumi

    2016-01-01

    Prompted by the recent discovery of pulsed emission from an ultra-luminous X-ray source, M82 X-2 ("ULX-pulsar"), we perform a two-dimensional radiation-hydrodynamic simulation of a super-critical accretion flow onto a neutron star through a narrow accretion column. We set an accretion column with a cone shape filled with tenuous gas with density of $10^{-4} {\\rm g}~ {\\rm cm}^{-3}$ above a neutron star and solve the two dimensional gas motion and radiative transfer within the column. The side boundaries are set such that radiation can freely escape, while gas cannot. Since the initial gas layer is not in a hydrostatic balance, the column gas falls onto the neutron-star surface, thereby a shock being generated. As a result, the accretion column is composed of two regions: an upper, nearly free-fall region and a lower settling region, as was noted by Basko \\& Sunyaev (1976). The average accretion rate is very high; ${\\dot M}\\sim 10^{2-3} L_{\\rm E}/c^2$ (with $L_{\\rm E}$ being the Eddington luminosity), and s...

  15. Inhomogeneous accretion discs and the soft states of black hole X-ray binaries

    Dexter, Jason

    2012-01-01

    Observations of black hole binaries (BHBs) have established a rich phenomenology of X-ray states. The soft states range from the low variability, accretion disc dominated thermal state (TD) to the higher variability, non-thermal steep power law state (SPL). The disc component in all states is typically modeled with standard thin disc accretion theory. However, this theory is inconsistent with optical/UV spectral, variability, and gravitational microlensing observations of active galactic nuclei (AGNs), the supermassive analogs of BHBs. An inhomogeneous disc (ID) model with large (~0.4 dex) temperature fluctuations in each radial annulus can qualitatively explain all of these AGN observations. The inhomogeneity may be a consequence of instabilities in radiation dominated discs, and therefore may be present in BHBs as well. We show that ID models can explain many features of the TD and SPL states of BHBs. The observed relationships between spectral hardness, disc fraction, and rms variability amplitude in BHBs ...

  16. The Hard X-ray Spectral Slope as an Accretion-Rate Indicator in Radio-Quiet Active Galactic Nuclei

    Shemmer, Ohad; Brandt, W. N.; Netzer, Hagai; Maiolino, Roberto; Kaspi, Shai

    2006-01-01

    We present new XMM-Newton observations of two luminous and high accretion-rate radio-quiet active galactic nuclei (AGNs) at z~2. Together with archival X-ray and rest-frame optical spectra of three sources with similar properties as well as 25 moderate-luminosity radio-quiet AGNs at z~2 keV) X-ray power-law photon index on the broad H_beta emission-line width and on the accretion rate across ~3 orders of magnitude in AGN luminosity. Provided the accretion rates of the five luminous sources ca...

  17. Modeling X-ray Absorbers in AGNs with MHD-Driven Accretion-Disk Winds

    Fukumura, Keigo; Kazanas, D.; Shrader, C. R.; Tombesi, F.; Contopoulos, J.; Behar, E.

    2013-04-01

    We have proposed a systematic view of the observed X-ray absorbers, namely warm absorbers (WAs) in soft X-ray and highly-ionized ultra-fast outflows (UFOs), in the context of magnetically-driven accretion-disk wind models. While potentially complicated by variability and thermal instability in these energetic outflows, in this simplistic model we have calculated 2D kinematic field as well as density and ionization structure of the wind with density profile of 1/r corresponding to a constant column distribution per decade of ionization parameter. In particular we show semi-analytically that the inner layer of the disk-wind manifests itself as the strongly-ionized fast outflows while the outer layer is identified as the moderately-ionized absorbers. The computed characteristics of these two apparently distinct absorbers are consistent with X-ray data (i.e. a factor of ~100 difference in column and ionization parameters as well as low wind velocity vs. near-relativistic flow). With the predicted contour curves for these wind parameters one can constrain allowed regions for the presence of WAs and UFOs.The model further implies that the UFO's gas pressure is comparable to that of the observed radio jet in 3C111 suggesting that the magnetized disk-wind with density profile of 1/r is a viable agent to help sustain such a self-collimated jet at small radii.

  18. An ultraluminous X-ray source powered by an accreting neutron star

    Bachetti, M.; Harrison, F. A.; Walton, D. J.;

    2014-01-01

    .5-10 kiloelectronvolt energy band range from 10(39) to 10(41) ergs per second(3). Because higher masses imply less extreme ratios of the luminosity to the isotropic Eddington limit, theoretical models have focused on black hole rather than neutron star systems(1,2). The most challenging sources to explain are those at...... the luminous end of the range (more than 10(40) ergs per second), which require black hole masses of 50-100 times the solar value or significant departures from the standard thin disk accretion that powers bright Galactic X-ray binaries, or both. Here we report broadband X-ray observations of the......-ray luminosity in the 3-30 kiloelectronvolt range of 4.9 x 10(39) ergs per second. The pulsating source is spatially coincident with a variable source(4) that can reach an X-ray luminosity in the 0.3-10 kiloelectronvolt range of 1.8 x 10(40) ergs per second(1). This association implies a luminosity of about 100...

  19. X-ray variability of SS 433: effects of the supercritical accretion disc

    Atapin, Kirill; Fabrika, Sergei; Medvedev, Aleksei; Vinokurov, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    We study a stochastic variability of SS 433 in the 10-4-5 × 10-2 Hz frequency range based on RXTE data, and on simultaneous observations with RXTE and optical telescopes. We find that the cross-correlation functions and power spectra depend drastically on the precession phase of the supercritical accretion disc. When the wind funnel of the disc is maximally open to the observer, a flat part emerges in the power spectrum; a break is observed at the frequency 1.7 × 10-3 Hz, with a power-law index β ≈ 1.67 at higher frequencies. The soft emission forming mostly in the jets lags behind the hard and optical emission. When the observer does not see the funnel and jets (the `edge-on' disc), the power spectrum is described by a single power-law with β ≈ 1.34 and no correlations between X-ray ranges are detected. We investigated two mechanisms to explain the observed variability at the open disc phase: (1) reflection of radiation at the funnel wall (X-rays and optical) and (2) the gas cooling in the jets (X-rays only). The X-ray variability is determined by the contribution of both mechanisms; however, the contribution of the jets is much higher. We found that the funnel size is (2-2.5) × 1012 cm, and the opening angle is ϑf ˜ 50°. X-ray jets may consist of three fractions with different densities: 8 × 1013, 3 × 1013 and 5 × 1011 cm-3, with most of the jet's mass falling within the latter fraction. We suppose that revealed flat part in the power spectrum may be related to an abrupt change in the disc structure and viscous time-scale at the spherization radius, because the accretion disc becomes thick at this radius, h/r ˜ 1. The extent of the flat spectrum depends on the variation of viscosity at the spherization radius.

  20. The rotation of accretion-disks and the power spectra of X-rays 'flickering'

    The X-ray producing, inner region of the accretion disk in Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) is likely to be non-stationary and non-axisymmetric. This non-stationarity and non-axisymmetry in disk surface brightness may be modeled by considering the pre-sense of many 'hot spots' on a steady, axisymmetric disk. As long as a 'spot' can survive for a few orbital periods, its orbital frequency can be introduced into the light curve either by relativistic orbital motion or by eclipsing of the spot by the disk. These rotational effects vary with the local properties of the spot population. Depending on the radial variation of spot brightness, lifetime and number density, the observed variability power spectrum may differ from that due to the intrinsic variability of spots alone, within the orbital frequency range in which these spots occur. In this paper, we explore the relation between properties assumed for the spot population and the resulting predictions for the observed variability. The implications of our results for the 'flickering' of X-ray sources powered by accretion disks (both AGN and galactic sources) are also discussed. (author). 24 refs, 6 figs

  1. A Deep Chandra X-ray Spectrum of the Accreting Young Star TW Hydrae

    Brickhouse, N S; Dupree, A K; Luna, G J M; Wolk, S

    2010-01-01

    We present X-ray spectral analysis of the accreting young star TW Hydrae from a 489 ks observation using the Chandra High Energy Transmission Grating. The spectrum provides a rich set of diagnostics for electron temperature T_e, electron density N_e, hydrogen column density N_H, relative elemental abundances and velocities and reveals its source in 3 distinct regions of the stellar atmosphere: the stellar corona, the accretion shock, and a very large extended volume of warm postshock plasma. The presence of Mg XII, Si XIII, and Si XIV emission lines in the spectrum requires coronal structures at ~10 MK. Lower temperature lines (e.g., from O VIII, Ne IX, and Mg XI) formed at 2.5 MK appear more consistent with emission from an accretion shock. He-like Ne IX line ratio diagnostics indicate that T_e = 2.50 +/- 0.25 MK and N_e = 3.0 +/- 0.2 x 10^(12) cm^(-3) in the shock. These values agree well with standard magnetic accretion models. However, the Chandra observations significantly diverge from current model pred...

  2. Soft X-Ray Properties of the Binary Millisecond Pulsar J0437-4715

    Halpern, Jules P.; Martin, Christopher; Marshall, Herman, L.; Oliversen, Ronald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    We obtained a light curve for the 5.75 ms pulsar J0437-4715 in the 65-120 A range with 0.5 ms time resolution using the Deep Survey instrument on the EUVE satellite. The single-peaked profile has a pulsed fraction of 0.27 +/- 0.05, similar to the ROSAT data in the overlapping energy band. A combined analysis of the EUVE and ROSAT data is consistent with a power-law spectrum of energy index alpha = 1.2 - 1.5, intervening column density N(sub H) = (5 - 8) x 10(exp 19)/sq cm, and luminosity 5.0 x 10(exp 30) ergs/s in the 0.1 - 2.4 keV band. We also use a bright EUVE/ROSAT source only 4.2 min. from the pulsar, the Seyfert galaxy RX J0437.4-4711 (= EUVE J0437-471 = IES 0435-472), to obtain an independent upper limit on the intervening absorption to the pulsar, N(sub H) less than 1.2 x 10(exp 20)/sq cm. Although a blackbody spectrum fails to fit the ROSAT data, two-component spectral fits to the combined EUVE/ROSAT data are used to limit the temperatures and surface areas of thermal emission that might make partial contributions to the flux. A hot polar cap of radius 50 - 600 m and temperature (1.0 - 3.3) x 10(exp 6) K could be present. Alternatively, a larger region with T = (4 - 12) x 10(exp 5) K and area less than 200 sq km, might contribute most of the EUVE and soft X-ray flux, but only if a hotter component were present as well. Any of these temperatures would require some mechanism(s) of surface reheating to be operating in this old pulsar, the most plausible being the impact of accelerated electrons and positrons onto the polar caps. The kinematically corrected spin-down power of PSR J0437-4715 is only 4 x 10(exp 33) ergs/s, which is an order of magnitude less than that of the lowest-luminosity gamma-ray pulsars Geminga and PSR B1055-52. The absence of high-energy gamma-rays from PSR J0437-4715 might signify an inefficient or dead outer gap accelerator, which in turn accounts for the lack of a more luminous reheated surface such as those intermediate-age gamma

  3. NuSTAR discovery of a cyclotron line in the accreting X-ray pulsar IGR J16393-4643

    Bodaghee, Arash; Tomsick, John A.; Fornasini, Francesca A.;

    2016-01-01

    The high-mass X-ray binary and accreting X-ray pulsar IGR J16393-4643 was observed by NuSTAR in the 3-79 keV energy band for a net exposure time of 50 ks. We present the results of this observation which enabled the discovery of a cyclotron resonant scattering feature with a centroid energy of 29...

  4. Revealing the accretion disc corona in Mrk 335 with multi-epoch X-ray spectroscopy

    Keek, L.; Ballantyne, D. R.

    2016-03-01

    Active galactic nuclei host an accretion disc with an X-ray producing corona around a supermassive black hole. In bright sources, such as the Seyfert 1 galaxy Mrk 335, reflection of the coronal emission off the accretion disc has been observed. Reflection produces spectral features such as an Fe Kα emission line, which allow for properties of the inner accretion disc and the corona to be constrained. We perform a multi-epoch spectral analysis of all XMM-Newton, Suzaku, and NuSTAR observations of Mrk 335, and we optimize our fitting procedure to unveil correlations between the Eddington ratio and the spectral parameters. We find that the disc's ionization parameter correlates strongly with the Eddington ratio: the inner disc is more strongly ionized at higher flux. The slope of the correlation is less steep than previously predicted. Furthermore, the cut-off of the power-law spectrum increases in energy with the Eddington ratio, whereas the reflection fraction exhibits a decrease. We interpret this behaviour as geometrical changes of the corona as a function of the accretion rate. Below ˜10 per cent of the Eddington limit, the compact and optically thick corona is located close to the inner disc, whereas at higher accretion rates the corona is likely optically thin and extends vertically further away from the disc surface. Furthermore, we find a soft excess that consists of two components. In addition to a contribution from reflection in low ionization states, a second component is present that traces the overall flux.

