A close look at the state transitions of Galactic black hole transients during outburst decay.
KALEMCI E., TOMSICK J.A., ROTHSCHILD R.E., POTTSCHMIDT K. and KAARET P.
Abstract (from CDS):
We characterize the evolution of spectral and temporal properties of several Galactic black hole transients during outburst decay using the data from well-sampled Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer Proportional Counter Array observations close to the transition to the low/hard state. We find several global patterns of evolution for spectral and temporal parameters before, during, and after the transition. We show that the changes in temporal properties (sudden increase or decrease in the rms amplitude of variability) are much sharper than the changes in the spectral properties, and it is much easier to identify a state transition with the temporal properties. The spectral index shows a drop 3-5 days before the transition for some of our sources. The ratio of the power-law flux to the total flux in the 3-25 keV band increases close to the transition, which may mean that the system must be dominated by the coronal emission for the transition to occur. We also show that the power-law flux shows a sharp change along with the temporal properties during the transitions, which may indicate a threshold transition volume for the corona. The evolution of the spectral and temporal properties after the transition is consistent with the idea that the inner accretion disk moves away from the black hole. Based on the evolution of spectral and temporal parameters and changes during the transitions, we discuss possible scenarios of how the transition is happening.
Black Hole Physics - X-Rays: Stars