4,260 research outputs found

    Diagnostics of the structure of AGN's broad line regions with reverberation mapping data: confirmation of the two-component broad line region model

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    We re-examine the ten Reverberation Mapping (RM) sources with public data based on the two-component model of the Broad Line Region (BLR). In fitting their broad H-beta lines, six of them only need one Gaussian component, one of them has a double-peak profile, one has an irregular profile, and only two of them need two components, i.e., a Very Broad Gaussian Component (VBGC) and an Inter-Mediate Gaussian Component (IMGC). The Gaussian components are assumed to come from two distinct regions in the two-component model; they are Very Broad Line Region (VBLR) and Inter-Mediate Line region (IMLR). The two sources with a two-component profile are Mrk 509 and NGC 4051. The time lags of the two components of both sources satisfy tIMLR/tVBLR=VVBLR2/VIMLR2t_{IMLR}/t_{VBLR}=V^2_{VBLR}/V^2_{IMLR}, where tIMLRt_{IMLR} and tVBLRt_{VBLR} are the lags of the two components while VIMLRV_{IMLR} and VVBLRV_{VBLR} represent the mean gas velocities of the two regions, supporting the two-component model of the BLR of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). The fact that most of these ten sources only have the VBGC confirms the assumption that RM mainly measures the radius of the VBLR; consequently, the radius obtained from the R-L relationship mainly represent the radius of VBLR. Moreover, NGC 4051, with a lag of about 5 days in the one component model, is an outlier on the R-L relationship as shown in Kaspi et al. (2005); however this problem disappears in our two-component model with lags of about 2 and 6 days for the VBGC and IMGC, respectively.Comment: 7 pages, 5 figures. Accepted for publication in the Special Issue of Science in China (G) "Astrophysics of Black holes and Related Compact Objects

    General Relativistic Flux Modulations from Disk Instabilities in Sagittarius A*

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    Near-IR and X-ray flares have been detected from the supermassive black hole Sgr A* at the center of our Galaxy with a (quasi)-period of ~17-20 minutes, suggesting an emission region only a few Schwarzschild radii above the event horizon. The latest X-ray flare, detected with XMM-Newton, is notable for its detailed lightcurve, yielding not only the highest quality period thus far, but also important structure reflecting the geometry of the emitting region. Recent MHD simulations of Sgr A*'s disk have demonstrated the growth of a Rossby wave instability, that enhances the accretion rate for several hours, possibly accounting for the observed flares. In this Letter, we carry out ray-tracing calculations in a Schwarzschild metric to determine as accurately as possible the lightcurve produced by general relativistic effects during such a disruption. We find that the Rossby wave induced spiral pattern in the disk is an excellent fit to the data, implying a disk inclination angle of ~77 deg. Note, however, that if this association is correct, the observed period is not due to the underlying Keplerian motion but, rather, to the pattern speed. The favorable comparison between the observed and simulated lightcurves provides important additional evidence that the flares are produced in Sgr A*'s inner disk.Comment: 5 Pages, 3 Figures, accepted for publication in ApJ Lette

    X-ray variation statistics and wind clumping in Vela X-1

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    We investigate the structure of the wind in the neutron star X-ray binary system Vela X-1 by analyzing its flaring behavior. Vela X-1 shows constant flaring, with some flares reaching fluxes of more than 3.0 Crab between 20-60 keV for several 100 seconds, while the average flux is around 250 mCrab. We analyzed all archival INTEGRAL data, calculating the brightness distribution in the 20-60 keV band, which, as we show, closely follows a log-normal distribution. Orbital resolved analysis shows that the structure is strongly variable, explainable by shocks and a fluctuating accretion wake. Analysis of RXTE ASM data suggests a strong orbital change of N_H. Accreted clump masses derived from the INTEGRAL data are on the order of 5 x 10^19 -10^21 g. We show that the lightcurve can be described with a model of multiplicative random numbers. In the course of the simulation we calculate the power spectral density of the system in the 20-100 keV energy band and show that it follows a red-noise power law. We suggest that a mixture of a clumpy wind, shocks, and turbulence can explain the measured mass distribution. As the recently discovered class of supergiant fast X-ray transients (SFXT) seems to show the same parameters for the wind, the link between persistent HMXB like Vela X-1 and SFXT is further strengthened.Comment: 8 pages, 6 figures, accepted for publication in A&