  5. Detection of a Cool, Accretion-Shock-Generated X-Ray Plasma in EX Lupi During the 2008 Optical Eruption

    Teets, William K.; Weintraub, David A.; Kastner, Joel H.; Grosso, Nicholas; Hamaguchi, Kenji; Richmond, Michael

    2012-01-01

    EX Lupi is the prototype for a class of young, pre-main-sequence stars which are observed to undergo irregular, presumably accretion-generated, optical outbursts that result in a several magnitude rise of the optical flux. EX Lupi was observed to optically erupt in 2008 January, triggering Chandra ACIS Target of Opportunity observations shortly thereafter. We find very strong evidence that most of the X-ray emission in the first few months after the optical outburst is generated by accretion of circumstellar material onto the stellar photosphere. Specifically, we find a strong correlation between the decreasing optical and X-ray fluxes following the peak of the outburst in the optical, which suggests that these observed declines in both the optical and X-ray fluxes are the result of declining accretion rate. In addition, in our models of the X-ray spectrum, we find strong evidence for an approx 0.4 keV plasma component, as expected for accretion shocks on low-mass, pre-main-sequence stars. From 2008 March through October, this cool plasma component appeared to fade as EX Lupi returned to its quiescent level in the optical, consistent with a decrease in the overall emission measure of accretion-shock-generated plasma. The overall small increase of the X-ray flux during the optical outburst of EX Lupi is similar to what was observed in previous X-ray observations of the 2005 optical outburst of the EX Lupi-type star V1118 Ori but contrasts with the large increase of the X-ray flux from the erupting young star V1647 Ori during its 2003 and 2008 optical outbursts.

  6. Relation between the X-ray and Optical Luminosities in Binary Systems with Accreting Nonmagnetic White Dwarfs

    Revnivtsev, M G; Suleimanov, V F

    2014-01-01

    We investigate the relation between the optical (g-band) and X-ray (0.5-10 keV) luminosities of accreting nonmagnetic white dwarfs. According to the present-day counts of the populations of star systems in our Galaxy, these systems have the highest space density among the close binary systems with white dwarfs. We show that the dependence of the optical luminosity of accreting white dwarfs on their X-ray luminosity forms a fairly narrow one-parameter curve. The typical half-width of this curve does not exceed 0.2-0.3 dex in optical and X-ray luminosities, which is essentially consistent with the amplitude of the aperiodic flux variability for these objects. At X-ray luminosities Lx~1e32 erg/sec or lower, the optical g-band luminosity of the accretion flow is shown to be related to its X-ray luminosity by a factor ~2-3. At even lower X-ray luminosities (Lx~1e30 erg/sec), the contribution from the photosphere of the white dwarf begins to dominate in the optical spectrum of the binary system and its optical brig...

  7. Revealing the accretion disc corona in Mrk 335 with multi-epoch X-ray spectroscopy

    Keek, L

    2015-01-01

    Active galactic nuclei host an accretion disc with an X-ray producing corona around a supermassive black hole. In bright sources, such as the Seyfert 1 galaxy Mrk 335, reflection of the coronal emission off the accretion disc has been observed. Reflection produces spectral features such as an Fe K$\\alpha$ emission line, which allow for properties of the inner accretion disc and the corona to be constrained. We perform a multi-epoch spectral analysis of all XMM-Newton, Suzaku, and NuSTAR observations of Mrk 335, and we optimize our fitting procedure to unveil correlations between the Eddington ratio and the spectral parameters. We find that the disc's ionization parameter correlates strongly with the Eddington ratio: the inner disc is more strongly ionized at higher flux. The slope of the correlation is less steep than previously predicted. Furthermore, the cut-off of the power-law spectrum increases in energy with the Eddington ratio, whereas the reflection fraction exhibits a decrease. We interpret this beha...

  8. MHD Accretion-Disk Winds as X-ray Absorbers in AGNs

    Fukumura, Keigo; Contopoulos, Ioannis; Behar, Ehud

    2009-01-01

    We present two-dimensional (2D), self-similar solutions of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) winds blowing off accretion disks around black holes and compute their 2D ionization structure due to a central X-ray point source. We focus our attention on winds with a specific density function of the spherical radial coordinate r, i.e. n(r)~1/r. We employ the photoionization code XSTAR to compute the line-of-sight (LOS) absorption of these magnetocentrifugally accelerated winds. We discuss the distribution of the local column density of various ions as a function of the ionization parameter \\xi (or equivalently r) and their corresponding absorption line profiles for different LOS angles. Particular attention is paid to the absorption measure distribution (AMD), dN_H/dlog(\\xi), which for the n(r)~1/r density profile is found to be independent of \\xi, in good agreement with AMD properties inferred from X-ray spectra of several active galactic nuclei (AGNs) outflows. We compute detailed absorption line profiles, demonstratin...

  9. Massive elliptical galaxies in X-rays: the role of late gas accretion

    Pipino, A; Gibson, B K; Matteucci, F; Pipino, Antonio; Kawata, Daisuke; Gibson, Brad K.; Matteucci, Francesca

    2005-01-01

    We present a new chemical evolution model meant to be a first step in the self-consistent study of both optical and X-ray properties of elliptical galaxies. Detailed cooling and heating processes in the interstellar medium are taken into account using a mono-phase one-zone treatment which allows a more reliable modelling of the galactic wind regime with respect to previous work. The model successfully reproduces simultaneously the mass-metallicity, colour-magnitude, the L_X - L_B and the L_X - T relations, as well as the observed trend of the [Mg/Fe] ratio as a function of sigma, by adopting the prescriptions of Pipino & Matteucci (2004) for the gas infall and star formation timescales. We found that a late secondary accretion of gas from the environment plays a fundamental role in driving the L_X - L_B and L_X - T relations and can explain their large observational scatter. The iron discrepancy, namely the too high predicted iron abundance in X-ray haloes of ellipticals compared to observations, still pe...

  10. Interpreting the radio/X-ray correlation of black hole sources based on the accretion-jet model

    Xie, Fu-Guo

    2015-01-01

    Two types of correlations between the radio and X-ray luminosities ($L_R$ and $L_X$) of black hole sources has been found. For the traditional type of sources, the correlation can be described by a single power-law. For the other type of sources, while the correlation can still be described by power-law forms, it consists three branches according to the X-ray luminosity, with different power-law indexes. In this paper, we try to explain these correlations in the framework of the coupled accretion-jet model. We attribute the difference between these two types of sources to the difference in the value of viscous parameter $\\alpha$. For the "single power-law" sources, their $\\alpha$ is high; so their accretion is always in the mode of ADAF (advection-dominated accretion flow) for the whole range of X-ray luminosity. For those "hybrid power-law" sources, the value of $\\alpha$ is small so their accretion modes change from ADAF to LHAF (luminous hot accretion flow) to two-phase accretion as the accretion rate incre...

  11. The deepest X-ray view of high-redshift galaxies: constraints on low-rate black-hole accretion

    Vito, Fabio; Vignali, Cristian; Brandt, William N; Comastri, Andrea; Yang, Guang; Lehmer, Bret D; Luo, Bin; Basu-Zych, Antara; Bauer, Franz E; Cappelluti, Nico; Koekemoer, Anton; Mainieri, Vincenzo; Paolillo, Maurizio; Ranalli, Piero; Shemmer, Ohad; Trump, Jonathan; Wang, Junxian; Xue, Yongquan

    2016-01-01

    We exploit the 7 Ms \\textit{Chandra} observations in the \\chandra\\,Deep Field-South (\\mbox{CDF-S}), the deepest X-ray survey to date, coupled with CANDELS/GOODS-S data, to measure the total X-ray emission arising from 2076 galaxies at $3.5\\leq z 3.7\\sigma$) X-ray emission from massive galaxies at $z\\approx4$. We also report the detection of massive galaxies at $z\\approx5$ at a $99.7\\%$ confidence level ($2.7\\sigma$), the highest significance ever obtained for X-ray emission from galaxies at such high redshifts. No significant signal is detected from galaxies at even higher redshifts. The stacking results place constraints on the BHAD associated with the known high-redshift galaxy samples, as well as on the SFRD at high redshift, assuming a range of prescriptions for X-ray emission due to X- ray binaries. We find that the X-ray emission from our sample is likely dominated by processes related to star formation. Our results show that low-rate mass accretion onto SMBHs in individually X-ray-undetected galaxies i...

  12. Swinging between rotation and accretion power in a binary millisecond pulsar

    Papitto A.

    2014-01-01

    While accreting mass, the X-ray emission of IGR J18245–2452 varies dramatically on time-scales ranging from a second to a few hours. We interpret a state characterised by a lower flux and pulsed fraction, and by sudden increases of the hardness of the X-ray emission, in terms of the onset of a magnetospheric centrifugal inhibition of the accretion flow. Prospects of finding new members of the newly established class of transitional pulsars are also briefly discussed.

  13. Spin Measurements of Accreting Black Holes: A Foundation for X-ray Continuum Fitting

    Steiner, James Francis

    Remarkably, an astrophysical black hole has only two attributes: its mass and its spin angular momentum. Spin is often associated with the exotic behavior that black holes manifest such as the production of relativistic and energetic jets. In this thesis, we advance one of the two primary methods of measuring black hole spin, namely, the continuum-fitting method by (1) improving the methodology; (2) testing two foundational assumptions; and (3) measuring the spins of two stellar-mass black holes in X-ray binary systems. Methodology: We present an empirical model of Comptonization that self-consistently generates a hard power-law component by upscattering thermal accretion disk photons as they traverse a hot corona. We show that this model enables reliable measurements of spin for far more X-ray spectral data and for more sources than previously thought possible. Testing the foundations: First, by an exhaustive study of the X-ray spectra of LMC X-3, we show that the inner radius of its accretion disk is constant over decades and unaffected by source variability. Identifying this fixed inner radius with the radius of the innermost stable circular orbit in general relativity, our findings establish a firm foundation for the measurement of black hole spin. Secondly, we test the customary assumption that the inclination angles of the black-hole's spin axis and the binary's orbital axis are the same; for XTE J1550-564 we show that they are aligned to within 12 degrees by modeling the kinematics of the large-scale jets of this microquasar. Measuring spins: We have made the first accurate continuum-fitting spin measurements of the black hole primaries in H1743-322 and XTE J1550-564. For this latter black hole, we have also measured its spin using the other leading method, namely, modeling the broad red wing of the Fe K-alpha; line. As we show, these two independent measurements of spin are in agreement.

  14. Numerical Solution of the Radiative Transfer Equation: X-Ray Spectral Formation from Cylindrical Accretion onto a Magnetized Neutron Star

    Fairnelli, R.; Ceccobello, C.; Romano, P.; Titarchuk, L.

    2011-01-01

    Predicting the emerging X-ray spectra in several astrophysical objects is of great importance, in particular when the observational data are compared with theoretical models. This requires developing numerical routines for the solution of the radiative transfer equation according to the expected physical conditions of the systems under study. Aims. We have developed an algorithm solving the radiative transfer equation in the Fokker-Planck approximation when both thermal and bulk Comptonization take place. The algorithm is essentially a relaxation method, where stable solutions are obtained when the system has reached its steady-state equilibrium. Methods. We obtained the solution of the radiative transfer equation in the two-dimensional domain defined by the photon energy E and optical depth of the system pi using finite-differences for the partial derivatives, and imposing specific boundary conditions for the solutions. We treated the case of cylindrical accretion onto a magnetized neutron star. Results. We considered a blackbody seed spectrum of photons with exponential distribution across the accretion column and for an accretion where the velocity reaches its maximum at the stellar surface and at the top of the accretion column, respectively. In both cases higher values of the electron temperature and of the optical depth pi produce flatter and harder spectra. Other parameters contributing to the spectral formation are the steepness of the vertical velocity profile, the albedo at the star surface, and the radius of the accretion column. The latter parameter modifies the emerging spectra in a specular way for the two assumed accretion profiles. Conclusions. The algorithm has been implemented in the XPEC package for X-ray fitting and is specifically dedicated to the physical framework of accretion at the polar cap of a neutron star with a high magnetic field (approx > 10(exp 12) G). This latter case is expected to be of typical accreting systems such as X-ray

  15. Contrasting Behaviour from Two Be/X-ray Binary Pulsars: Insights into Differing Neutron Star Accretion Modes

    Townsend, L. J.; Drave, S. P.; Hill, A. B.; Coe, M. J.; Corbet, R. H. D.; Bird, A. J.

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we present the identification of two periodic X-ray signals coming from the direction of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). On detection with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE), the 175.4 s and 85.4 s pulsations were considered to originate from new Be/X-ray binary (BeXRB) pulsars with unknown locations. Using rapid follow-up INTEGRAL and XMM-Newton observations, we show the first pulsar (designated SXP175) to be coincident with a candidate high-mass X-ray binary (HMXB) in the northern bar region of the SMC undergoing a small Type II outburst. The orbital period (87d) and spectral class (B0-B0.5IIIe) of this system are determined and presented here for the first time. The second pulsar is shown not to be new at all, but is consistent with being SXP91.1 - a pulsar discovered at the very beginning of the 13 year long RXTE key monitoring programme of the SMC. Whilst it is theoretically possible for accreting neutron stars to change spin period so dramatically over such a short time, the X-ray and optical data available for this source suggest this spin-up is continuous during long phases of X-ray quiescence, where accretion driven spin-up of the neutron star should be minimal.

