2,379 research outputs found

    A comparison of the fast timing behaviour of 4U 1705-44 to that of 4U 1608-52 and Cyg X-1

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    We studied the fast timing behaviour of the atoll source 4U 1705-44 using the entire EXOSAT dataset, four observations covering a total of 230,000 seconds of 1-20 keV spectral and timing data. In one of the observations, 4U 1705-44 was in a low intensity "island" state and had an unusually hard spectrum. The fast timing analysis of this hard island state shows a power spectrum very similar to that of black hole candidates in the "low state", with a flat-topped band-limited noise component that gradually steepens towards higher frequency. We perform for the first time a quantitative comparison of the timing behaviour of an atoll source in the hard island state (4U 1705-44) with that of a black hole candidate in the low state (Cygnus X-1). We also compare the power spectrum of 4U 1705-44 in the hard island state with those of the atoll source 4U 1608-52 in a similar state as reported by Yoshida et al. (1993). Our results confirm that there are similarities between the fast timing behaviour of the hard island states of these atoll sources and the low state of black hole candidates, yet we also find significant differences in power spectral parameters; the power spectra of the neutron star systems have a lower rms amplitude and are less steep. We find a trend among the neutron star power spectral properties, in the sense that the lower the centroid frequency of the fitted Lorentzian is, the higher its fractional rms amplitude, and the steeper the continuum underneath it. We propose a new method to fit the power spectra of Cyg X-1 and other black hole candidates in the low state, that provides a significantly better fit than previous models.Comment: Accepted for publication in A&A 7 pages 4 figure

    Identification of black hole power spectral components across all canonical states

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    From a uniform analysis of a large (8.5 Ms) Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer data set of Low Mass X-ray Binaries, we present a complete identification of all the variability components in the power spectra of black holes in their canonical states. It is based on gradual frequency shifts of the components observed between states, and uses a previous identification in the black hole low hard state as a starting point. It is supported by correlations between the frequencies in agreement with those previously found to hold for black hole and neutron stars. Similar variability components are observed in neutron stars and black holes (only the component observed at the highest frequencies is different) which therefore cannot depend on source-specific characteristics such as the magnetic field or surface of the neutron star or spin of the black hole. As the same variability components are also observed across the jet-line the X-ray variability cannot originate from the outer-jet but is most likely produced in either the disk or the corona. We use the identification to directly compare the difference in strength of the black hole and neutron star variability and find these can be attributed to differences in frequency and strength of high frequency features, and do not require the absence of any components. Black holes attain their highest frequencies (in the hard-intermediate and very-high states) at a level a factor ~6 below the highest frequencies attained by the corresponding neutron star components, which can be related to the mass difference between the compact objects in these systems.Comment: 17 pages, 16 figures, accepted for publication in Ap

    The X-ray fast-time variability of Sco X-2 (GX 349+2) with RXTE

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    Sco X-2 (GX 349+2) is a low-mass X-ray binary and Z source. We have analysed 156 ks of Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer data, obtained in 1998 January, on this source. We investigated the fast-time variability as a function of position on the Z track. During these observations, Sco X-2 traced out the most extensive Z track ever reported from this object, making this the most comprehensive study thus far. We found the broad peaked flaring branch noise that is typical of Sco X-2, with a centroid frequency in the range 3.3--5.8 Hz. We also discovered low frequency noise, and a new peaked noise feature, with centroid frequencies in the range 5.4--7.6 Hz and 11--54 Hz, respectively. We discuss the phenomenology of these features, their relationship with the power spectral components found in other low-mass X-ray binaries, and the implications for current models. In particular, the low frequency noise we observed was strongest at intermediate energies, in contrast to the low frequency noise seen in other Z sources. We also detected very low frequency noise, and have calculated complex cross spectra between intensity and hardness. We found that the very low frequency noise is not entirely due to motion along the Z track.Comment: 17 pages, 9 figures, minor improvements, accepted for publication in MNRA

    The Amplitude of the Kilohertz Quasi-periodic Oscillations in 4U 1728-34, 4U 1608-52, and Aql X-1, as a Function of X-ray Intensity

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    We study the kilohertz quasi-periodic oscillations (kHz QPOs) in the low-mass X-ray binaries 4U 1728-34, 4U 1608-52, and Aql X-1. Each source traces out a set of nearly parallel lines in a frequency vs. X-ray count rate diagram. We find that between two of these tracks, for similar QPO frequency, the source count rate can differ by up to a factor of ~ 4, whereas at the same time the rms amplitude of the kHz QPOs is only a factor of ~ 1.1 different. We also find that, for 4U 1608-52 and Aql X-1, the rms spectrum of the kHz QPOs does not depend upon which track the source occupies in the frequency vs. X-ray count rate diagram. Our results for 4U 1728-34, 4U 1608-52, and Aql X-1 are inconsistent with scenarios in which the properties of the kHz QPOs are only determined by the mass accretion rate through the disk, whereas X-ray count rate also depends upon other sources of energy that do not affect the QPOs.Comment: Submitted to ApJ.(7 pages; 9 figures

    Are There Three Peaks in the Power Spectra of GX 339-4 and Cyg X-1?

