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The Onset Phase of "Soft" X-ray Transients

By C. B. Markwardt, N. Shaposhnikov, V. Beckmann, C. R. Shrader, M. P. Rupen, Jean Hebb Swank and D. A. Smith


Transient outbursts of black holes and neutron stars in X-ray binaries with low-mass companions start with a flickering hard power-law flux that contains a low frequency quasi-periodic oscillation (QPO). The frequency of the QPO may reflect the outer boundary of the coronal emission and its inward motion toward the compact object. It has also been proposed that the hard flux is related to the base of a radio emitting outflow or compact jet. We had detailed observations of the beginning of the 2005 outburst of GRO J165.5-40 with RXTE, INTEGRAL, the VLA and ROTSE. We use the X-ray, radio, and optical results in the context of these models to address their applicability to the onset of the outburst and to specify the physical parameters. Decline of the radio flux as both the power-law and disk flux increased constrains the amount of synchrotron self-Compton emission. Values are compared to those of other black hole and neutron star transients. We are glad to acknowledge support by a NASA INTEGRAL Guest Observer Grant and by the UTE project, NRAO, and ROTSE

Topics: Astronomy
Year: 2006
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