1,452 research outputs found

    Normal Branch Quasi-Periodic Oscillations in Sco X-1: Viscous Oscillations of a Spherical Shell Near the Neutron Star

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    We present a comprehensive classification of all observed QPOs within the framework of the transition layer model using a large set of Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) data for Sco X-1. The model assumes an optically thin material along the observer's line of sight in the horizontal branch and an increasingly optically thick material while in the other two branches that is consistent with X-ray and radio observations and the disk transition layer model of QPOs. We identify the ~ 6 Hz frequencies in the normal branch as acoustic oscillations of a spherical shell around the neutron star (NS) that is formed after radiation pressure near the Eddington accretion rate destroys the disk. The size of the shell is on the order of one NS radii from the NS. We also estimate the upper limit of Sco X-1's magnetic field to be 0.7 x 10^6 G at about one NS radii above the NS surface while in the horizontal X-ray branch.Comment: 12 pages and 2 figures, to be published in the Astrophysical Journal Letter

    Deep Extragalactic X-ray Surveys

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    Deep surveys of the cosmic X-ray background are reviewed in the context of observational progress enabled by the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission-Newton. The sources found by deep surveys are described along with their redshift and luminosity distributions, and the effectiveness of such surveys at selecting active galactic nuclei (AGN) is assessed. Some key results from deep surveys are highlighted including (1) measurements of AGN evolution and the growth of supermassive black holes, (2) constraints on the demography and physics of high-redshift AGN, (3) the X-ray AGN content of infrared and submillimeter galaxies, and (4) X-ray emission from distant starburst and normal galaxies. We also describe some outstanding problems and future prospects for deep extragalactic X-ray surveys.Comment: 32 pages; Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys., Volume 43 (2005); updated to match accepted versio

    A Possible Explanation for the "Parallel Tracks" Phenomenon in Low-Mass X-Ray Binaries

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    An explanation is proposed for the fact that in LMXBs the correlation between most observable X-ray spectral and timing parameters (such as kHz QPO frequency) on the one hand, and Lx on the other, while generally good in a given source on a time scale of hours, is absent both on longer time scales and between sources. This leads to parallel tracks in plots of such parameters vs. Lx. Where previous explanations require at least two time-variable independent parameters, e.g. Mdot through the disk and through a radial inflow, one is in fact sufficient if the systemic response to time variations in this variable has both a prompt and a time-averaged component. I explore a scenario in which most observable spectral and timing parameters to first order depend on disk accretion rate normalized by its own long-term average rather than on any individual Mdot; Lx just depends on total Mdot. Thus, parameters can be uncorrelated to Mdot, yet vary in response to Mdot variations. Numerical simulations of the model describing the dependence of kHz QPO frequency on Lx, which observationally is characterized by a striking pattern of parallel tracks both in individual sources and between sources, reproduce the observations remarkably well. A physical interpretation involving a radial inflow with a rate that derives through a time averaging process from the disk accretion rate, and an inner disk radius that depends on the balance between the accretion through the disk and the total luminosity seems particularly promising. The consequences of this idea for our understanding of states and tracks in LMXBs are discussed, and the applicability of the idea to black-hole candidates, where the observational situation is more complex, is briefly addressed.Comment: 17 pages 3 figures - version accepted for publication in the ApJ; tentatively scheduled for the v561 n2 p1 ApJ November 10, 2001 issue. Some corrections and clarifications w/r to details of the argumen

    The new X-ray transient SAX J1711.6-3808: decoupling between its 3-20 keV luminosity and its state transitions

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    We present a study of the correlated spectral and timing behavior of the new X-ray transient SAX J1711.6-3808 during its 2001 outburst using data obtained with the RXTE. We also investigate the correlations between those source properties and the 3-20 keV X-ray luminosity. The behavior of the source during the observations can be divided into two distinct state types. During the hard state, the energy spectra are relatively hard and can be described by only a power-law component, and the characteristic frequencies (i.e., the frequency of the 1-7 Hz QPOs observed for the first time in this source) in the power spectra are low. However, during the ``soft'' state, the spectra are considerably softer (in addition to the power-law component, a soft component is necessary to fit the spectra) and the frequencies are the highest observed. Remarkably, this distinction into two separate states cannot be extrapolated to also include the 3-20 keV X-ray luminosity. Except for one observation, this luminosity steadily decreased but the hard state was observed both at the highest and lowest observed luminosities. In contrast, the soft state occurred only at intermediate luminosities. This clearly demonstrates that the state behavior of SAX J1711.6-3808 is decoupled from its X-ray luminosity and that if the X-ray luminosity traces the accretion rate in SAX J1711.6-3808, then the state transitions are not good accretion rate indicators, or vice versa. The data of SAX J1711.6-3808 does not allow us to conclusively determine its exact nature. The source resembles both neutron star and black hole systems when they have low luminosities. We discuss our results with respect to the correlated timing and spectral behavior observed in other LMXBs and the implications of our results on the modeling of the outburst light curves of X-ray transients.Comment: Accepted for publication in ApJ Main Journal, 13 September 200

    The Brera Multi-scale Wavelet (BMW) ROSAT HRI source catalog. II: application to the HRI and first results

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    The wavelet detection algorithm (WDA) described in the accompanying paper by Lazzati et al. is made suited for a fast and efficient analysis of images taken with the High Resolution Imager (HRI) instrument on board the ROSAT satellite. An extensive testing is carried out on the detection pipeline: HRI fields with different exposure times are simulated and analysed in the same fashion as the real data. Positions are recovered with few arcsecond errors, whereas fluxes are within a factor of two from their input values in more than 90% of the cases in the deepest images. At variance with the ``sliding-box'' detection algorithms, the WDA provides also a reliable description of the source extension, allowing for a complete search of e.g. supernova remnant or cluster of galaxies in the HRI fields. A completeness analysis on simulated fields shows that for the deepest exposures considered (~120 ks) a limiting flux of \~3x10^{-15} erg/cm2/s can be reached over the entire field of view. We test the algorithm on real HRI fields selected for their crowding and/or presence of extended or bright sources (e.g. cluster of galaxies and of stars, supernova remnants). We show that our algorithm compares favorably with other X-ray detection algorithms such as XIMAGE and EXSAS. A complete catalog will result from our analysis: it will consist of the Brera Multi-scale Wavelet Bright Source Catalog (BMW-BSC) with sources detected with a significance >4.5 sigma and of the Faint Source Catalog (BMW-FSC) with sources at >3.5 sigma. A conservative estimate based on the extragalactic log(N)-log(S) indicates that at least 16000 sources will be revealed in the complete analysis of the whole HRI dataset.Comment: 6 pages, 11 PostScript figures, 1 gif figure, ApJ in pres
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