Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 460, 1946-1953 (2016/August-1)
Using XMM-Newton to study the energy-dependent variability of H 1743-322 during its 2014 outburst.
STIELE H. and YU W.
Abstract (from CDS):
Black hole transients evolve during bright outbursts, showing distinct changes in their spectral and variability properties. These changes are interpreted as evidence for changes in the accretion flow and in the X-ray-emitting regions. We obtained an anticipated XMM-Newton Target of Opportunity observation of H 1743-322 during its outburst in 2014 September. Based on data from eight outbursts observed in the last 10 yr, we expected to catch the start of the hard-to-soft state transition. The fact that neither the general shape of the observed power density spectrum nor the characteristic frequency shows an energy dependence implies that the source remained in the low-hard state at the time of our observation near outburst peak. The spectral properties agree with the source being in the low-hard state, and a Swift/XRT monitoring of the outburst revealed that H 1743-322 stayed in the low-hard state during the entire outburst (known as a 'failed outburst'). Here we derive the averaged QPO waveform and obtain phase-resolved spectra. A comparison of the phase-resolved spectra with the phase-averaged energy spectrum reveals spectral pivoting. We compare variability on long and short time-scales using covariance spectra and find that the covariance ratio does not show an increase towards lower energies. In other binaries an increase has been found. There are two possible explanations: either the absence of additional disc variability on longer time-scales is related to the high inclination of H 1743-322 compared with other black hole X-ray binaries, or it is the reason why we observe H 1743-322 during a failed outburst. More data on failed outbursts and on high-inclination sources will be needed in order to investigate these two possibilities further.