    Gamma Ray Burst Prompt Emission Variability in Synchrotron and Synchrotron Self-Compton Lightcurves

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    Gamma Ray Burst prompt emission is believed to originate from electrons accelerated in a highly relativistic outflow. "Internal shocks" due to collisions between shells ejected by the central engine is a leading candidate for electron acceleration. While synchrotron radiation is generally invoked to interpret prompt gamma-ray emission within the internal shock model, synchrotron self-Compton (SSC) is also considered as a possible candidate of radiation mechanism. In this case, one would expect a synchrotron emission component at low energies, and the naked-eye GRB 080319B has been considered as such an example. In the view that the gamma-ray lightcurve of GRB 080319B is much more variable than its optical counterpart, in this paper we study the relative variability between the synchrotron and SSC components. We develop a "top-down" formalism by using observed quantities to infer physical parameters, and subsequently to study the temporal structure of synchrotron and SSC components of a GRB. We complement the formalism with a "bottom-up" approach where the synchrotron and SSC lightcurves are calculated through a Monte-Carlo simulations of the internal shock model. Both approaches lead to the same conclusion. Small variations in the synchrotron lightcurve can be only moderately amplified in the SSC lightcurve. The SSC model therefore cannot adequately interpret the gamma-ray emission properties of GRB 080319B.Comment: 13 pages, 4 figures, accepted for publication in MNRA

    Constraints on Planetary Companions in the Magnification A=256 Microlensing Event: OGLE-2003-BLG-423

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    We develop a new method of modeling microlensing events based on a Monte Carlo simulation that incorporates both a Galactic model and the constraints imposed by the observed characteristics of the event. The method provides an unbiased way to analyze the event especially when parameters are poorly constrained by the observed lightcurve. We apply this method to search for planetary companions of the lens in OGLE-2003-BLG-423, whose maximum magnification A_max=256+-43 (or A_max=400+-115 from the lightcurve data alone) is the highest among single-lens events ever recorded. The method permits us, for the first time, to place constraints directly in the planet-mass/projected-physical-separation plane rather than in the mass-ratio/Einstein-radius plane as was done previously. For example, Jupiter-mass companions of main-sequence stars at 2.5 AU are excluded with 80% efficiency.Comment: 10 pages, 7 figures, accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journa

    Study of 23 day periodicity of Blazar Mkn501 in 1997

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    We confirm a 23 day periodicity during a large flare in 1997 for X-ray data of X-ray satellite RXTE all sky monitor(ASM), 2 TeV gamma ray data from Utah Seven Telescope and HEGRA, with a Fourier analysis. We found the three results to be the same with a newly estimated error. We confirm the presence of a frequency dependent power (1/f noise) in a frequency-power diagram. Further, we calculated a chance probability of the occurrence of the 23 day periodicity by considering the 1/f noise and obtained a chance probability 4.88*10^-3 for the HEGRA data: this is more significant than previous result by an order. We also obtained an identical peridoicity with another kind of timing analysis-epoch folding method for the ASM data and HEGRA data. We strongly suggest an existence of the periodicity. We divided the HEGRA data into two data sets, analyzed them with a Fourier method, and found an unstableness of the periodicity with a 3.4 sigma significance. We also analyzed an energy spectra of the X-ray data of a RXTE proportional counter array and we found that a combination of three parameters-a magnetic field, a Lorentz factor, and a beaming factor-is related to the periodicity.Comment: 25 page, 27 figures, acceptted by astroparticle physic

    Numerical models of collisions between core-collapse supernovae and circumstellar shells

