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2009ApJ...699..453S - Astrophys. J., 699, 453-468 (2009/July-1)

Determination of black hole masses in Galactic black hole binaries using scaling of spectral and variability characteristics.


Abstract (from CDS):

We present a study of correlations between X-ray spectral and timing properties observed from a number of Galactic black hole (BH) binaries during hard-soft state spectral evolution. We analyze 17 transition episodes from eight BH sources observed with Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer. Our scaling technique for BH mass determination uses a correlation between the spectral index and quasi-periodic oscillation (QPO) frequency. In addition, we use a correlation between the index and the normalization of the disk "seed" component to cross-check the BH mass determination and estimate the distance to the source. While the index-QPO correlations for two given sources contain information on the ratio of the BH masses in those sources, the index-normalization correlations depend on the ratio of the BH masses and the distance square ratio. In fact, the index-normalization correlation also discloses the index-mass accretion rate saturation effect given that the normalization of disk "seed" photon supply is proportional to the disk mass accretion rate. We present arguments that this observationally established index saturation effect is a signature of the bulk motion (converging) flow onto a BH, which was early predicted by the dynamical Comptonization theory. We use GRO J1655-40 as a primary reference source for which the BH mass, distance, and inclination angle are evaluated by dynamical measurements with unprecedented precision among other Galactic BH sources. We apply our scaling technique to determine BH masses and distances for Cygnus X-1, GX 339 - 4, 4U 1543-47, XTE J1550-564, XTE J1650-500, H 1743-322, and XTE J1859-226. A good agreement of our results for sources with known values of BH masses and distance provides independent verification for our scaling technique.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): accretion, accretion disks - black hole physics - radiation mechanisms: non-thermal - stars: individual (XTE J1550-564, H 1743-322, GX 339-4, 4U 1630-47, GRS 1915+105, XTE J1650-500, XTE J1859+226, 4U 1543-47)

VizieR on-line data: <Available at CDS (J/ApJ/699/453): table1.dat table2.dat>

CDS comments: In abstract and text: XTE J1859-226 is a misprint for XTE J1859+226.

Simbad objects: 10

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