X-ray Transients (x-ray + transient)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Discovery of a short orbital period in the Supergiant Fast X-ray Transient IGR J16479,4514

Chetana Jain
ABSTRACT We report here the discovery of a 3.32 d orbital period in the Supergiant Fast X-ray Transient (SFXT) source IGR J16479,4514. Using the long-term light curve of this source obtained with Swift Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) in the energy range of 15,50 keV, we have clearly detected an orbital modulation including a full eclipse of duration ,0.6 d. In the hard X-ray band of the BAT instrument, the eclipse ingress and egress are rapid. We have also used the long-term light curve obtained with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) All Sky Monitor (ASM) in the energy range of 1.5,12 keV. Taken independently, the detection of orbital modulation in the RXTE,ASM light curve is not significant. However, considering a clear detection of orbital modulation in the BAT light curve, we have used the ASM light curve for a more precise determination of the orbital period. IGR J16479,4514 has the shortest orbital period among the three SFXTs with measured/known orbital period. We discuss the implication of a short orbital period with the various mechanisms proposed to explain the transient nature of this class of sources. [source]

A detailed study of the 5-Hz quasi-periodic oscillations in the bright X-ray transient and black hole candidate GRS 1739,278

Rudy Wijnands
We present a detailed study of the 5-Hz quasi-periodic oscillation (QPO) recently discovered in the bright X-ray transient and black hole candidate (BHC) GRS (Borozdin & Trudolyubov) during a Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer observation taken on 1996 March 31. In total 6.6 ksec of on-source data were obtained, divided in two data sets of 3.4 and 3.2 ksec which were separated by ,2.6 ksec. The 5-Hz QPO was only present during the second data set. The QPO increased in strength from below 2 per cent rms amplitude for photon energies below 4 keV to ,5 per cent rms amplitude for energies above 10 keV. The soft QPO photons (below 5 keV) lagged the hard ones (above 10 keV) by almost 1.5 rad. Besides the QPO fundamental, its first overtone was detected. The strength of the overtone increased with photon energy (from < 2 per cent rms below 5 keV to ,8 per cent rms above 10 keV). Although limited statistics did not allow for an accurate determination of the lags of the first overtone, indications are that also for this QPO the soft photons lagged the hard ones. When the 5-Hz QPO was not detected (i.e., during the first part of the observation), a broad noise component was found for photon energies below 10 keV but it became almost a true QPO (with a Q value of ,1.9) above that energy, with a frequency of ,3 Hz. Its hard photons preceded the soft ones in a way reminiscent of the 5-Hz QPO, strongly suggesting that both features are physically related. We discuss our finding in the framework of low-frequency QPOs and their properties in BHCs. [source]

Observations of the quiescent X-ray transients GRS 1124,684 (=GU Mus) and Cen X-4 (=V822 Cen) taken with ULTRACAM on the VLT,

T. Shahbaz
ABSTRACT We present high time-resolution multicolour optical observations of the quiescent X-ray transients GRS 1124,684 (=GU Mus) and Cen X-4 (=V822 Cen) obtained with ULTRACAM. Superimposed on the secondary stars' ellipsoidal modulation in both objects are large flares on time-scales of 30,60 min as well as several distinct rapid flares on time-scales of a few minutes, most of which show further variability and unresolved structure. Not significant quasi-periodic oscillations are observed and the power density spectra of GRS 1124,684 and Cen X-4 can be described by a power law. From the colour,colour diagrams of the flare events, for GRS 1124,684 we find that the flares can be described by hydrogen gas with a density of NH, 1024 nucleons cm,2, a temperature of ,8000 K and arising from a radius of ,0.3 R,. Finally we compile the values for the transition radius (the radius of the hot advection-dominated accretion flow) estimated from quasi-periodic oscillations and/or breaks in the power density spectrum for a variety of X-ray transients in different X-ray states. As expected, we find a strong correlation between the bolometric luminosity and the transition radius. [source]

Parallel tracks in infrared versus X-ray emission in black hole X-ray transient outbursts: a hysteresis effect?

David M. Russell
ABSTRACT We report the discovery of a new hysteresis effect in black hole X-ray binary state transitions, that of the near-infrared (NIR) flux (which most likely originates in the jets) versus X-ray flux. We find, looking at existing data sets, that the IR emission of black hole X-ray transients appears to be weaker in the low/hard state rise of an outburst than the low/hard state decline of an outburst at a given X-ray luminosity. We discuss how this effect may be caused by a shift in the radiative efficiency of the inflowing or outflowing matter, or variations in the disc viscosity or the spectrum/power of the jet. In addition we show that there is a correlation (in slope but not in normalization) between IR and X-ray luminosities on the rise and decline, for all three low-mass black hole X-ray binaries with well-sampled IR and X-ray coverage: LNIR,L0.5,0.7X. In the high/soft state this slope is much shallower; LNIR,L0.1,0.2X, and we find that the NIR emission in this state is most likely dominated by the viscously heated (as opposed to X-ray heated) accretion disc in all three sources. [source]

Interpretation of the 1998 outburst of the unique X-ray transient CI Camelopardalis (XTE J0421+560)

ABSTRACT We present an analysis of the 1998 outburst of the peculiar X-ray binary and X-ray transient CI Cam (XTE J0421+560). We discuss the observations in the framework of several possible models and argue that this outburst can be explained by the thermal instability of the accretion disc, analogous to the outbursts of soft X-ray transients. Applying the model by King & Ritter and Shahbaz, Charles & King on the X-ray light curve, we obtain a realistic mass of the disc at the peak of outburst to be Mh(0) , 1.5 1023 g (the distance d= 5 kpc) or 3.8 1022 g (d= 2.5 kpc). The disc radius at this moment is then Rh(0) , 2.5 1010 cm (d= 5 kpc) or 1.6 1010 cm (d= 2.5 kpc), provided that the factor f (the ratio of the mass of the hot disc at that moment with respect to its maximum possible mass) is close to unity. Even if we take a quite low f= 0.05, we still obtain Rh(0) by only 2.7 times larger. The reddening in the outburst maximum and brighter peak absolute magnitude of CI Cam with respect to those of soft X-ray transients in outbursts can be explained if the disc in CI Cam heats up an extended envelope and/or a strong jet is formed. We thus bring firm arguments for Robinson, Ivans & Welsh's hypothesis. On the other hand, we bring the arguments against the mass transfer burst from the donor and the periastron passage of the compact object. [source]