707 research outputs found

    Frequency resolved spectroscopy of Cyg X-1: fast variability of the reflected emission in the soft state

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    Using the RXTE/PCA data we study the fast variability of the reflected emission in the soft spectral state of Cyg X-1 by means of Fourier frequency resolved spectroscopy. We find that the rms amplitude of variations of the reflected emission has the same frequency dependence as the primary radiation down to time scales of <30-50 msec. This might indicate that the reflected flux reproduces, with nearly flat response, variations of the primary emission. Such behavior differs notably from the hard spectral state, in which variations of the reflected flux are significantly suppressed in comparison with the primary emission, on time scales shorter than ~0.5-1 sec. If related to the finite light crossing time of the reflector, these results suggest that the characteristic size of the reflector -- presumably an optically thick accretion disk, in the hard spectral state is larger by a factor of >5-10 than in the soft spectral state. Modeling the transfer function of the disk, we estimate the inner radius of the accretion disk R_in~100R_g in the hard and R_in<10R_g in the soft state for a 10M_sun black hole.Comment: submitted to MNRA

    Soft state of Cygnus X-1: stable disk and unstable corona

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    Two component X-ray spectra (soft multicolor black body plus harder power law) are frequently observed from accreting black holes. These components are presumably associated with the different parts of the accretion flow (optically thick and optically thin respectively) in the vicinity of the compact source. Most of the aperiodic variability of the X-ray flux on the short time scales is associated with the harder component. We suggest that drastically different amplitudes of variability of these two components are simply related to the very different viscous time scales in the geometrically thin and geometrically thick parts of the accretion flow. In the geometrically thin disks variations of viscosity or mass accretion rate occurring at large radius from the black hole on the local dynamical or thermal time scales do not cause any significant variations of the mass accretion rate at smaller radii due to a very long diffusion time. Any variations on the time scales shorter than the diffusion time scale are effectively dampened. On the contrary such variations can easily survive in the geometrically thick flows and as a result the mass accretion rate in the innermost region of the flow will reflect modulations of the mass accretion rate added to the flow at any distance from the black hole. Therefore if primary instabilities operate on the short time scales then the stability of the soft component (originating from the geometrically thin and optically thick flow) and variability of the hard component (coming from the geometrically thick and optically thin flow) are naturally explained.Comment: 8 pages; accepted for publication in MNRAS; replaced with accepted versio

    Confinement and diffusion time-scales of CR hadrons in AGN-inflated bubbles

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    While rich clusters are powerful sources of X-rays, gamma-ray emission from these large cosmic structures has not been detected yet. X-ray radiative energy losses in the central regions of relaxed galaxy clusters are so strong that one needs to consider special sources of energy, likely AGN feedback, to suppress catastrophic cooling of the gas. We consider a model of AGN feedback that postulates that the AGN supplies the energy to the gas by inflating bubbles of relativistic plasma, whose energy content is dominated by cosmic-ray (CR) hadrons. If most of these hadrons can quickly escape the bubbles, then collisions of CRs with thermal protons in the intracluster medium (ICM) should lead to strong gamma-ray emission, unless fast diffusion of CRs removes them from the cluster. Therefore, the lack of detections with modern gamma-ray telescopes sets limits on the confinement time of CR hadrons in bubbles and CR diffusive propagation in the ICM.Comment: 8 pages, 2 figures, accepted for publication in MNRA

    Hard X-ray emission of the Earth's atmosphere: Monte Carlo simulations

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    We perform Monte Carlo simulations of cosmic ray-induced hard X-ray radiation from the Earth's atmosphere. We find that the shape of the spectrum emergent from the atmosphere in the energy range 25-300 keV is mainly determined by Compton scatterings and photoabsorption, and is almost insensitive to the incident cosmic-ray spectrum. We provide a fitting formula for the hard X-ray surface brightness of the atmosphere as would be measured by a satellite-born instrument, as a function of energy, solar modulation level, geomagnetic cutoff rigidity and zenith angle. A recent measurement by the INTEGRAL observatory of the atmospheric hard X-ray flux during the occultation of the cosmic X-ray background by the Earth agrees with our prediction within 10%. This suggests that Earth observations could be used for in-orbit calibration of future hard X-ray telescopes. We also demonstrate that the hard X-ray spectra generated by cosmic rays in the crusts of the Moon, Mars and Mercury should be significantly different from that emitted by the Earth's atmosphere.Comment: 12 pages, 16 figures, MNRAS accepte
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