  16. Multi-dimensional modelling of X-ray spectra for AGN accretion-disk outflows II

    Sim, S A; Long, K S; Turner, T J; Reeves, J N

    2010-01-01

    Highly-ionized fast accretion-disk winds have been suggested as an explanation for a variety of observed absorption and emission features in the X-ray spectra of Active Galactic Nuclei. Simple estimates have suggested that these flows may be massive enough to carry away a significant fraction of the accretion energy and could be involved in creating the link between supermassive black holes and their host galaxies. However, testing these hypotheses, and quantifying the outflow signatures, requires high-quality theoretical spectra for comparison with observations. Here we describe extensions of our Monte Carlo radiative transfer code that allow us to generate realistic theoretical spectra for a much wider variety of disk wind models than possible in our previous work. In particular, we have expanded the range of atomic physics simulated by the code so that L- and M-shell ions can now be included. We have also substantially improved our treatment of both ionization and radiative heating such that we are now abl...

  17. An accretion model for the anomalous X-ray pulsar 4U 0142+61

    Truemper, J E; Kylafis, N D; Ertan, Ü; Zezas, A

    2012-01-01

    We propose that the quiescent emission of AXPs/SGRs is powered by accretion from a fallback disk, requiring magnetic dipole fields in the range 10^{12}-10^{13} G, and that the luminous hard tails of their X-ray spectra are produced by bulk-motion Comptonization in the radiative shock near the bottom of the accretion column. This radiation escapes as a fan beam, which is partly absorbed by the polar cap photosphere, heating it up to relatively high temperatures. The scattered component and the thermal emission from the polar cap form a polar beam. We test our model on the well-studied AXP 4U 0142+61, whose energy-dependent pulse profiles show double peaks, which we ascribe to the fan and polar beams. The temperature of the photosphere (kT~0.4 keV) is explained by the heating effect. The scattered part forms a hard component in the polar beam. We suggest that the observed high temperatures of the polar caps of AXPs/SGRs, compared with other young neutron stars, are due to the heating by the fan beam. Using beam...

  18. Characterising anomalous transport in accretion disks from X-ray observations

    Greenhough, J; Chaty, S; Dendy, R O; Rowlands, G

    2002-01-01

    Whilst direct observations of internal transport in accretion disks are not yet possible, measurement of the energy emitted from accreting astrophysical systems can provide useful information on the physical mechanisms at work. Here we examine the unbroken multi-year time variation of the total X-ray flux from three sources: Cygnus X-1, the microquasar GRS1915+105, and for comparison the nonaccreting Crab nebula. To complement previous analyses, we demonstrate that the application of advanced statistical methods to these observational time-series reveals important contrasts in the nature and scaling properties of the transport processes operating within these sources. We find the Crab signal resembles Gaussian noise; the Cygnus X-1 signal is a leptokurtic random walk whose self-similar properties persist on timescales up to three years; and the GRS1915+105 signal is similar to that from Cygnus X-1, but with self-similarity extending possibly to only a few days. This evidence of self-similarity provides a robu...

  19. X-Ray Evidence for the Accretion Disc-Outflow Connection in 3C 111

    Tombesi, Frank; Sambruna, R. M.; Reeves, J. N.; Reynolds, C. S.; Braito, V.

    2011-01-01

    We present the spectral analysis of three Suzaku X-ray Imaging Spectrometer observations of 3C III requested to monitor the predicted variability of its ultrafast outflow on approximately 7 d time-scales. We detect an ionized iron emission line in the first observation and a blueshifted absorption line in the second, when the flux is approximately 30 per cent higher. The location of the material is constrained at less than 0.006 pc from the variability. Detailed modelling supports an identification with ionized reflection off the accretion disc at approximately 20-100rg from the black hole and a highly ionized and massive ultrafast outflow with velocity approximately 0.1c, respectively. The outflow is most probably accelerated by radiation pressure, but additional magnetic thrust cannot be excluded. The measured high outflow rate and mechanical energy support the claims that disc outflows may have a significant feedback role. This work provides the first direct evidence for an accretion disc-outflow connection in a radio-loud active galactic nucleus, possibly linked also to the jet activity.

  20. Role of local absorption on the X-ray emission from MHD accretion shocks in classical T Tauri stars

    Bonito

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Accretion processes onto classical T Tauri stars (CTTSs are believed to generate shocks at the stellar surface due to the impact of supersonic downflowing plasma. Although current models of accretion streams provide a plausible global picture of this process, several aspects are still unclear. For example, the observed X-ray luminosity in accretion shocks is, in general, well below the predicted value. A possible explanation discussed in the literature is in terms of significant absorption of the emission due to the thick surrounding medium. Here we consider a 2D MHD model describing an accretion stream propagating through the atmosphere of a CTTS and impacting onto its chromosphere. The model includes all the relevant physics, namely the gravity, the thermal conduction, and the radiative cooling, and a realistic description of the unperturbed stellar atmosphere (from the chromosphere to the corona. From the model results, we synthesize the X-ray emission emerging from the hot slab produced by the accretion shock, exploring different configurations and strengths of the stellar magnetic field. The synthesis includes the local absorption by the thick surrounding medium and the Doppler shift of lines due to the component of plasma velocity along the line-of-sight. We explore the effects of absorption on the emerging X-ray spectrum, considering different inclinations of the accretion stream with respect to the observer. Finally we compare our results with the observations.

  1. X-ray and ultraviolet radiation from accreting white dwarfs. IV - Two-temperature treatment with electron thermal conduction

    Imamura, J. N.; Durisen, R. H.; Lamb, D. Q.; Weast, G. J.

    1987-01-01

    Results are reported from two-temperature calculations of the structures and X-ray spectra of radiation shocks generated by accretion onto nonmagnetic white dwarfs. The approach was necessitated by the domination of bremsstrahlung in the emission region by Compton cooling. Features of the shock model, which includes steady, spherical infall of fully ionized plasma and dominance of the stand-off shock by collisional processes, are summarized. A maximum hard X-ray temperature of about 50 keV and a maximum hard X-ray luminosity of 2 x 10 to the 36th ergs/sec were obtained. The results prove that the bulk of accretion energy cannot be transported to the star by electron thermal conduction, provided that bremsstrahlung cooling is dominant over cyclotron cooling.

  2. Super-Eddington Accretion in the Ultraluminous X-ray Source NGC1313 X-2: An Ephemeral Feast

    Weng, Shan-Shan; Zhao, Hai-Hui

    2013-01-01

    We investigate the X-ray spectrum, variability and the surrounding ionized bubble of NGC1313 X-2 to explore the physics of super-Eddington accretion. Beyond the Eddington luminosity, the accretion disk of NGC1313 X-2 is truncated at a large radius ($\\sim$ 50 times of innermost stable circular orbit), and displays the similar evolution track with both luminous Galactic black-hole and neutron star X-ray binaries. In super-critical accretion, the speed of radiatively driven outflows from the inner disk is mildly relativistic. Such ultra-fast outflows would be over ionized and might produce weak Fe K absorption lines, which may be detected by the coming X-ray mission {\\it Astro-H}. If the NGC1313 X-2 is a massive stellar X-ray binary, the high luminosity indicates that an ephemeral feast is held in the source. That is, the source must be accreting at a hyper-Eddington mass rate to give the super-Eddington emission over $\\sim 10^{4}-10^{5}$ yr. The expansion of the surrounding bubble nebula with a velocity of $\\si...

  3. Impacts of fragmented accretion streams onto Classical T Tauri Stars: UV and X-ray emission lines

    Colombo, Salvatore; Peres, Giovanni; Argiroffi, Costanza; Reale, Fabio

    2016-01-01

    Context. The accretion process in Classical T Tauri Stars (CTTSs) can be studied through the analysis of some UV and X-ray emission lines which trace hot gas flows and act as diagnostics of the post-shock downfalling plasma. In the UV band, where higher spectral resolution is available, these lines are characterized by rather complex profiles whose origin is still not clear. Aims. We investigate the origin of UV and X-ray emission at impact regions of density structured (fragmented) accretion streams.We study if and how the stream fragmentation and the resulting structure of the post-shock region determine the observed profiles of UV and X-ray emission lines. Methods. We model the impact of an accretion stream consisting of a series of dense blobs onto the chromosphere of a CTTS through 2D MHD simulations. We explore different levels of stream fragmentation and accretion rates. From the model results, we synthesize C IV (1550 {\\AA}) and OVIII (18.97 {\\AA}) line profiles. Results. The impacts of accreting blob...

  4. Chaotic and stochastic processes in the accretion flows of the black hole X-ray binaries revealed by recurrence analysis

    Suková, Petra; Janiuk, Agnieszka

    2015-01-01

    The black hole candidates exhibit fast variability of their X-ray emission on a wide range of timescales. The short, coherent variations, with frequencies above 1 Hz, are referred to as quasi-periodic oscillations, and are generally explained by resonant effects in the black hole accretion flow. The purely stochastic variability that occurs due to turbulent conditions in the plasma, is quantified by the power density spectra and appears practically in all types of sources and their spectral states. The specific kind of quasi-periodic flares is expected, when the global structure of the accretion flow, governed by the nonlinear hydrodynamics, induces fluctuations around a fixed point solution. These conditions, which occur at high accretion rates, lead to the variability in the sense of deterministic chaos. We study the nonlinear behaviour of X-ray sources using the recurrence analysis method. We estimate quantitatively the indications for deterministic chaos, such as the Renyi's entropy, for the observed time...

  5. Dependence of the orbital modulation of X-rays from 4U 1820-303 on the accretion rate

    Zdziarski, A A; Wen, L

    2007-01-01

    We report the discovery, using XTE data, of a dependence of the X-ray orbital modulation depth on the X-ray spectral state in the ultracompact atoll binary 4U 1820-303. This state (measured by us by the position on the X-ray colour-colour diagram) is tightly coupled to the accretion rate, which, in turn, is coupled to the phase of the 170-d superorbital cycle of this source. The modulation depth is much stronger in the high-luminosity, so-called banana, state than in the low-luminosity, island, state. We find the X-ray modulation is independent of energy, which rules out bound-free X-ray absorption in an optically thin medium as the cause of the modulation. We also find a significant dependence of the offset phase of the orbital modulation on the spectral state, which favours the model in which the modulation is caused by scattering in hot gas around a bulge at the disc edge, which both size and the position vary with the accretion rate. Estimates of the source inclination appear to rule out a model in which ...

  6. Can the Subsonic Accretion Model Explain the Spin Period Distribution of Wind-fed X-ray Pulsars?

    Li, Tao; Li, Xiang-Dong

    2016-01-01

    Neutron stars in high-mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs) generally accrete from the wind matter of their massive companion stars. Recently Shakura et al. (2012) suggested a subsonic accretion model for low-luminosity ($<4\\times 10^{36}$ ergs$^{-1}$), wind-fed X-ray pulsars. To test the feasibility of this model, we investigate the spin period distribution of wind-fed X-ray pulsars with a supergiant companion star, using a population synthesis method. We find that the modeled distribution of supergiant HMXBs in the spin period - orbital period diagram is consistent with observations provided that the winds from the donor stars have relatively low terminal velocities ($\\lesssim 1000$ kms$^{-1}$). The measured wind velocities in several supergiant HMXBs seem to favor this viewpoint. The predicted number ratio of wind-fed X-ray pulsars with persistent X-ray luminosities higher and lower than $4\\times 10^{36}$ ergs$^{-1}$ is about $1:10$.

  7. INTEGRAL results on Supergiant Fast X-ray Transients and accretion mechanism interpretation: ionization effect and formation of transient accretion disks

    Ducci, L; Paizis, A

    2010-01-01

    We performed a systematic analysis of all INTEGRAL observations from 2003 to 2009 of 14 Supergiant Fast X-ray Transients (SFXTs), implying a net exposure time of about 30Ms. For each source we obtained lightcurves and spectra (3-100keV), discovering several new outbursts. We discuss the X-ray behaviour of SFXTs emerging from our analysis in the framework of the clumpy wind accretion mechanism we proposed (Ducci et al. 2009). We discuss the effect of X-ray photoionization on accretion in close binary systems like IGRJ16479-4514 and IGRJ17544-2619. We show that, because of X-ray photoionization, there is a high probability of formation of an accretion disk from capture of angular momentum in IGRJ16479-4514, and we suggest that the formation of transient accretion disks could be responsible of part of the flaring activity in SFXTs with narrow orbits. We also propose an alternative way to explain the origin of flares with peculiar shapes observed in our analysis applying the model of Lamb et al. (1977), which is ...

