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Title: THE X-RAY SPECTRAL EVOLUTION OF GALACTIC BLACK HOLE X-RAY BINARIES TOWARD QUIESCENCE

Most transient black hole X-ray binaries (BHXBs) spend the bulk of their time in a quiescent state, where they accrete matter from their companion star at highly sub-Eddington luminosities (we define quiescence here as a normalized Eddington ratio l{sub x} = L{sub 0.5-10{sub keV}}/L{sub Edd} < 10{sup -5}). Here, we present Chandra X-ray imaging spectroscopy for three BHXB systems (H 1743-322, MAXI J1659-152, and XTE J1752-223) as they fade into quiescence following an outburst. Multiple X-ray observations were taken within one month of each other, allowing us to track each individual system's X-ray spectral evolution during its decay. We compare these three systems to other BHXB systems. We confirm that quiescent BHXBs have softer X-ray spectra than low-hard-state BHXBs, and that quiescent BHXB spectral properties show no dependence on the binary system's orbital parameters. However, the observed anti-correlation between X-ray photon index ({Gamma}) and l{sub x} in the low-hard state does not continue once a BHXB enters quiescence. Instead, {Gamma} plateaus to an average ({Gamma}) = 2.08 {+-} 0.07 by the time l{sub x} reaches {approx}10{sup -5}. l{sub x} {approx} 10{sup -5} is thus an observationally motivated upper limit for the beginning of the quiescent spectral state. Our results aremore » discussed in the context of different accretion flow models and across the black hole mass scale.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, 500 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States)
  2. SRON, Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584 CA, Utrecht (Netherlands)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22131059
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 773; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ACCRETION DISKS; BINARY STARS; BLACK HOLES; CORRELATIONS; FLOW MODELS; GALACTIC EVOLUTION; LUMINOSITY; PHOTONS; SOFT X RADIATION; X-RAY SPECTROSCOPY