692 research outputs found

    An INTEGRAL overview of High Mass X-ray Binaries: classes or transitions?

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    We analyzed in a systematic way the public INTEGRAL observations spanning from December 2002 to September 2016, to investigate the hard X-ray properties of about 60 High Mass X-ray Binaries (HMXBs). We considered both persistent and transient sources, hosting either a Be star (Be/XRBs) or a blue supergiant companion (SgHMXBs, including Supergiant Fast X-ray Transients, SFXTs), a neutron star or a black hole. INTEGRAL X-ray light curves (18-50 keV), sampled at a bin time of about 2 ks, were extracted for all HMXBs to derive the cumulative distribution of their hard X-ray luminosity, their duty cycle, the range of variability of their hard X-ray luminosity. This allowed us to obtain an overall and quantitative characterization of the long-term hard X-ray activity of the HMXBs in our sample. Putting the phenomenology observed with INTEGRAL into context with other known source properties (e.g. orbital parameters, pulsar spin periods) together with observational constraints coming from softer X-rays (1-10 keV), enabled the investigation of the way the different HMXB sub-classes behave (and sometimes overlap). For given source properties, the different sub-classes of massive binaries seem to cluster in a suggestive way. However, for what concerns supergiant systems (SgHMXBs versus SFXTs), several sources with intermediate properties exist, suggesting a smooth transition between the two sub-classes.Comment: 27 pages, 17 figures, 3 tables; accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (accepted 2018 August 30. Received 2018 August 22; in original form 2018 May 16

    INTEGRAL study of temporal properties of bright flares in Supergiant Fast X-ray Transients

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    We have characterized the typical temporal behaviour of the bright X-ray flares detected from the three Supergiant Fast X-ray Transients showing the most extreme transient behaviour (XTEJ1739-302, IGRJ17544-2619, SAXJ1818.6-1703). We focus here on the cumulative distributions of the waiting-time (time interval between two consecutive X-ray flares), and the duration of the hard X-ray activity (duration of the brightest phase of an SFXT outburst), as observed by INTEGRAL/IBIS in the energy band 17-50 keV. Adopting the cumulative distribution of waiting-times, it is possible to identify the typical timescale that clearly separates different outbursts, each composed by several single flares at ks timescale. This allowed us to measure the duration of the brightest phase of the outbursts from these three targets, finding that they show heavy-tailed cumulative distributions. We observe a correlation between the total energy emitted during SFXT outbursts and the time interval covered by the outbursts (defined as the elapsed time between the first and the last flare belonging to the same outburst as observed by INTEGRAL). We show that temporal properties of flares and outbursts of the sources, which share common properties regardless different orbital parameters, can be interpreted in the model of magnetized stellar winds with fractal structure from the OB-supergiant stars.Comment: 10 pages, 8 figures, 1 table. Accepted for publication in MNRAS (Accepted 2016 January 26. Received 2016 January 25 ; in original form 2015 December 15

    Wide band observations of the X-ray burster GS 1826-238

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    GS 1826-238 is a well-studied X-ray bursting neutron star in a low mass binary system. Thermal Comptonisation by a hot electron cloud is a widely accepted mechanism accounting for its high energy emission, while the nature of most of its soft X-ray output is not completely understood. A further low energy component is typically needed to model the observed spectra: pure blackbody and Comptonisation-modified blackbody radiation by a lower temperature (a few keV) electron plasma were suggested to explain the low energy data. We studied the steady emission of GS 1826-238 by means of broad band (X to soft Gamma-rays) measurements obtained by the INTEGRAL observatory in 2003 and 2006. The newly developed, up-to-date Comptonisation model CompTB is applied for the first time to study effectively the low-hard state variability of a low-luminosity neutron star in a low-mass X-ray binary system. We confirm that the 3-200 keV emission of \GS is characterised by Comptonisation of soft seed photons by a hot electron plasma. A single spectral component is sufficient to model the observed spectra. At lower energies, no direct blackbody emission is observed and there is no need to postulate a low temperature Compton region. Compared to the 2003 measurements, the plasma temperature decreased from 20 to 14 keV in 2006, together with the seed photons temperature. The source intensity was also found to be 30% lower in 2006, whilst the average recurrence frequency of the X-ray bursts significantly increased. Possible explanations for this apparent deviation from the typical limit-cycle behaviour of this burster are discussed.Comment: 6 pages, 2 figures. Accepted for publication in A&

    XMM-Newton and NuSTAR simultaneous X-ray observations of IGR J11215-5952

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    We report the results of an XMM-Newton and NuSTAR coordinated observation of the Supergiant Fast X-ray Transient (SFXT) IGRJ11215-5952, performed on February 14, 2016, during the expected peak of its brief outburst, which repeats every about 165 days. Timing and spectral analysis were performed simultaneously in the energy band 0.4-78 keV. A spin period of 187.0 +/- 0.4 s was measured, consistent with previous observations performed in 2007. The X-ray intensity shows a large variability (more than one order of magnitude) on timescales longer than the spin period, with several luminous X-ray flares which repeat every 2-2.5 ks, some of which simultaneously observed by both satellites. The broad-band (0.4-78 keV) time-averaged spectrum was well deconvolved with a double-component model (a blackbody plus a power-law with a high energy cutoff) together with a weak iron line in emission at 6.4 keV (equivalent width, EW, of 40+/-10 eV). Alternatively, a partial covering model also resulted in an adequate description of the data. The source time-averaged X-ray luminosity was 1E36 erg/s (0.1-100 keV; assuming 7 kpc). We discuss the results of these observations in the framework of the different models proposed to explain SFXTs, supporting a quasi-spherical settling accretion regime, although alternative possibilities (e.g. centrifugal barrier) cannot be ruled out.Comment: 13 pages, 11 figures, accepted for publication on The Astrophysical Journa
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