Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 449, 4027-4037 (2015/June-1)
The evolution of the X-ray phase lags during the outbursts of the black hole candidate GX 339-4.
ALTAMIRANO D. and MENDEZ M.
Abstract (from CDS):
Owing to the frequency and reproducibility of its outbursts, the black hole candidate GX 339-4 has become the standard against which the outbursts of other black hole candidate are matched up. Here we present the first systematic study of the evolution of the X-ray lags of the broad-band variability component (0.008-5 Hz) in GX 339-4 as a function of the position of the source in the hardness-intensity diagram. The hard photons always lag the soft ones, consistent with previous results. In the low-hard state the lags correlate with X-ray intensity, and as the source starts the transition to the intermediate/soft states, the lags first increase faster, and then appear to reach a maximum, although the exact evolution depends on the outburst and the energy band used to calculate the lags. The time of the maximum of the lags appears to coincide with a sudden drop of the optical/near-infrared flux, the fractional rms amplitude of the broad-band component in the power spectrum, and the appearance of a thermal component in the X-ray spectra, strongly suggesting that the lags can be very useful to understand the physical changes that GX 339-4 undergoes during an outburst. We find strong evidence for a connection between the evolution of the cut-off energy of the hard component in the energy spectrum and the phase lags, suggesting that the average magnitude of the lags is correlated with the properties of the corona/jet rather than those of the disc. Finally, we show that the lags in GX 339-4 evolve in a similar manner to those of the black hole candidate Cygnus X-1, suggesting similar phenomena could be observable in other black hole systems.
© 2015 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society (2015)
accretion, accretion discs - black hole physics - X-rays: binaries
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