  8. Improved reflection models of black hole accretion disks: Treating the angular distribution of X-rays

    X-ray reflection models are used to constrain the properties of the accretion disk, such as the degree of ionization of the gas and the elemental abundances. In combination with general relativistic ray tracing codes, additional parameters like the spin of the black hole and the inclination to the system can be determined. However, current reflection models used for such studies only provide angle-averaged solutions for the flux reflected at the surface of the disk. Moreover, the emission angle of the photons changes over the disk due to relativistic light bending. To overcome this simplification, we have constructed an angle-dependent reflection model with the XILLVER code and self-consistently connected it with the relativistic blurring code RELLINE. The new model, relxill, calculates the proper emission angle of the radiation at each point on the accretion disk and then takes the corresponding reflection spectrum into account. We show that the reflected spectra from illuminated disks follow a limb-brightening law highly dependent on the ionization of disk and yet different from the commonly assumed form I∝ln (1 + 1/μ). A detailed comparison with the angle-averaged model is carried out in order to determine the bias in the parameters obtained by fitting a typical relativistic reflection spectrum. These simulations reveal that although the spin and inclination are mildly affected, the Fe abundance can be overestimated by up to a factor of two when derived from angle-averaged models. The fit of the new model to the Suzaku observation of the Seyfert galaxy Ark 120 clearly shows a significant improvement in the constraint of the physical parameters, in particular by enhancing the accuracy in the inclination angle and the spin determinations.

  9. A Possible 55-day X-ray Period of the Ultraluminous Accreting Pulsar M82 X-2

    Kong, A. K. H.; Hu, C. -P.; Lin, L. C. -C.; Li, K. L.; Jin, R.; Liu, C.Y.; Yen, D. C. -C.

    2016-01-01

    We report a possible detection of a 55-day X-ray modulation for the ultraluminous accreting pulsar M82 X-2 from archival Chandra observations. Because M82 X-2 is known to have a 2.5-day orbital period, if the 55-day period is real, it will be the superorbital period of the system. We also investigated variabilities of other three nearby ultraluminous X-ray sources in the central region of M82 with the Chandra data and did not find any evidence of periodicities. Furthermore, we re-examined the...

  10. Interpreting the radio/X-ray correlation of black hole sources based on the accretion-jet model

    Xie, Fu-Guo; Yuan, Feng(Nuclear Science Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA)

    2015-01-01

    Two types of correlations between the radio and X-ray luminosities ($L_R$ and $L_X$) have been found in black hole X-ray binaries. For some sources, they follow the `original' type of correlation which is described by a single power-law. Later it was found that some other sources follow a different correlation consisting of three power-law branches, with each branch having different power-law indexes. In this work, we explain these two types of correlation under the coupled accretion--jet mod...

  11. Modelling aperiodic X-ray variability in black hole binaries as propagating mass accretion rate fluctuations: A short review

    Ingram, A. R.

    2016-05-01

    Black hole binary systems can emit very bright and rapidly varying X-ray signals when material from the companion accretes onto the black hole, liberating huge amounts of gravitational potential energy. Central to this process of accretion is turbulence. In the propagating mass accretion rate fluctuations model, turbulence is generated throughout the inner accretion flow, causing fluctuations in the accretion rate. Fluctuations from the outer regions propagate towards the black hole, modulating the fluctuations generated in the inner regions. Here, I present the theoretical motivation behind this picture before reviewing the array of statistical variability properties observed in the light curves of black hole binaries that are naturally explained by the model. I also discuss the remaining challenges for the model, both in terms of comparison to data and in terms of including more sophisticated theoretical considerations.

  12. Modelling aperiodic X-ray variability in black hole binaries as propagating mass accretion rate fluctuations: a short review

    Ingram, Adam

    2015-01-01

    Black hole binary systems can emit very bright and rapidly varying X-ray signals when material from the companion accretes onto the black hole, liberating huge amounts of gravitational potential energy. Central to this process of accretion is turbulence. In the propagating mass accretion rate fluctuations model, turbulence is generated throughout the inner accretion flow, causing fluctuations in the accretion rate. Fluctuations from the outer regions propagate towards the black hole, modulating the fluctuations generated in the inner regions. Here, I present the theoretical motivation behind this picture before reviewing the array of statistical variability properties observed in the light curves of black hole binaries that are naturally explained by the model. I also discuss the remaining challenges for the model, both in terms of comparison to data and in terms of including more sophisticated theoretical considerations.

  13. High-Density Effects in X-ray Reflection Models from Accretion Disks

    García, Javier A; Kallman, Timothy R; Dauser, Thomas; Parker, Michael L; McClintock, Jeffrey E; Steiner, James F; Wilms, Jörn

    2016-01-01

    The current models for the X-ray reflected spectrum from accretion disks around compact objects are commonly calculated for a constant density along a few Thomson depths from in the direction normal to the irradiated surface. In this models an important simplification is adopted, that is that the ionization structure of the material is completely governed by the the ratio of the incident flux to the gas density (i.e., the ionization parameter $\\xi$. In this setup the value of the density is is typically fixed at $n=10^{15}$ cm$^{-3}$, as it is assumed that the ionization state of the gas is the same for equal values of $\\xi$. In this paper we explore the limitations of this assumption by computing the reflected spectra for various values of the gas density. We show that for large values ($n \\gtrsim 10^{17}$ cm$^{-3}$) the high-density effects become important, significantly modifying the reflected spectrum. The main observed effect is a large increase of thermal emission at soft energies (below $\\sim2$ keV), ...

  14. X-ray Signatures of Non-Equilibrium Ionization Effects in Galaxy Cluster Accretion Shock Regions

    Wong, Ka-Wah; Ji, Li

    2010-01-01

    The densities in the outer regions of clusters of galaxies are very low, and the collisional timescales are very long. As a result, heavy elements will be under-ionized after they have passed through the accretion shock. We have studied systematically the effects of non-equilibrium ionization for relaxed clusters in the LambdaCDM cosmology using one-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations. We found that non-equilibrium ionization effects do not depend on cluster mass but depend strongly on redshift which can be understood by self-similar scaling arguments. The effects are stronger for clusters at lower redshifts. We present X-ray signatures such as surface brightness profiles and emission lines in detail for a massive cluster at low redshift. In general, soft emission (0.3-1.0 keV) is enhanced significantly by under-ionization, and the enhancement can be nearly an order of magnitude near the shock radius. The most prominent non-equilibrium ionization signature we found is the O VII and O VIII line ratio. The rat...

  15. Simulations of the magnetospheres of accreting millisecond pulsars

    Parfrey, Kyle; Beloborodov, Andrei M

    2016-01-01

    Accreting pulsars power relativistic jets, and display a complex spin phenomenology. These behaviours may be closely related to the large-scale configuration of the star's magnetic field. The total torque experienced by the pulsar comprises spin-up and spin-down contributions from different bundles of magnetic field lines; the spin-down `braking' torque is applied both by closed stellar field lines which enter the disc beyond the corotation radius, and those which are open and not loaded with disc material. The rates of energy and angular momentum extraction on these open field lines have lower bounds in the relativistic, magnetically dominated limit, due to the effective inertia of the electromagnetic field itself. Here we present the first relativistic simulations of the interaction of a pulsar magnetosphere with an accretion flow. Our axisymmetric simulations, with the pseudospectral PHAEDRA code, treat the magnetospheric, or coronal, regions using a resistive extension of force-free electrodynamics. The m...

  16. A Possible 55-day X-ray Period of the Ultraluminous Accreting Pulsar M82 X-2

    Kong, A K H; Lin, L C -C; Li, K L; Jin, R; Liu, C Y; Yen, D C -C

    2016-01-01

    We report a possible detection of a 55-day X-ray modulation for the ultraluminous accreting pulsar M82 X-2 from archival Chandra observations. Because M82 X-2 is known to have a 2.5-day orbital period, if the 55-day period is real, it will be the superorbital period of the system. We also investigated variabilities of other three nearby ultraluminous X-ray sources in the central region of M82 with the Chandra data and did not find any evidence of periodicities. Furthermore, we re-examined the previously reported 62-day periodicity near the central region of M82 by performing a systematic timing study with all the archival Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer and Swift data. Using various dynamic timing analysis methods, we confirmed that the 62-day period is not stable, suggesting that it is not the orbital period of M82 X-1 in agreement with previous work.

  17. X-ray and UV correlation in the quiescent emission of Cen X-4, evidence of accretion and reprocessing

    Bernardini F.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available We conducted the first long-term (60 days, multiwavelength (optical, ultraviolet, and X-ray simultaneous monitoring of Cen X-4 with daily Swift observations, with the goal of understanding variability in the low mass X-ray binary Cen X-4 during quiescence. We found Cen X-4 to be highly variable in all energy bands on timescales from days to months, with the strongest quiescent variability a factor of 22 drop in the X-ray count rate in only 4 days. The X-ray, UV and optical (V band emission are correlated on timescales down to less than 110 s. The shape of the correlation is a power law with index γ about 0.2–0.6. The X-ray spectrum is well fitted by a hydrogen NS atmosphere (kT = 59 − 80 eV and a power law (with spectral index Γ = 1.4 − 2.0, with the spectral shape remaining constant as the flux varies. Both components vary in tandem, with each responsible for about 50% of the total X-ray flux, implying that they are physically linked. We conclude that the X-rays are likely generated by matter accreting down to the NS surface. Moreover, based on the short timescale of the correlation, we also unambiguously demonstrate that the UV emission can not be due to either thermal emission from the stream impact point, or a standard optically thick, geometrically thin disc. The spectral energy distribution shows a small UV emitting region, too hot to arise from the accretion disk, that we identified as a hot spot on the companion star. Therefore, the UV emission is most likely produced by reprocessing from the companion star, indeed the vertical size of the disc is small and can only reprocess a marginal fraction of the X-ray emission. We also found the accretion disc in quiescence to likely be UV faint, with a minimal contribution to the whole UV flux.

  18. Superorbital Periodic Modulation in Wind-Accretion High-Mass X-Ray Binaries from Swift Burst Alert Telescope Observations

    Corbet, Robin H. D.; Krimm, Hans A.

    2013-01-01

    We report the discovery using data from the Swift-Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) of superorbital modulation in the wind-accretion supergiant high-mass X-ray binaries 4U 1909+07 (= X 1908+075), IGR J16418-4532, and IGR J16479-4514. Together with already known superorbital periodicities in 2S 0114+650 and IGR J16493-4348, the systems exhibit a monotonic relationship between superorbital and orbital periods. These systems include both supergiant fast X-ray transients and classical supergiant systems, and have a range of inclination angles. This suggests an underlying physical mechanism which is connected to the orbital period. In addition to these sources with clear detections of superorbital periods, IGR J16393-4643 (= AX J16390.4-4642) is identified as a system that may have superorbital modulation due to the coincidence of low-amplitude peaks in power spectra derived from BAT, Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer Proportional Counter Array, and International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory light curves. 1E 1145.1-6141 may also be worthy of further attention due to the amount of low-frequency modulation of its light curve. However, we find that the presence of superorbital modulation is not a universal feature of wind-accretion supergiant X-ray binaries.

  19. Chaotic and stochastic processes in the accretion flows of the black hole X-ray binaries revealed by recurrence analysis

    Suková, Petra; Grzedzielski, Mikolaj; Janiuk, Agnieszka

    2015-01-01

    The black hole candidates exhibit fast variability of their X-ray emission on a wide range of timescales. The short, coherent variations, with frequencies above 1 Hz, are referred to as quasi-periodic oscillations, and are generally explained by resonant effects in the black hole accretion flow. The purely stochastic variability that occurs due to turbulent conditions in the plasma, is quantified by the power density spectra and appears practically in all types of sources and their spectral s...

  20. X-ray Variability as a Probe of Advection-Dominated Accretion in Low-Luminosity AGN

    Ptak, A.; Yaqoob, T.; Mushotzky, R.; Serlemitsos, P.; Griffiths, R.

    1998-01-01

    As a class, LINERs and Low-Luminosity AGN tend to show little or no significant short-term variability (i.e., with time-scales less than a day). This is a marked break for the trend of increased variability in Seyfert 1 galaxies with decreased luminosity. We propose that this difference is due to the lower accretion rate in LINERs and LLAGN which is probably causing the accretion flow to be advection-dominated. This results in a larger characteristic size for the X-ray producing region than i...

  1. Contrasting behaviour from two Be/X-ray binary pulsars: insights into differing neutron star accretion modes

    Townsend, L J; Hill, A B; Coe, M J; Corbet, R H D; Bird, A J

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we present the identification of two periodic X-ray signals coming from the direction of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). On detection with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE), the 175.4s and 85.4s pulsations were considered to originate from new Be/X-ray binary (BeXRB) pulsars with unknown locations. Using rapid follow-up INTEGRAL and XMM-Newton observations, we show the first pulsar (designated SXP175) to be coincident with a candidate high-mass X-ray binary (HMXB) in the northern bar region of the SMC undergoing a small Type II outburst. The orbital period (87d) and spectral class (B0-B0.5IIIe) of this system are determined and presented here for the first time. The second pulsar is shown not to be new at all, but is consistent with being SXP91.1 - a pulsar discovered at the very beginning of the 13 year long RXTE key monitoring programme of the SMC. Whilst it is theoretically possible for accreting neutron stars to change spin period so dramatically over such a short time, the X-ray and ...