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    Among the variability behaviour exhibited by neutron star systems are the so-called ``horizontal branch oscillations'' (HBO, with frequencies ~50 Hz), the ``lower-frequency kHz quasi-periodic oscillation'' (QPO) and the ``upper-frequency kHz QPO'', with the latter two features being separated in frequency by an amount comparable to, but varying slightly from, the suspected spin-frequency of the neutron star. Recently, Psaltis, Belloni, & van der Klis (1999) have suggested that there exists a correlation between these three frequencies that, when certain identifications of variability features are made, even encompasses black hole sources. We consider this hypothesis by reanalyzing a set of GX 339-4 observations. The power spectral density (PSD) constructed from a composite of 7 separate, but very similar, observations shows evidence for three broad peaks in the PSD. If the peak frequencies of these features are identified with ``QPO'', then their frequencies approximately fit the correlations suggested by Psaltis, Belloni, & van der Klis (1999). We also reanalyze a Cyg X-1 observation and show that the suggested QPO correlation may also hold, but that complications arise when the ``QPOs'' (which, in reality, are fairly broad features) are considered as a function of energy band. These fits suggest the existence of at least three separate, independent physical processes in the accretion flow, a hypothesis that is also supported by consideration of the Fourier frequency-dependent time lags and coherence function between variability in different energy bands.Comment: 8 pages, 7 figures, to appear in MNRA

    The aperiodic timing behaviour of the accretion-driven millisecond pulsar SAX J1808.4-3658

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    We studied the aperiodic X-ray timing behaviour of the accreting millisecond pulsar SAX J1808.4-3658. The source was recently found to be the first accreting millisecond pulsar that shows the kilohertz quasi-periodic oscillations (kilohertz QPOs) that are found in many other X-ray binaries with accreting neutron stars. The high frequency of these signals reflects the short dynamical time scales in the region near the compact object where they originate. We find that in addition to the kilohertz QPOs SAX J1808.4-3658 shows several low frequency timing features, based on which the source can be classified as a so-called atoll source. The frequencies of the variability components of the atoll sources follow a universal scheme of correlations. The correlations in SAX J1808.4-3658 are similar but show a shift in upper kilohertz QPO frequency. This discrepancy is perhaps related to a stronger or differently configured magnetic field.Comment: 4 pages, 3 figures. To appear in the proceedings of the "The Restless High-Energy Universe" (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), 2003, eds. E.P.J. van den Heuvel, J.J.M. in 't Zand, and R.A.M.J. Wijer

    Evolution of the hot flow of MAXI J1543-564

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    We present a spectral and timing analysis of the black hole candidate MAXI J1543-564 during its 2011 outburst. As shown in previous work, the source follows the standard evolution of a black hole outburst. During the rising phase of the outburst we detect an abrupt change in timing behavior associated with the occurrence of a type-B quasi-periodic oscillation (QPO). This QPO and the simultaneously detected radio emission mark the transition between hard and soft intermediate state. We fit power spectra from the rising phase of the outburst using the recently proposed model propfluc. This assumes a truncated disc / hot inner flow geometry, with mass accretion rate fluctuations propagating through a precessing inner flow. We link the propfluc physical parameters to the phenomenological multi-Lorentzian fit parameters. The physical parameter dominating the QPO frequency is the truncation radius, while broad band noise characteristics are also influenced by the radial surface density and emissivity profiles of the flow. In the outburst rise we found that the truncation radius decreases from ro∌24r_o \sim 24 to 10Rg10 R_g, and the surface density increases faster than the mass accretion rate, as previously reported for XTE J1550-564. Two soft intermediate state observations could not be fitted with propfluc, and we suggest that they are coincident with the ejection of material from the inner regions of the flow in a jet or accretion of these regions into the BH horizon, explaining the drop in QPO frequency and suppression of broad band variability preferentially at high energy bands coincident with a radio flare.Comment: 13 pages, 11 figures, 2 table