7,378 research outputs found

    X rays from old open clusters: M 67 and NGC 188

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    We have observed the old open clusters M 67 and NGC 188 with the ROSAT PSPC. In M 67 we detect a variety of X-ray sources. The X-ray emission by a cataclysmic variable, a single hot white dwarf, two contact binaries, and some RS CVn systems is as expected. The X-ray emission by two binaries located below the subgiant branch in the Hertzsprung Russell diagram of the cluster, by a circular binary with a cool white dwarf, and by two eccentric binaries with orbital period > 700 d is puzzling. Two members of NGC 188 are detected, including the FK Com type star D719. Another possible FK Com type star, probably not a member of NGC 188, is also detected.Comment: 10 pages, 5 figures. Accepted for publication on Astronomy & Astrophysic

    Tracing the power-law component in the energy spectrum of black hole candidates as a function of the QPO frequency

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    We investigated the relation between the centroid frequency of the quasi-periodic oscillation observed in the power density spectra of a sample of galactic black-hole candidates with the power-law photon index obtained from spectral fits. Our aim is to avoid inner accretion disk radius determination directly from spectral fits, given the uncertainties of the absolute values obtained in that way, but to base our analysis on the likely association of QPO frequency to a characteristic radius. We used archival RXTE data of GRS 1915+105 and published parameters for GRO 1655-40, XTE J1550-564, XTE J1748-288 and 4U 1630-47. While for low values of the QPO frequency, the two parameters are clearly correlated for each source, there is evidence for a turnoff in the correlation above a characteristic frequency, different for different sources. We discuss the possible nature of this turnoff.Comment: 11 pages, 10 figures. Accepted for publication on Astronomy & Astrophysic

    A Unified Description of the Timing Features of Accreting X-ray Binaries

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    We study an empirical model for a unified description of the power spectra of accreting neutron stars and black holes. This description is based on a superposition of multiple Lorentzians and offers the advantage that all QPO and noise components are dealt with in the same way, without the need of deciding in advance the nature of each component. This approach also allows us to compare frequencies of features with high and low coherences in a consistent manner and greatly facilitates comparison of power spectra across a wide range of source types and states. We apply the model to six sources, the low-luminosity X-ray bursters 1E 1724-3045, SLX 1735-269 and GS 1826-24, the high-latitude transient XTE J1118+480, the bright system Cir X-1, and the Z source GX 17+2. We find that it provides a good description of the observed spectra, without the need for a scale-free (1/f) component. We update previously reported correlations between characteristic frequencies of timing features in the light of this new approach and discuss similarities between different types of systems which may point towards similar underlying physics.Comment: 13 pages, to appear in The Astrophysical Journa

    ASCA observations of the galactic bulge hard x-ray source GRS 1758--258

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    GRS 1758-258 is one of the few persistent hard X-ray emitters (E>100 keV) in the Galaxy. Using the ASCA satellite, we have obtained the first detailed data on GRS 1758-258 in the 1-10 keV range, where previous observations were affected by confusion problems caused by the nearby strong source GX5-1. The spectrum is well described by a power law with photon index 1.7 without strong Fe emission lines. A prominent soft excess, as observed with ROSAT when the hard X-ray flux was in a lower intensity state, was not detected. However, the presence of a soft spectral component, accounting for at most 5% of the 0.1-300 keV flux, cannot be excluded. The accurate measurement of interstellar absorption (N_H=(1.5+-0.1) x 10^22 cm -2) corresponds to an optical extinction which definitely excludes the presence of a massive companion.Comment: 7 pages, AAS latex [11pt,aaspptwo,flushrt,tighten], + 1.ps figure Accepted for pubblication in ApJ, 09 02 96 Also available at http://fy.chalmers.se/~haardt/personal/curr.html Figures 1 and 2 available upon request at [email protected]

    Kinematics of Black Hole X-ray Binary GRS 1915+105

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    The space velocity of a stellar black hole encodes the history of its formation and evolution. Here we measure the 3-dimensional motion of the microquasar GRS 1915+105, using a decade of astrometry with the NRAO Very Long Baseline Array, together with the published radial velocity. The velocity in the Galactic Plane deviates from circular rotation by 53-80 +_ 8 km/s, where the range covers any specific distance from 6-12 kpc. Perpendicular to the plane, the velocity is only 10 +_ 4 km/s. The peculiar velocity is minimized at a distance 9-10 kpc, and is then nearly in the radial direction towards the Galactic Center. We discuss mechanisms for the origin of the peculiar velocity, and conclude that it is most likely a consequence of Galactic velocity diffusion on this old binary, rather than the result of a supernova kick during the formation of the 14 Mo black hole. Finally, a brief comparison is made with 4 other BH binaries whose kinematics are well determined.Comment: 16 pages, 4 figures. ApJ accepte