  2. Observation of enhanced X-ray emission from the CTTS AA Tau during a transit of an accretion funnel

    Grosso, Nicolas; Montmerle, Thierry; Fernández, Matilde; Grankin, Konstantin; Osorio, Maria Rosa Zapatero

    2007-01-01

    AA Tau was observed for about 5h per XMM orbit (2 days) over 8 successive orbits, which covers two optical eclipse periods (8.2 days). The XMM optical/UV monitor simultaneously provided UV photometry with a ~15 min sampling rate. Some V-band photometry was also obtained from the ground during this period in order to determine the dates of the eclipses. Two X-ray and UV measurements were secured close to the center of the eclipse. The UV flux is the highest just before the eclipse starts and the lowest towards the end of it. We model the UV flux variations with a weekly modulation (inner disk eclipse), plus a daily modulation, which suggests a non-steady accretion. No eclipses are detected in X-rays. For one measurement, the X-ray count rate was nearly 50 times stronger than the minimum observed level, and the plasma temperature reached 60 MK, i.e., a factor of 2-3 higher than in the other observations. This X-ray event, observed close to the center of the optical eclipse, is interpreted as an X-ray flare. We ...

  3. The accretion-ejection coupling in the black hole candidate X-ray binary MAXI J1836-194

    Russell, T D; Miller-Jones, J C A; Curran, P A; Markoff, S; Russell, D M; Sivakoff, G R

    2013-01-01

    We present the results of our quasi-simultaneous radio, sub-mm, infrared, optical and X-ray study of the Galactic black hole candidate X-ray binary MAXI J1836-194 during its 2011 outburst. We consider the full multi-wavelength spectral evolution of the outburst, investigating whether the evolution of the jet spectral break (the transition between optically-thick and optically-thin synchrotron emission) is caused by any specific properties of the accretion flow. Our observations show that the break does not scale with the X-ray luminosity or with the inner radius of the accretion disk, and is instead likely to be set by much more complex processes. We find that the radius of the acceleration zone at the base of the jet decreases from ~10$^6$ gravitational radii during the hard intermediate state to ~10$^3$ gravitational radii as the outburst fades (assuming a black hole mass of 8 M$_{\\odot}$), demonstrating that the electrons are accelerated on much larger scales than the radius of the inner accretion disk and...

  4. Super-eddington accretion in the ultraluminous x-ray source NGC 1313 X-2: An ephemeral feast

    We investigate the X-ray spectrum, variability, and the surrounding ionized bubble of NGC 1313 X-2 to explore the physics of super-Eddington accretion. Beyond the Eddington luminosity, the accretion disk of NGC 1313 X-2 is truncated at a large radius (∼50 times the innermost stable circular orbit), and displays the similar evolution track with both luminous Galactic black-hole and neutron star X-ray binaries (XRBs). In super-critical accretion, the speed of radiatively driven outflows from the inner disk is mildly relativistic. Such ultra-fast outflows would be overionized and might produce weak Fe K absorption lines, which may be detected by the coming X-ray mission Astro-H. If NGC 1313 X-2 is a massive stellar XRB, the high luminosity indicates that an ephemeral feast is held in the source. That is, the source must be accreting at a hyper-Eddington mass rate to give the super-Eddington emission over ∼104-105 yr. The expansion of the surrounding bubble nebula with a velocity of ∼100 km s–1 might indicate that it has existed over ∼106 yr and is inflated by the radiatively driven outflows from the transient with a duty cycle of activity of ∼ a few percent. Alternatively, if the surrounding bubble nebula is produced by line-driven winds, less energy is required than the radiatively driven outflow scenario, and the radius of the Strömgren radius agrees with the nebula size. Our results are in favor of the line-driven winds scenario, which can avoid the conflict between the short accretion age and the apparently much longer bubble age inferred from the expansion velocity in the nebula.

  5. Magnetohydrodynamic modeling of the accretion shocks in classical T Tauri stars: the role of local absorption on the X-ray emission

    Bonito, R; Argiroffi, C; Miceli, M; Peres, G; Matsakos, T; Stehle, C; Ibgui, L

    2014-01-01

    We investigate the properties of X-ray emission from accretion shocks in classical T Tauri stars (CTTSs), generated where the infalling material impacts the stellar surface. Both observations and models of the accretion process reveal several aspects that are still unclear: the observed X-ray luminosity in accretion shocks is below the predicted value, and the density versus temperature structure of the shocked plasma, with increasing densities at higher temperature, deduced from the observations, is at odds with that proposed in the current picture of accretion shocks. To address these open issues we investigate whether a correct treatment of the local absorption by the surrounding medium is crucial to explain the observations. To this end, we describe the impact of an accretion stream on a CTTS by considering a magnetohydrodynamic model. From the model results we synthesize the X-ray emission from the accretion shock by producing maps and spectra. We perform density and temperature diagnostics on the synthe...

  6. Testing the "no-hair" property of black holes with X-ray observations of accretion disks

    Moore, Christopher J

    2015-01-01

    Accretion disks around black holes radiate a significant fraction of the rest mass of the accreting material in the form of thermal radiation from within a few gravitational radii of the black hole ($ r \\lesssim 20 G M / c^{2}$). In addition, the accreting matter may also be illuminated by hard X-rays from the surrounding plasma which adds fluorescent transition lines to the emission. This radiation is emitted by matter moving along geodesics in the metric, therefore the strong Doppler and gravitational redshifts observed in the emission encode information about the strong gravitational field around the black hole. In this paper the possibility of using the X-ray emission as a strong field test of General Relativity is explored by calculating the spectra for both the transition line and thermal emission from a thin accretion disk in a series of parametrically deformed Kerr metrics. In addition the possibility of constraining a number of known black hole spacetimes in alternative theories of gravity is conside...

  7. Numerical solution of the radiative transfer equation: X-ray spectral formation from cylindrical accretion onto a magnetized neutron star

    Farinelli, R; Romano, P; Titarchuk, L

    2011-01-01

    Predicting the emerging X-ray spectra in several astrophysical objects is of great importance, in particular when the observational data are compared with theoretical models. To this aim, we have developed an algorithm solving the radiative transfer equation in the Fokker-Planck approximation when both thermal and bulk Comptonization take place. The algorithm is essentially a relaxation method, where stable solutions are obtained when the system has reached its steady-state equilibrium. We obtained the solution of the radiative transfer equation in the two-dimensional domain defined by the photon energy E and optical depth of the system tau using finite-differences for the partial derivatives, and imposing specific boundary conditions for the solutions. We treated the case of cylindrical accretion onto a magnetized neutron star. We considered a blackbody seed spectrum of photons with exponential distribution across the accretion column and for an accretion where the velocity reaches its maximum at the stellar...

  8. Ordinary X-rays from Three Extraordinary Millisecond Pulsars: XMM-Newton Observations of PSRs J0337+1715, J0636+5129, and J0645+5158

    Spiewak, Renée; Archibald, Anne; Gentile, Peter; Hessels, Jason; Lorimer, Duncan; Lynch, Ryan; McLaughlin, Maura; Ransom, Scott; Stairs, Ingrid; Stovall, Kevin

    2016-01-01

    We present the first X-ray observations of three recently discovered millisecond pulsars (MSPs) with interesting characteristics: PSR J0337+1715, PSR J0636+5129, and PSR J0645+5158. PSR J0337+1715 is a fast-spinning, bright, and so-far unique MSP in a hierarchical triple system with two white dwarf (WD) companions. PSR J0636+5129 is a MSP in a very tight 96-min orbit with a low-mass, 8 $M_J$ companion. PSR J0645+5158 is a nearby, isolated MSP with a very small duty cycle (1-2%), which has led to its inclusion in high-precision pulsar timing programs. Using data from XMM-Newton, we have analyzed X-ray spectroscopy for these three objects, as well as optical/ultraviolet photometry for PSR J0337+1715. The X-ray data for each are largely consistent with expectations for most MSPs with regards to the ratios of thermal and non-thermal emission. We discuss the implications of these data on the pulsar population, and prospects for future observations of these pulsars.

  9. Ordinary X-Rays from Three Extraordinary Millisecond Pulsars: XMM-Newton Observations of PSRs J0337+1715, J0636+5129, and J0645+5158

    Spiewak, Renée; Kaplan, David L.; Archibald, Anne; Gentile, Peter; Hessels, Jason; Lorimer, Duncan; Lynch, Ryan; McLaughlin, Maura; Ransom, Scott; Stairs, Ingrid; Stovall, Kevin

    2016-05-01

    We present the first X-ray observations of three recently discovered millisecond pulsars (MSPs) with interesting characteristics: PSR J0337+1715, PSR J0636+5129, and PSR J0645+5158. PSR J0337+1715 is a fast-spinning, bright, and so-far unique MSP in a hierarchical triple system with two white dwarf companions. PSR J0636+5129 is an MSP in a very tight 96-minute orbit with a low-mass, 8 M J companion. PSR J0645+5158 is a nearby, isolated MSP with a very small duty cycle (1%-2%), which has led to its inclusion in high-precision pulsar timing programs. Using data from XMM-Newton, we have analyzed X-ray spectroscopy for these three objects, as well as optical/ultraviolet photometry for PSR J0337+1715. The X-ray data for each are largely consistent with expectations for most MSPs with regards to the ratios of thermal and non-thermal emission. We discuss the implications of these data on the pulsar population, and prospects for future observations of these pulsars.

  10. An extended scheme for fitting X-ray data with accretion disk spectra in the strong gravity regime

    Dovciak, M; Yaqoob, T

    2003-01-01

    Accreting black holes are believed to emit X-rays which then mediate information about strong gravity in the vicinity of the emission region. We report on a set of new routines for the Xspec package for analysing X-ray spectra of black-hole accretion disks. The new computational tool significantly extends the capabilities of the currently available fitting procedures that include the effects of strong gravity, and allows one to systematically explore the constraints on more model parameters than previously possible (for example black-hole angular momentum). Moreover, axial symmetry of the disk intrinsic emissivity is not assumed, although it can be imposed to speed up the computations. The new routines can be used also as a stand-alone and flexible code with the capability of handling time-resolved spectra in the regime of strong gravity. We have used the new code to analyse the mean X-ray spectrum from the long XMM--Newton 2001 campaign of the Seyfert 1 galaxy MCG--6-30-15. Consistent with previous findings,...

  11. Giant outburst from the supergiant fast X-ray transient IGR J17544-2619: accretion from a transient disc?

    Romano, P; Mangano, V; Esposito, P; Israel, G; Tiengo, A; Campana, S; Ducci, L; Ferrigno, C; Kennea, J A

    2015-01-01

    Supergiant fast X-ray transients (SFXTs) are high mass X-ray binaries associated with OB supergiant companions and characterised by an X-ray flaring behaviour whose dynamical range reaches 5 orders of magnitude on timescales of a few hundred to thousands of seconds. Current investigations concentrate on finding possible mechanisms to inhibit accretion in SFXTs and explain their unusually low average X-ray luminosity. We present the Swift observations of an exceptionally bright outburst displayed by the SFXT IGR J17544-2619 on 2014 October 10 when the source achieved a peak luminosity of $3\\times10^{38}$ erg s$^{-1}$. This extends the total source dynamic range to $\\gtrsim$10$^6$, the largest (by a factor of 10) recorded so far from an SFXT. Tentative evidence for pulsations at a period of 11.6 s is also reported. We show that these observations challenge, for the first time, the maximum theoretical luminosity achievable by an SFXT and propose that this giant outburst was due to the formation of a transient ac...

  12. X-ray Sources in Galactic Globular Clusters

    Heinke, Craig O

    2011-01-01

    I review recent work on X-ray sources in Galactic globular clusters, identified with low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs), cataclysmic variables (CVs), millisecond pulsars (MSPs) and coronally active binaries by Chandra. Faint transient LMXBs have been identified in several clusters, challenging our understanding of accretion disk instabilities. Spectral fitting of X-rays from quiescent LMXBs offers the potential to constrain the interior structure of neutron stars. The numbers of quiescent LMXBs scale with the dynamical interaction rates of their host clusters, indicating their dynamical formation. Large numbers of CVs have been discovered, including a very faint population in NGC 6397 that may be at or beyond the CV period minimum. Most CVs in dense clusters seem to be formed in dynamical interactions, but there is evidence that some are primordial binaries. Radio millisecond pulsars show thermal X-rays from their polar caps, and often nonthermal X-rays, either from magnetospheric emission, or from a shock betwe...

  13. NuSTAR discovery of a cyclotron line in the accreting X-ray pulsar IGR J16393-4643

    Bodaghee, Arash; Fornasini, Francesca A; Krivonos, Roman; Stern, Daniel; Mori, Kaya; Rahoui, Farid; Boggs, Steven E; Christensen, Finn E; Craig, William W; Hailey, Charles J; Harrison, Fiona A; Zhang, William W

    2016-01-01

    The high-mass X-ray binary and accreting X-ray pulsar IGR J16393-4643 was observed by NuSTAR in the 3-79 keV energy band for a net exposure time of 50 ks. We present the results of this observation which enabled the discovery of a cyclotron resonant scattering feature with a centroid energy of 29.3(+1.1/-1.3) keV. This allowed us to measure the magnetic field strength of the neutron star for the first time: B = (2.5+/-0.1)e12 G. The known pulsation period is now observed at 904.0+/-0.1 s. Since 2006, the neutron star has undergone a long-term spin-up trend at a rate of P' = -2e-8 s/s (-0.6 s per year, or a frequency derivative of nu' = 3e-14 Hz/s ). In the power density spectrum, a break appears at the pulse frequency which separates the zero slope at low frequency from the steeper slope at high frequency. This addition of angular momentum to the neutron star could be due to the accretion of a quasi-spherical wind, or it could be caused by the transient appearance of a prograde accretion disk that is nearly i...