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    Recent observations of luminous Type IIn supernovae (SNe) provide compelling evidence that massive circumstellar shells surround their progenitors. In this paper we investigate how the properties of such shells influence the SN lightcurve by conducting numerical simulations of the interaction between an expanding SN and a circumstellar shell ejected a few years prior to core collapse. Our parameter study explores how the emergent luminosity depends on a range of circumstellar shell masses, velocities, geometries, and wind mass-loss rates, as well as variations in the SN mass and energy. We find that the shell mass is the most important parameter, in the sense that higher shell masses (or higher ratios of M_shell/M_SN) lead to higher peak luminosities and higher efficiencies in converting shock energy into visual light. Lower mass shells can also cause high peak luminosities if the shell is slow or if the SN ejecta are very fast, but only for a short time. Sustaining a high luminosity for durations of more than 100 days requires massive circumstellar shells of order 10 M_sun or more. This reaffirms previous comparisons between pre-SN shells and shells produced by giant eruptions of luminous blue variables (LBVs), although the physical mechanism responsible for these outbursts remains uncertain. The lightcurve shape and observed shell velocity can help diagnose the approximate size and density of the circumstellar shell, and it may be possible to distinguish between spherical and bipolar shells with multi-wavelength lightcurves. These models are merely illustrative. One can, of course, achieve even higher luminosities and longer duration light curves from interaction by increasing the explosion energy and shell mass beyond values adopted here.Comment: Accepted for publication in MNRAS. Tables of numerical results (SN lightcurves and velocities) to be published online. (Updated to fix figures

    The stellar wind velocity field of HD 77581

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    The early acceleration of stellar winds in massive stars is poorly constrained. The scattering of hard X-ray photons emitted by the pulsar in the high-mass X-ray binary Vela X-1 can be used to probe the stellar wind velocity and density profile close to the surface of its supergiant companion HD 77581. We built a high signal-to-noise and high resolution hard X-ray lightcurve of Vela X-1 measured by Swift/BAT over 300 orbital periods of the system and compared it with the predictions of a grid of hydrodynamic simulations. We obtain a very good agreement between observations and simulations for a narrow set of parameters, implying that the wind velocity close to the stellar surface is twice larger than usually assumed with the standard beta law. Locally a velocity gradient of ÎČ∌0.5\beta\sim0.5 is favoured. Even if still incomplete, hydrodynamic simulations are successfully reproducing several observational properties of Vela X-1.Comment: submitted to A&A, comments are welcom

    Rotation and accretion of very low mass objects in the SigmaOri cluster

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    We report on two photometric monitoring campaigns of Very Low Mass (VLM) objects in the young open cluster around SigmaOrionis. Our targets were pre-selected with multi-filter photometry in a field of 0.36 sqdeg. For 23 of these objects, spanning a mass range from 0.03 to 0.7 MS, we detect periodic variability. Of these, 16 exhibit low-level variability, with amplitudes of less than 0.2 mag in the I-band, which is mostly well-approximated by a sine wave. These periodicities are probably caused by photospheric spots co-rotating with the objects. In contrast, the remaining variable targets show high-level variability with amplitudes ranging from 0.25 to 1.1 mag, consisting of a periodic light variation onto which short-term fluctuations are superimposed. This variability pattern is very similar to the photometric behaviour of solar-mass, classical T Tauri stars. Low-resolution spectra of a few of these objects reveal strong Halpha and Ca-triplet emission, indicative of ongoing accretion processes. This suggests that 5-7% of our targets still possess a circumstellar disk. In combination with previous results for younger objects, this translates into a disk lifetime of 3-4 Myr, significantly shorter than for solar mass stars. The highly variable objects rotate on average slower than the low-amplitude variables, which is expected in terms of a disk-locking scenario. There is a trend towards faster rotation with decreasing mass, which might be caused by shortening of the disk lifetimes or attenuation of magnetic fields.Comment: 19 pages, 14 figures, A&A, in pres