    The complex time behaviour of the microquasar GRS 1915+105 in the \rho-class observed with BeppoSAX. III: The hard X-ray delay and limit cycle mapping

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    The microquasar GRS1915+105 was observed by BeppoSAX in October 2000 for about ten days while the source was in \rho-mode, which is characterized by a quasi-regular type I bursting activity. This paper presents a systematic analysis of the delay of the hard and soft X-ray emission at the burst peaks. The lag, also apparent from the comparison of the [1.7-3.4] keV light curves with those in the [6.8-10.2] keV range, is evaluated and studied as a function of time, spectral parameters, and flux. We apply the limit cycle mapping technique, using as independent variables the count rate and the mean photon rate. The results using this technique were also cross-checked using a more standard approach with the cross-correlation methods. Data are organized in runs, each relative to a continuous observation interval. The detected hard-soft delay changes in the course of the pointing from about 3 s to about 10 s and presents a clear correlation with the baseline count rate.Comment: accepted for publication in A&

    Observations of Rapid Disk-Jet Interaction in the Microquasar GRS 1915+105

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    We present evidence that ~ 30 minute episodes of jet formation in the Galactic microquasar GRS 1915+105 may sometimes entirely be a superposition of smaller, faster phenomena. We base this conclusion on simultaneous X-ray and infrared observations in July 2002, using the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer and the Palomar 5 meter telescope. On two nights, we observed quasi-periodic infrared flares from GRS 1915+105, each accompanied by a set of fast oscillations in the X-ray light curve (indicating an interaction between the jet and accretion disk). In contrast to similar observations in 1997, we find that the duration of each X-ray cycle matches the duration of its accompanying infrared flare, and we observed one instance in which an isolated X-ray oscillation occurred at the same time as a faint infrared "subflare" (of duration ~ 150 seconds) superimposed on one of the main flares. From these data, we are able to conclude that each X-ray oscillation had an associated faint infrared flare and that these flares blend together to form, and entirely comprise, the ~ 30 minute events we observed. Part of the infrared emission in 1997 also appears to be due to superimposed small flares, but it was overshadowed by infrared-bright ejections associated with the appearance of a sharp "trigger" spike in each X-ray cycle that were not present in 2002. We also study the evolution of the X-ray spectrum and find significant differences in the high energy power law component, which was strongly variable in 1997 but not in 2002. Taken together, these observations reveal the diversity of ways in which the accretion disk and jet in black hole systems are capable of interacting and solidify the importance of the trigger spike for large ejections to occur on ~ 30 minute timescales in GRS 1915+105.Comment: 17 pages, 9 figures; accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journa

    The 1998 outburst of the X-ray transient XTE J2012+381 as observed with BeppoSAX

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    We report on the results of a series of X-ray observations of the transient black hole candidate XTE J2012+381 during the 1998 outburst performed with the BeppoSAX satellite. The observed broad-band energy spectrum can be described with the superposition of an absorbed disk black body, an iron line plus a high energy component, modelled with either a power law or a Comptonisation tail. The source showed pronounced spectral variability between our five observations. While the soft component in the spectrum remained almost unchanged throughout our campaign, we detected a hard spectral tail which extended to 200 keV in the first two observations, but became barely detectable up to 50 keV in the following two. A further re-hardening is observed in the final observation. The transition from a hard to a soft and then back to a hard state occurred around an unabsorbed 0.1-200 keV luminosity of 10^38 erg/s (at 10 kpc). This indicates that state transitions in XTE 2012+281 are probably not driven only by mass accretion rate, but additional physical parameters must play a role in the evolution of the outburst.Comment: Paper accepted for publication on A&A (macro included, 9 pages, 5 figures

    Pivotal estimation in high-dimensional regression via linear programming

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    We propose a new method of estimation in high-dimensional linear regression model. It allows for very weak distributional assumptions including heteroscedasticity, and does not require the knowledge of the variance of random errors. The method is based on linear programming only, so that its numerical implementation is faster than for previously known techniques using conic programs, and it allows one to deal with higher dimensional models. We provide upper bounds for estimation and prediction errors of the proposed estimator showing that it achieves the same rate as in the more restrictive situation of fixed design and i.i.d. Gaussian errors with known variance. Following Gautier and Tsybakov (2011), we obtain the results under weaker sensitivity assumptions than the restricted eigenvalue or assimilated conditions
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