  14. MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMIC MODELING OF THE ACCRETION SHOCKS IN CLASSICAL T TAURI STARS: THE ROLE OF LOCAL ABSORPTION IN THE X-RAY EMISSION

    We investigate the properties of X-ray emission from accretion shocks in classical T Tauri stars (CTTSs), generated where the infalling material impacts the stellar surface. Both observations and models of the accretion process reveal several aspects that are still unclear: the observed X-ray luminosity in accretion shocks is below the predicted value, and the density versus temperature structure of the shocked plasma, with increasing densities at higher temperature, deduced from the observations, is at odds with that proposed in the current picture of accretion shocks. To address these open issues, we investigate whether a correct treatment of the local absorption by the surrounding medium is crucial to explain the observations. To this end, we describe the impact of an accretion stream on a CTTS by considering a magnetohydrodynamic model. From the model results, we synthesize the X-ray emission from the accretion shock by producing maps and spectra. We perform density and temperature diagnostics on the synthetic spectra, and we directly compare the results with observations. Our model shows that the X-ray fluxes inferred from the emerging spectra are lower than expected because of the complex local absorption by the optically thick material of the chromosphere and of the unperturbed stream. Moreover, our model, including the effects of local absorption, explains in a natural way the apparently puzzling pattern of density versus temperature observed in the X-ray emission from accretion shocks

  15. Testing the Paradigm that Ultra-Luminous X-Ray Sources as a Class Represent Accreting Intermediate

    Berghea, C. T.; Weaver, K. A.; Colbert, E. J. M.; Roberts, T. P.

    2008-01-01

    To test the idea that ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) in external galaxies represent a class of accreting Intermediate-Mass Black Holes (IMBHs), we have undertaken a program to identify ULXs and a lower luminosity X-ray comparison sample with the highest quality data in the Chandra archive. We establish a general property of ULXs that the most X-ray luminous objects possess the fattest X-ray spectra (in the Chandra band pass). No prior sample studies have established the general hardening of ULX spectra with luminosity. This hardening occurs at the highest luminosities (absorbed luminosity > or equals 5x10(exp 39) ergs/s) and is in line with recent models arguing that ULXs are actually stellar-mass black holes. From spectral modeling, we show that the evidence originally taken to mean that ULXs are IMBHs - i.e., the "simple IMBH model" - is nowhere near as compelling when a large sample of ULXs is looked at properly. During the last couple of years, XMM-Newton spectroscopy of ULXs has to some large extent begun to negate the simple IMBH model based on fewer objects. We confirm and expand these results, which validates the XMM-Newton work in a broader sense with independent X-ray data. We find (1) that cool disk components are present with roughly equal probability and total flux fraction for any given ULX, regardless of luminosity, and (2) that cool disk components extend below the standard ULX luminosity cutoff of 10(exp 39) ergs/s, down to our sample limit of 10(exp 38:3) ergs/s. The fact that cool disk components are not correlated with luminosity damages the argument that cool disks indicate IMBHs in ULXs, for which a strong statistical support was never made.

  16. Comptonization in the accretion column of the X-ray pulsar GX~1+4

    Galloway, D. K.

    2000-01-01

    X-ray observations of the binary pulsar GX 1+4 made using the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite between February 1996 and May 1997 were analysed to quantify source spectral variation with luminosity. Mean Proportional Counter Array (PCA) spectra over the range 2-40 keV are best fitted with a Comptonization model, with source spectrum temperature T_0 approx 1-1.3 keV, plasma temperature T_e approx 6-10 keV, and optical depth tau approx 2-6. The range of fitted T_0 was consistent wit...

  17. Light-bending Scenario for Accreting Black Holes in X-ray Polarimetry

    Dovčiak, Michal; Muleri, F.; Goosmann, René; Karas, Vladimír; Matt, G.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 731, č. 1 (2011), 75/1-75/15. ISSN 0004-637X R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LC06014; GA ČR GA205/07/0052 Grant ostatní: ESA(XE) ESA-PECS project No.98040 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : polarization * relativistic processes * X-rays: binaries * X-rays: galaxies Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 6.024, year: 2011

  18. Theory of quasi-spherical accretion in X-ray pulsars

    Shakura, N.; Postnov, K.; Kochetkova, A.; Hjalmarsdotter, L.

    2011-01-01

    A theoretical model for quasi-spherical subsonic accretion onto slowly rotating magnetized neutron stars is constructed. In this model the accreting matter subsonically settles down onto the rotating magnetosphere forming an extended quasi-static shell. This shell mediates the angular momentum removal from the rotating neutron star magnetosphere during spin-down episodes by large-scale convective motions. The accretion rate through the shell is determined by the ability of the plasma to enter...

  19. Formation of millisecond pulsars with CO white dwarf companions - II. Accretion, spin-up, true ages and comparison to MSPs with He white dwarf companions

    Tauris, Thomas M; Kramer, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) are mainly characterised by their spin periods, B-fields and masses - quantities which are largely affected by previous interactions with a companion star in a binary system. In this paper, we investigate the formation mechanism of MSPs by considering the pulsar recycling process in both intermediate-mass X-ray binaries (IMXBs) and low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs). The IMXBs mainly lead to the formation of binary MSPs with a massive carbon-oxygen (CO) or an oxygen-neon-magnesium white dwarf (ONeMg WD) companion, whereas the LMXBs form recycled pulsars with a helium white dwarf (He WD) companion. We discuss the accretion physics leading to the spin-up line in the PPdot-diagram and demonstrate that such a line cannot be uniquely defined. We derive a simple expression for the amount of accreted mass needed for any given pulsar to achieve its equilibrium spin and apply this to explain the observed differences of the spin distributions of recycled pulsars with different types of companion...

  20. Studies of the Origin of High-frequency Quasi-periodic Oscillations of Mass-accreting Black Holes in X-Ray Binaries with Next-generation X-Ray Telescopes

    Beheshtipour, Banafsheh; Hoormann, Janie K.; Krawczynski, Henric

    2016-08-01

    Observations with RXTE (Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer) revealed the presence of high-frequency quasi-periodic oscillations (HFQPOs) of the X-ray flux from several accreting stellar-mass black holes. HFQPOs (and their counterparts at lower frequencies) may allow us to study general relativity in the regime of strong gravity. However, the observational evidence today does not yet allow us to distinguish between different HFQPO models. In this paper we use a general-relativistic ray-tracing code to investigate X-ray timing spectroscopy and polarization properties of HFQPOs in the orbiting Hotspot model. We study observational signatures for the particular case of the 166 Hz quasi-periodic oscillation (QPO) in the galactic binary GRS 1915+105. We conclude with a discussion of the observability of spectral signatures with a timing-spectroscopy experiment such as the LOFT (Large Observatory for X-ray Timing) and polarization signatures with space-borne X-ray polarimeters such as IXPE (Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer), PolSTAR (Polarization Spectroscopic Telescope Array), PRAXyS(Polarimetry of Relativistic X-ray Sources), or XIPE (X-ray Imaging Polarimetry Explorer). A mission with high count rate such as LOFT would make it possible to get a QPO phase for each photon, enabling the study of the QPO-phase-resolved spectral shape and the correlation between this and the flux level. Owing to the short periods of the HFQPOs, first-generation X-ray polarimeters would not be able to assign a QPO phase to each photon. The study of QPO-phase-resolved polarization energy spectra would thus require simultaneous observations with a first-generation X-ray polarimeter and a LOFT-type mission.

  1. Quasi-periodic oscillations in accreting magnetic white dwarfs I. Observational constraints in X-ray and optical

    Bonnet-Bidaud, J M; Busschaert, C; Falize, E; Michaut, C

    2015-01-01

    Quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) are observed in the optical flux of some polars with typical periods of 1 to 3 s but none have been observed yet in X-rays where a significant part of the accreting energy is released. QPOs are expected and predicted from shock oscillations. Most of the polars have been observed by the XMM-Newton satellite. We made use of the homogeneous set of observations of the polars by XMM-Newton to search for the presence of QPOs in the (0.5-10 keV) energy range and to set significant upper limits for the brightest X-ray polars. We extracted high time-resolution X-ray light curves by taking advantage of the 0.07 sec resolution of the EPIC-PN camera. Among the 65 polars observed with XMM-Newton from 1998 to 2012, a sample of 24 sources was selected on the basis of their counting rate in the PN instrument to secure significant limits. We searched for QPOs using Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) methods and defined limits of detection using statistical tools. Among the sample surveyed, none sh...

  2. The impact of accretion disk winds on the X-ray spectrum of AGN: Part 1 - XSCORT

    Schurch, N J

    2007-01-01

    (abridged) The accretion disk in AGN is expected to produce strong outflows, in particular a UV-line driven wind. Despite providing a good fit to the data, current spectral models of the X-ray spectrum of AGN observed through an accretion disk wind are ad-hoc in their treatment of the properties of the wind material. In order to address these limitations we adopt a numerical computation method that links a series of radiative transfer calculations, incorporating the effect of a global velocity field in a self-consistent manner (XSCORT). We present a series of example spectra from the XSCORT code that allow us to examine the shape of AGN X-ray spectra seen through a wind, for a range of velocity and density distributions, total column densities and initial ionization parameters. These detailed spectral models clearly show considerable complexity and structure that is strongly affected by all these factors. The presence of sharp features in the XSCORT spectra contrasts strongly with both the previous models and...

  3. Revealing accretion onto black holes: X-ray reflection throughout three outbursts of GX 339-4

    Plant, D S; Ponti, G; Muñoz-Darias, T; Coriat, M

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the dynamics behind black hole state transitions and the changes they reflect in outbursts has become long-standing problem. The X-ray reflection spectrum describes the interaction between the hard X-ray source (the power-law continuum) and the cool accretion disc it illuminates, and thus permits an indirect view of how the two evolve. We present a systematic analysis of the reflection spectrum throughout three outbursts (500+ observations) of the black hole binary GX 339-4, representing the largest study applying a self-consistent treatment of reflection to date. Particular attention is payed to the coincident evolution of the power-law and reflection, which can be used to determine the accretion geometry. The hard state is found to be distinctly reflection weak, however the ratio of reflection to power-law gradually increases as the source luminosity rises. In contrast the reflection is found dominate the power-law throughout most of the soft state, with increasing supremacy as the source deca...

  4. X-ray constraints on ionizing photons from accreting black holes at Z~6

    Moustakas, Leonidas A.; Immler, Stefan

    2004-01-01

    Using an X-ray stacking procedure, we provide a robust upper limit to the X-ray luminosity per object of a set of 54 z~5.8 galaxy candidates in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, which is within the 1 Ms-exposure Chandra Deep Field-South (CDF-S). With an effective total exposure of 44 Ms for the stack, the 3-sigma flux-density limit of 2.1E-17 erg/cm^2/s (soft-band) gives a 3-sigma upper-limit luminosity of L_X = 8E42 erg/s per object at a rest-frame hard energy range of 3-14 keV at z~5.8 for a pho...

  5. Spin frequency distributions of binary millisecond pulsars

    A. Papitto; D.F. Torres; N. Rea; T.M. Tauris

    2014-01-01

    Rotation-powered millisecond radio pulsars have been spun up to their present spin period by a 108−109 yr long X-ray-bright phase of accretion of matter and angular momentum in a low-to-intermediate mass binary system. Recently, the discovery of transitional pulsars that alternate cyclically between

  6. The XMM-Newton Bright Survey sample of absorbed quasars: X-ray and accretion properties

    Ballo, L; Della Ceca, R; Caccianiga, A; Vignali, C; Carrera, F J; Corral, A; Mateos, S

    2014-01-01

    Although absorbed quasars are extremely important for our understanding of the energetics of the Universe, the main physical parameters of their central engines are still poorly known. In this work we present and study a complete sample of 14 quasars (QSOs) that are absorbed in the X-rays (column density NH>4x10^21 cm-2 and X-ray luminosity L(2-10 keV)>10^44 ergs/s; XQSO2) belonging to the XMM-Newton Bright Serendipitous Survey (XBS). From the analysis of their ultraviolet-to-mid-infrared spectral energy distribution we can separate the nuclear emission from the host galaxy contribution, obtaining a measurement of the fundamental nuclear parameters, like the mass of the central supermassive black hole and the value of Eddington ratio, lambda_Edd. Comparing the properties of XQSO2s with those previously obtained for the X-ray unabsorbed QSOs in the XBS, we do not find any evidence that the two samples are drawn from different populations. In particular, the two samples span the same range in Eddington ratios, ...

