Astrophys. J., 698, 676-692 (2009/June-2)
Evidence for X-ray synchrotron emission from simultaneous mid-infrared to X-ray observations of a strong Sgr A* flare.
DODDS-EDEN K., PORQUET D., TRAP G., QUATAERT E., HAUBOIS X., GILLESSEN S., GROSSO N., PANTIN E., FALCKE H., ROUAN D., GENZEL R., HASINGER G., GOLDWURM A., YUSEF-ZADEH F., CLENET Y., TRIPPE S., LAGAGE P.-O., BARTKO H., EISENHAUER F., OTT T., PAUMARD T., PERRIN G., YUAN F., FRITZ T.K. and MASCETTI L.
Abstract (from CDS):
This paper reports measurements of Sgr A* made with NACO in L' band (3.80 µm), Ks band (2.12 µm), and H band (1.66 µm), and with VISIR in N band (11.88 µm) at the ESO VLT, as well as with XMM-Newton at X-ray (2-10 keV) wavelengths. On 2007 April 4, a very bright flare was observed from Sgr A* simultaneously at L' band and X-ray wavelengths. No emission was detected using VISIR. The resulting spectral energy distribution has a blue slope (β>0 for νLν∝ νβ, consistent with νLν∝ ν0.4) between 12 µm and 3.8 µm. For the first time, our high-quality data allow a detailed comparison of infrared (IR) and X-ray light curves with a resolution of a few minutes. The IR and X-ray flares are simultaneous to within 3 minutes. However, the IR flare lasts significantly longer than the X-ray flare (both before and after the X-ray peak), and prominent substructures in the 3.8 µm light curve are clearly not seen in the X-ray data. From the shortest timescale variations in the L'-band light curve, we find that the flaring region must be no more than 1.2RS in size. The high X-ray to IR flux ratio, blue νLν slope MIR to L' band, and the soft νLν spectral index of the X-ray flare together place strong constraints on possible flare emission mechanisms. We find that it is quantitatively difficult to explain this bright X-ray flare with inverse Compton processes. A synchrotron emission scenario from an electron distribution with a cooling break is a more viable scenario.
accretion, accretion disks - black hole physics - Galaxy: center - infrared: general - radiation mechanisms: general - X-rays: general
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