101 research outputs found

    Using XMM-Newton to study the energy dependent variability of H 1743-322 during its 2014 outburst

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    Black hole transients during bright outbursts show distinct changes of their spectral and variability properties as they evolve during an outburst, that are interpreted as evidence for changes in the accretion flow and X-ray emitting regions. We obtained an anticipated XMM-Newton ToO observation of H 1743-322 during its outburst in September 2014. Based on data of eight outbursts observed in the last 10 years we expected to catch the start of the hard-to-soft state transition. The fact that neither the general shape of the observed power density spectrum nor the characteristic frequency show an energy dependence implies that the source still stays in the low-hard state at the time of our observation near outburst peak. The spectral properties agree with the source being in the low-hard state and a Swift/XRT monitoring of the outburst reveals that H 1743-322 stays in the low-hard state during the entire outburst (a. k. a. 'failed outburst'). We derive the averaged QPO waveform and obtain phase-resolved spectra. Comparing the phase-resolved spectra to the phase averaged energy spectrum reveals spectral pivoting. We compare variability on long and short time scales using covariance spectra and find that the covariance ratio does not show an increase towards lower energies as has been found in other black hole X-ray binaries. There are two possible explanations: either the absence of additional disc variability on longer time scales is related to the rather high inclination of H 1743-322 compared to other black hole X-ray binaries or it is the reason why we observe H 1743-322 during a failed outburst. More data on failed outbursts and on high-inclination sources will be needed to investigate these two possibilities further.Comment: 9 pages, 7 figures, accepted by MNRA

    Detection of distinct power spectra in soft and hard X-ray bands in the hard state of GRS 1915+105

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    The well-known black hole X-ray binary GRS 1915+105 is a unique source in the sense that it cannot be classified within the standard picture of black hole binary states. In this work we study archival XMM-Newton observations taken between 2003 and 2004 of the \c{hi} variability class of GRS 1915+105, which corresponds to the hard state in the standard black hole X-ray binary state classification. The crucial point of our study is that by using XMM-Newton data we can access the variability below 3 keV, an energy range that is not covered with RXTE. We focus on the study of the power spectral shape in the soft and hard X-ray band, in light of our work done with Swift on MAXI J1659-152. In the hard band (above 2.5 keV) power density spectra consist of band-limited noise and quasi-periodic oscillations, corresponding to the power spectral shape seen in the hard or intermediate state, while in the soft band the averaged power density spectrum is consistent with a power-law noise, corresponding to the power spectral shape usually seen in the soft state. The coexisting of two different power spectral shapes in the soft and hard band, where the soft band power spectrum is dominated by a power-law noise, is consistent with MAXI J1659-152, and confirms the energy dependence of power spectral states. Our additional spectral analysis shows that the disc component does contribute to the soft band flux. These findings support that the observed black hole power spectral state depends on which spectral component we are looking at, which implies that power spectral analysis is probably a more sensitive method than spectral modeling to trace the emergence of the disc component in the hard or intermediate state.Comment: 9 pages, 5 figures, submitted to MNRA

    NuSTAR and Swift observations of Swift J1357.2-0933 during an early phase of its 2017 outburst

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    We present a detailed spectral analysis of Swift and NuSTAR observations of the very faint X-ray transient and black hole system Swift J1357.2-0933 during an early low hard state of its 2017 outburst. Swift J1357.2-0933 was observed at \sim0.02% of the Eddington luminosity (for a distance of 2.3 kpc and a mass of 4 M_{\odot}). Despite the low luminosity, the broadband X-ray spectrum between 0.3 and 78 keV requires the presence of a disk blackbody component with an inner disk temperature of Tin_{\mathrm{in}} \sim 0.06 keV in addition to a thermal Comptonization component with a photon index of {\Gamma} \sim 1.70. Using a more physical model, which takes strong relativistic effects into account, and assuming a high inclination of 70^\circ, which is motivated by the presence of dips in optical light curves, we find that the accretion disk is truncated within a few RISCO from the black hole, independent of the spin.Comment: 11 pages, 5 figures, accepted for publication in Ap

    Peculiar outbursts of an ultra luminous source likely signs of an aperiodic disc-wind

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    The metal rich globular cluster RZ 2109 in the massive Virgo elliptical galaxy NGC 4472 (M49) harbours the ultra luminous X-ray source XMMU 122939.7+075333. Previous studies showed that this source varies between bright and faint phases on timescales of just a few hours. Here, we report the discovery of two peculiar X-ray bursting events that last for about 8 and 3.5 hours separated by about 3 days. Such a recurring X-ray burst-like behaviour has never been observed before. We argue that type-I X-ray bursts or super bursts as well as outburst scenarios requiring a young stellar object are highly unlikely explanations for the observed light curve, leaving an aperiodic disc wind scenario driven by hyper-Eddington accretion as a viable explanation for this new type of X-ray flaring activities.Comment: 7 pages, 2 figures, accepted by Ap

    A journey from the hard to the soft state: How do QPOs evolve in the 2021 outburst of GX 339-4?

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    We investigated the snapshots of five NICER observations of the black hole transient GX 339-4 when the source transited from the hard state into the soft state during its outburst in 2021. In this paper, we focused our study on the evolution of quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) and noise components using power-density spectra. In addition, we derived hardness ratios comparing count rates above and below 2 keV. The evolution from the hard to the soft state was a somewhat erratic process showing several transitions between states that are dominated by top-flat noise and can show type-C QPOs; those that are dominated by red noise and can show type-B QPOs. From the parameters that we studied, we only found a strong correlation between the hardness ratio and the type of QPO observed. This implies that the appearance of type-B QPOs is related to a change in the accretion geometry of the system that also reflects in altered spectral properties. We also observed that the type-B QPO forms from or disintegrates into a broad peaked feature when the source comes out of or goes to the hard-intermediate state, respectively. This implies some strong decoherence in the process that creates this feature.Comment: 6 pages, 5 figures, supplementary online material as appendices (13 pages), accepted for publication in MNRA