  7. X-RAYING AN ACCRETION DISK IN REALTIME: THE EVOLUTION OF IONIZED REFLECTION DURING A SUPERBURST FROM 4U 1636-536

    When a thermonuclear X-ray burst ignites on an accreting neutron star, the accretion disk undergoes sudden strong X-ray illumination, which can drive a range of processes in the disk. Observations of superbursts, with durations of several hours, provide the best opportunity to study these processes and to probe accretion physics. Using detailed models of X-ray reflection, we perform time resolved spectroscopy of the superburst observed from 4U 1636-536 in 2001 with the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer. The spectra are consistent with a blackbody reflecting off a photoionized accretion disk, with the ionization state dropping with time. The evolution of the reflection fraction indicates that the initial reflection occurs from a part of the disk at larger radius, subsequently transitioning to reflection from an inner region of the disk. Even though this superburst did not reach the Eddington limit, we find that a strong local absorber develops during the superburst. Including this event, only two superbursts have been observed by an instrument with sufficient collecting area to allow for this analysis. It highlights the exciting opportunity for future X-ray observatories to investigate the processes in accretion disks when illuminated by superbursts

  8. X-Ray Determination of the Variable Rate of Mass Accretion onto TW Hydrae

    Brickhouse, N S; Dupree, A K; Günther, H M; Luna, G J M; Wolk, S J

    2012-01-01

    Diagnostics of electron temperature (T_e), electron density (n_e), and hydrogen column density (N_H) from the Chandra High Energy Transmission Grating spectrum of He-like Ne IX in TW Hydrae (TW Hya), in conjunction with a classical accretion model, allow us to infer the accretion rate onto the star directly from measurements of the accreting material. The new method introduces the use of the absorption of Ne IX lines as a measure of the column density of the intervening, accreting material. On average, the derived mass accretion rate for TW Hya is 1.5 x 10^{-9} M_{\\odot} yr^{-1}, for a stellar magnetic field strength of 600 Gauss and a filling factor of 3.5%. Three individual Chandra exposures show statistically significant differences in the Ne IX line ratios, indicating changes in N_H, T_e, and n_e by factors of 0.28, 1.6, and 1.3, respectively. In exposures separated by 2.7 days, the observations reported here suggest a five-fold reduction in the accretion rate. This powerful new technique promises to subs...

  9. Electromagnetic spin down of a transient accreting millisecond pulsar during quiescence

    Melatos, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    The measured spin-down rates in quiescence of the transient accreting millisecond pulsars IGR J00291+5934, XTE J1751-305, SAX J1808.4-3658, and Swift J1756.9-2508 have been used to estimate the magnetic moments of these objects assuming standard magnetic dipole braking. It is shown that this approach leads to an overestimate, if the amount of residual accretion is enough to distort the magnetosphere away from a force-free configuration, through magnetospheric mass loading or crushing, so that the lever arm of the braking torque migrates inside the light cylinder. We derive an alternative spin-down formula and calculate the residual accretion rates where the formula is applicable. As a demonstration, we apply the alternative spin-down formula to produce updated magnetic moment estimates for the four objects above. We note that, based on current uncertain observations of quiescent accretion rates, magnetospheric mass loading and crushing are neither firmly indicated nor ruled out in these four objects. Because ...

  10. Chaotic and stochastic processes in the accretion flows of the black hole X-ray binaries revealed by recurrence analysis

    Suková, Petra; Grzedzielski, Mikolaj; Janiuk, Agnieszka

    2016-02-01

    Aims: Both the well known microquasar GRS 1915+105, as well as its recently discovered analogue, IGR J17091-3624, exhibit variability that is characteristic of a deterministic chaotic system. Their specific kind of quasi-periodic flares that are observed in some states is intrinsically connected with the global structure of the accretion flow, which are governed by the nonlinear hydrodynamics. One plausible mechanism that is proposed to explain this kind of variability is the thermal-viscous instability that operates in the accretion disk. The purely stochastic variability that occurs because of turbulent conditions in the plasma, is quantified by the power density spectra and appears in practically all types of sources and their spectral states. Methods: We pose a question as to whether these two microquasars are one of a kind, or if the traces of deterministic chaos, and hence the accretion disk instability, may also be hidden in the observed variability of other sources. We focus on the black hole X-ray binaries that accrete at a high rate and are, therefore, theoretically prone to the development of radiation pressure-induced instability. To study the nonlinear behaviour of the X-ray sources and distinguish between the chaotic and stochastic nature of their emission, we propose a novel method, which is based on recurrence analysis. Widely known in other fields of physics, this powerful method is used here for the first time in an astrophysical context. We estimate the indications of deterministic chaos quantitatively, such as the Rényi's entropy for the observed time series, and we compare them with surrogate data. Results: Using the observational data collected by the RXTE satellite, we reveal the oscillations pattern and the observable properties of six black hole systems. For five of them, we confirm the signatures of deterministic chaos being the driver of their observed variability. Conclusions: We test the method and confirm the deterministic nature of

  11. Studies of the Origin of High-Frequency Quasi-Periodic Oscillations of Mass Accreting Black Holes in X-ray Binaries with Next-Generation X-ray Telescopes

    Beheshtipour, Banafsheh; Krawczynski, Henric

    2016-01-01

    Observations with RXTE (Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer) revealed the presence of High Frequency Quasi-Periodic Oscillations (HFQPOs) of the X-ray flux from several accreting stellar mass Black Holes. HFQPOs (and their counterparts at lower frequencies) may allow us to study general relativity in the strong gravity regime. However, the observational evidence today does not yet allow us to distinguish between different HFQPO models. In this paper we use a general relativistic ray-tracing code to investigate X-ray timing-spectroscopy and polarization properties of HFQPOs in the orbiting Hotspot model. We study observational signatures for the particular case of the 166 Hz quasi-periodic oscillation (QPO) in the galactic binary GRS 1915+105. We conclude with a discussion of the observability of spectral signatures with a timing-spectroscopy experiment like the LOFT (Large Observatory for X-ray Timing) and polarization signatures with space-borne X-ray polarimeters such as IXPE (Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer), P...

  12. The ultraluminous X-ray source NGC 5643 ULX1 : a large stellar mass black hole accreting at super-Eddington rates?

    Pintore, F.; Zampieri, L.; Sutton, A. D.; Roberts, T. P.; Middleton, M. J.; Gladstone, J. C.

    2016-01-01

    A sub-set of the brightest ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs), with X-ray luminosities well above 1040 erg s−1, typically have energy spectra which can be well described as hard power laws, and short-term variability in excess of ∼10 per cent. This combination of properties suggests that these ULXs may be some of the best candidates to host intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs), which would be accreting at sub-Eddington rates in the hard state seen in Galactic X-ray binaries. In this work, we...

  13. X-ray Probes of Black Hole Accretion Disks for Testing the No-Hair Theorem

    Johannsen, Tim

    2015-01-01

    The spins of a number of supermassive and stellar-mass black holes have been measured based on detections of thermal continuum emission and relativistically broadened iron lines in their x-ray spectra. Likewise, quasiperiodic variability has been observed in several sources. Such measurements commonly make the assumption that black holes are described by the Kerr metric, which according to the no-hair theorem characterizes black holes uniquely in terms of their masses and spins. This fundamental property of black holes can be tested observationally by measuring potential deviations from the Kerr metric introduced by a parametrically deformed Kerr-like spacetime. Thermal spectra, iron lines, and variability have already been studied extensively in several such metrics, which usually depend on only one particular type of deviation or contain unphysical regions outside of the compact object. In this paper, I study these x-ray probes in the background of a new Kerr-like metric which depends on four independent de...

  14. Black hole accretion rings revealed by future X-ray spectroscopy

    Sochora, Vjačeslav; Karas, Vladimír; Svoboda, Jiří; Dovčiak, Michal

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 418, č. 1 (2011), s. 276-283. ISSN 0035-8711 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/07/0052; GA MŠk ME09036 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : black hole s * accretion discs Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 4.900, year: 2011

  15. THE LONGEST TIMESCALE X-RAY VARIABILITY REVEALS EVIDENCE FOR ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI IN THE HIGH ACCRETION STATE

    The All Sky Monitor (ASM) on board the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer has continuously monitored a number of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with similar sampling rates for 14 years, from 1996 January to 2009 December. Utilizing the archival ASM data of 27 AGNs, we calculate the normalized excess variances of the 300-day binned X-ray light curves on the longest timescale (between 300 days and 14 years) explored so far. The observed variance appears to be independent of AGN black-hole mass and bolometric luminosity. According to the scaling relation of black-hole mass (and bolometric luminosity) from galactic black hole X-ray binaries (GBHs) to AGNs, the break timescales that correspond to the break frequencies detected in the power spectral density (PSD) of our AGNs are larger than the binsize (300 days) of the ASM light curves. As a result, the singly broken power-law (soft-state) PSD predicts the variance to be independent of mass and luminosity. Nevertheless, the doubly broken power-law (hard-state) PSD predicts, with the widely accepted ratio of the two break frequencies, that the variance increases with increasing mass and decreases with increasing luminosity. Therefore, the independence of the observed variance on mass and luminosity suggests that AGNs should have soft-state PSDs. Taking into account the scaling of the break timescale with mass and luminosity synchronously, the observed variances are also more consistent with the soft-state than the hard-state PSD predictions. With the averaged variance of AGNs and the soft-state PSD assumption, we obtain a universal PSD amplitude of 0.030 ± 0.022. By analogy with the GBH PSDs in the high/soft state, the longest timescale variability supports the standpoint that AGNs are scaled-up GBHs in the high accretion state, as already implied by the direct PSD analysis.

  16. X-ray Reflected Spectra from Accretion Disk Models. III. A Complete Grid of Ionized Reflection Calculations

    Garcia, J.; Dauser, T.; Reynolds, C. S.; Kallman, T. R.; McClintock, J. E.; Wilms, J.; Ekmann, W.

    2013-01-01

    We present a new and complete library of synthetic spectra for modeling the component of emission that is reflected from an illuminated accretion disk. The spectra were computed using an updated version of our code xillver that incorporates new routines and a richer atomic data base. We offer in the form of a table model an extensive grid of reflection models that cover a wide range of parameters. Each individual model is characterized by the photon index Gamma of the illuminating radiation, the ionization parameter zeta at the surface of the disk (i.e., the ratio of the X-ray flux to the gas density), and the iron abundance A(sub Fe) relative to the solar value. The ranges of the parameters covered are: 1.2 emission line, which is the crucial spectral feature used to measure black hole spin. A total of 720 reflection spectra are provided in a single FITS file suitable for the analysis of X-ray observations via the atable model in xspec. Detailed comparisons with previous reflection models illustrate the improvements incorporated in this version of xillver.

  17. Superorbital Periodic Modulation in Wind-Accretion High-Mass X-ray Binaries from Swift BAT Observations

    Corbet, Robin H D

    2013-01-01

    We report the discovery using data from the Swift Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) of superorbital modulation in the wind-accretion supergiant high-mass X-ray binaries 4U 1909+07 (= X 1908+075), IGR J16418-4532, and IGR J16479-4514. Together with already known superorbital periodicities in 2S 0114+650 and IGR J16493-4348, the systems exhibit a monotonic relationship between superorbital and orbital periods. These systems include both supergiant fast X-ray transients (SFXTs) and classical supergiant systems, and have a range of inclination angles. This suggests an underlying physical mechanism which is connected to the orbital period. In addition to these sources with clear detections of superorbital periods, IGR J16393-4643 (= AX J16390.4-4642) is identified as a system that may have superorbital modulation due to the coincidence of low-amplitude peaks in power spectra derived from BAT, RXTE PCA, and INTEGRAL light curves. 1E 1145.1-6141 may also be worthy of further attention due to the amount of low-frequency mo...

  18. X-ray Pulsation Searches with NICER

    Ray, Paul S.; Arzoumanian, Zaven

    2016-04-01

    The Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) is an X-ray telescope with capabilities optimized for the study of the structure, dynamics, and energetics of neutron stars through high-precision timing of rotation- and accretion-powered pulsars in the 0.2-12 keV band. It has large collecting area (twice that of the XMM-Newton EPIC-pn camera), CCD-quality spectral resolution, and high-precision photon time tagging referenced to UTC through an onboard GPS receiver. NICER will begin its 18-month prime mission as an attached payload on the International Space Station around the end of 2016. I will describe the science planning for the pulsation search science working group, which is charged with searching for pulsations and studying flux modulation properties of pulsars and other neutron stars. A primary goal of our observations is to detect pulsations from new millisecond pulsars that will contribute to NICER’s studies of the neutron star equation of state through pulse profile modeling. Beyond that, our working group will search for pulsations in a range of source categories, including LMXBs, new X-ray transients that might be accreting millisecond pulsars, X-ray counterparts to unassociated Fermi LAT sources, gamma-ray binaries, isolated neutron stars, and ultra-luminous X-ray sources. I will survey our science plans and give an overview of our planned observations during NICER’s prime mission.

  19. The Accreting Black Hole Swift J1753.5-0127 from Radio to Hard X-Ray

    Tomsick, John A.; Rahoui, Farid; Kolehmainen, Mari; Miller-Jones, James; Fürst, Felix; Yamaoka, Kazutaka; Akitaya, Hiroshi; Corbel, Stéphane; Coriat, Mickael; Done, Chris; Gandhi, Poshak; Harrison, Fiona A.; Huang, Kuiyun; Kaaret, Philip; Kalemci, Emrah; Kanda, Yuka; Migliari, Simone; Miller, Jon M.; Moritani, Yuki; Stern, Daniel; Uemura, Makoto; Urata, Yuji

    2015-07-01

    We report on multiwavelength measurements of the accreting black hole Swift J1753.5-0127 in the hard state at low luminosity (L ˜ 2.7 × 1036 erg s-1 assuming a distance of d = 3 kpc) in 2014 April. The radio emission is optically thick synchrotron, presumably from a compact jet. We take advantage of the low extinction (E(B-V)=0.45 from earlier work) and model the near-IR to UV emission with a multitemperature disk model. Assuming a black hole mass of MBH = 5 M⊙ and a system inclination of i = 40°, the fits imply an inner radius for the disk of Rin/Rg > 212d3(MBH/5 M⊙)-1, where Rg is the gravitational radius of the black hole and d3 is the distance to the source in units of 3 kpc. The outer radius is Rout/Rg=90,000 d3(MBH/5 M⊙)-1, which corresponds to 6.6 × 1010 d3 cm, consistent with the expected size of the disk given previous measurements of the size of the companion's Roche lobe. The 0.5-240 keV energy spectrum measured by Swift/X-ray Telescope (XRT), Suzaku (XIS, PIN, and GSO), and Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array is relatively well characterized by an absorbed power law with a photon index of Γ = 1.722 ± 0.003 (90% confidence error), but a significant improvement is seen when a second continuum component is added. Reflection is a possibility, but no iron line is detected, implying a low iron abundance. We are able to fit the entire (radio to 240 keV) spectral energy distribution (SED) with a multitemperature disk component, a Comptonization component, and a broken power law, representing the emission from the compact jet. The broken power law cannot significantly contribute to the soft X-ray emission, and this may be related to why Swift J1753.5-0127 is an outlier in the radio/X-ray correlation. The broken power law (i.e., the jet) might dominate above 20 keV, which would constrain the break frequency to be between 2.4 × 1010 and 3.6 × 1012 Hz. Although the fits to the full SED do not include significant thermal emission in the X-ray band

  20. X-ray Variability of SS 433: Evidence for Supercritical Accretion

    Atapin, Kirill

    2016-01-01

    We study the X-ray variability of SS433 based on data from the ASCA observatory and the MAXI and RXTE/ASM monitoring missions. Based on the ASCA data, we have constructed the power spectrum of SS433 in the frequency range from $10^{-6}$ to 0.1 Hz, which confirms the presence of a flat portion (flat-topped noise) in the spectrum at frequencies $3\\times 10^{-5}$ - $10^{-3}$ Hz. The periodic variability (precession, nutation, eclipses) begins to dominate significantly over the stochastic variability at lower frequencies, which does not allow the stochastic variability to be studied reliably. The best agreement with the observations is reached by the model with the flat portion extending to $9.5\\times10^{-6}$ Hz and a power-law spectrum with index of 2.6 below that frequency. The jet nutation with a period of about three days suggests that the time for the passage of material through the disk is less than this value. Therefore, at frequencies below $4\\times10^{-6}$ Hz, the power spectrum probably does not reflect...

  1. Constraints on the inner accretion flow of 4U/MXB 1636-53 (V 801 Arae) from a comparison of X-ray burst and persistent emission

    E. Damen; R.A.M.J. Wijers; J. van Paradijs; W. Penninx; T. Oosterbroek; W.H.G. Lewin; F. Jansen

    1990-01-01

    A detailed analysis is presented of the importance of Comptonization in burst and persistent spectra of the low-mass X-ray binary 4U/MXB 1636-53, and from this analysis it is inferred that the inner accretion flow is geometrically thin. It is found that burst spectra of 1636-53 are very nearly Planc

  2. A relativistically smeared spectrum in the neutron star X-ray binary 4U 1705-44: looking at the inner accretion disc with X-ray spectroscopy

    Di Salvo, C.; D'Aí, A.; Iaria, R.; Burderi, L.; Dovčiak, Michal; Karas, Vladimír; Matt, G.; Papitto, A.; Piraino, S.; Riggio, A.; Robba, N.R.; Santangelo, A.

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 398, č. 4 (2009), s. 2022-2027. ISSN 0035-8711 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : line formation * individual stars4U 1705−44 * X-ray binaries Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 5.103, year: 2009

  3. Accretion disk dynamo as the trigger for X-ray binary state transitions

    Begelman, Mitchell C; Reynolds, Christopher S

    2015-01-01

    Magnetohydrodynamic accretion disk simulations suggest that much of the energy liberated by the magnetorotational instability (MRI) can be channeled into large-scale toroidal magnetic fields through dynamo action. Under certain conditions, this field can dominate over gas and radiation pressure in providing vertical support against gravity, even close to the midplane. Using a simple model for the creation of this field, its buoyant rise, and its coupling to the gas, we show how disks could be driven into this magnetically dominated state and deduce the resulting vertical pressure and density profiles. Applying an established criterion for MRI to operate in the presence of a toroidal field, we show that magnetically supported disks can have two distinct MRI-active regions, separated by a "dead zone" where local MRI is suppressed, but where magnetic energy continues to flow upward from the dynamo region below. We suggest that the relative strengths of the MRI zones, and the local poloidal flux, determine the sp...

  4. Reprocessing of Soft X-ray Emission Lines in Black Hole Accretion Disks

    Mauche, C W; Mathiesen, B F; Jiménez-Garate, M A; Raymond, J C; Mauche, Christopher W.; Liedahl, Duane A.; Mathiesen, Benjamin F.; Jimenez-Garat, Mario A.; Raymond, John C.

    2004-01-01

    By means of a Monte Carlo code that accounts for Compton scattering and photoabsorption followed by recombination, we have investigated the radiation transfer of Ly alpha, He alpha, and recombination continua photons of H- and He-like C, N, O, and Ne produced in the photoionized atmosphere of a relativistic black hole accretion disk. We find that photoelectric opacity causes significant attenuation of photons with energies above the O VIII K-edge; that the conversion efficiencies of these photons into lower-energy lines and recombination continua are high; and that accounting for this reprocessing significantly (by factors of 21% to 105%) increases the flux of the Ly alpha and He alpha emission lines of H- and He-like C and O escaping the disk atmosphere.

  5. Extended hard-X-ray emission in the inner few parsecs of the Galaxy

    Perez, Kerstin; Hailey, Charles J.; Bauer, Franz E.;

    2015-01-01

    of objects emitting soft X-rays (less than 10 kiloelectronvolts) within the surrounding hundreds of parsecs, as well as the population responsible for unresolved X-ray emission extending along the Galactic plane, is dominated by accreting white dwarf systems. Observations of diffuse hard-X-ray (more......-40 kiloelectronvolt range. This emission is more sharply peaked towards the Galactic Centre than is the surface brightness of the soft-X-ray population. This could indicate a significantly more massive population of accreting white dwarfs, large populations of low-mass X-ray binaries or millisecond pulsars, or...... than 10 kiloelectronvolts) emission in the inner 10 parsecs, however, have been hampered by the limited spatial resolution of previous instruments. Here we report the presence of a distinct hard-X-ray component within the central 4 × 8 parsecs, as revealed by subarcminute-resolution images in the 20...

  6. Nustar and Suzaku X-Ray Spectroscopy Of Ngc 4151: Evidence For Reflection From The Inner Accretion Disk

    Keck, M. L.; Brenneman, L. W.; Ballantyne, D. R.;

    2015-01-01

    profile, which suggests an intense, compact illuminating source. We find a preliminary, near-maximal black hole spin accounting for statistical and systematic modeling errors. We find a relatively moderate reflection fraction with respect to predictions for the lamp post geometry, in which the......We present X-ray timing and spectral analyses of simultaneous 150 ks Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) and Suzaku X-ray observations of the Seyfert 1.5 galaxy NGC 4151. We disentangle the continuum emission, absorption, and reflection properties of the active galactic nucleus (AGN) by...... applying inner accretion disk reflection and absorption-dominated models. With a time-averaged spectral analysis, we find strong evidence for relativistic reflection from the inner accretion disk. We find that relativistic emission arises from a highly ionized inner accretion disk with a steep emissivity...

  7. Stronger Reflection from Black Hole Accretion Disks in Soft X-ray States

    Steiner, James F; Garcia, Javier A; McClintock, Jeffrey E

    2016-01-01

    We analyze 15,000 spectra of 29 stellar-mass black hole candidates collected over the 16-year mission lifetime of RXTE using a simple phenomenological model. As these black holes vary widely in luminosity and progress through a sequence of spectral states, which we broadly refer to as hard and soft, we focus on two spectral components: The Compton power law and the reflection spectrum it generates by illuminating the accretion disk. Our proxy for the strength of reflection is the equivalent width of the Fe-K line as measured with respect to the power law. A key distinction of our work is that for all states we estimate the continuum under the line by excluding the thermal disk component and using only the component that is responsible for fluorescing the Fe-K line, namely the Compton power law. We find that reflection is several times more pronounced (~3) in soft compared to hard spectral states. This is most readily caused by the dilution of the Fe line amplitude from Compton scattering in the corona, which ...

  8. AGN Unification, X-Ray Absorbers and Accretion Disk MHD Winds

    Kazanas, Demos

    2011-01-01

    We present the 2D photoionization structure of the MHD winds of AGN accretion disks. We focus our attention on a specific subset of winds, those with poloidal currents that lead to density profiles n(r) \\propto 1/r. We employ the code XSTAR to compute the local ionization balance, emissivities and opacity which are then used in the self-consistent transfer of radiation and ionization of a host of ionic species of a large number of elements over then entire poloidal plane. Particular attention is paid to the Absorption Measure Distribution (AMD), namely their hydrogen-equivalent column of these ions per logarithmic 7 interval, dN_H/dlog ? (? = L/n(r)r(sup 2) is the ionization parameter), which provides a measure of the winds' radial density profiles. For the given density profile, AMD is found to be independent of ?, in good agreement with analyses of Chandra and XMM data, suggesting the specific profile as a fundamental AGN property. Furthermore, the ratio of equatorial to polar column densities of these winds is \\simeq 10(exp 4); as such, it is shown they serve as the "torus" necessary for AGN unification with phenomenology consistent with the observations. The same winds are also shown to reproduce the observed columns and velocities of C IV and Fe XXV of SAL QSOs once the proper ionizing spectra and inclination angles are employed.

  9. The Transient Accreting X-Ray Pulsar XTE J1946+274: Stability of X-Ray Properties at Low Flux and Updated Orbital Solution

    Marcu-Cheatham, Diana M.; Pottschmidt, Katja; Kühnel, Matthias; Müller, Sebastian; Falkner, Sebastian; Caballero, Isabel; Finger, Mark H.; Jenke, Peter J.; Wilson-Hodge, Colleen A.; Fürst, Felix; Grinberg, Victoria; Hemphill, Paul B.; Kreykenbohm, Ingo; Klochkov, Dmitry; Rothschild, Richard E.; Terada, Yukikatsu; Enoto, Teruaki; Iwakiri, Wataru; Wolff, Michael T.; Becker, Peter A.; Wood, Kent S.; Wilms, Jörn

    2015-12-01

    We present a timing and spectral analysis of the X-ray pulsar XTE J1946+274 observed with Suzaku during an outburst decline in 2010 October and compare with previous results. XTE J1946+274 is a transient X-ray binary consisting of a Be-type star and a neutron star with a 15.75 s pulse period in a 172 days orbit with 2-3 outbursts per orbit during phases of activity. We improve the orbital solution using data from multiple instruments. The X-ray spectrum can be described by an absorbed Fermi-Dirac cut-off power-law model along with a narrow Fe Kα line at 6.4 keV and a weak Cyclotron Resonance Scattering Feature (CRSF) at ˜35 keV. The Suzaku data are consistent with the previously observed continuum flux versus iron line flux correlation expected from fluorescence emission along the line of sight. However, the observed iron line flux is slightly higher, indicating the possibility of a higher iron abundance or the presence of non-uniform material. We argue that the source most likely has only been observed in the subcritical (non-radiation dominated) state since its pulse profile is stable over all observed luminosities and the energy of the CRSF is approximately the same at the highest (˜5 × 1037 erg s-1) and lowest (˜5 × 1036 erg s-1) observed 3-60 keV luminosities.

  10. Multidimensional modelling of X-ray spectra for AGN accretion disc outflows - III. Application to a hydrodynamical simulation

    Sim, S. A.; Proga, D.; Miller, L.; Long, K. S.; Turner, T. J.

    2010-11-01

    We perform multidimensional radiative transfer simulations to compute spectra for a hydrodynamical simulation of a line-driven accretion disc wind from an active galactic nucleus. The synthetic spectra confirm expectations from parametrized models that a disc wind can imprint a wide variety of spectroscopic signatures including narrow absorption lines, broad emission lines and a Compton hump. The formation of these features is complex with contributions originating from many of the different structures present in the hydrodynamical simulation. In particular, spectral features are shaped both by gas in a successfully launched outflow and in complex flows where material is lifted out of the disc plane but ultimately falls back. We also confirm that the strong Fe Kα line can develop a weak, red-skewed line wing as a result of Compton scattering in the outflow. In addition, we demonstrate that X-ray radiation scattered and reprocessed in the flow has a pivotal part in both the spectrum formation and determining the ionization conditions in the wind. We find that scattered radiation is rather effective in ionizing gas which is shielded from direct irradiation from the central source. This effect likely makes the successful launching of a massive disc wind somewhat more challenging and should be considered in future wind simulations.