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Title: A CHANDRA/HETGS CENSUS OF X-RAY VARIABILITY FROM Sgr A* DURING 2012

We present the first systematic analysis of the X-ray variability of Sgr A* during the Chandra X-ray Observatory's 2012 Sgr A* X-ray Visionary Project. With 38 High Energy Transmission Grating Spectrometer observations spaced an average of 7 days apart, this unprecedented campaign enables detailed study of the X-ray emission from this supermassive black hole at high spatial, spectral and timing resolution. In 3 Ms of observations, we detect 39 X-ray flares from Sgr A*, lasting from a few hundred seconds to approximately 8 ks, and ranging in 2-10 keV luminosity from {approx}10{sup 34} erg s{sup -1} to 2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 35} erg s{sup -1}. Despite tentative evidence for a gap in the distribution of flare peak count rates, there is no evidence for X-ray color differences between faint and bright flares. Our preliminary X-ray flare luminosity distribution dN/dL is consistent with a power law with index -1.9{sup +0.3}{sub -0.4}; this is similar to some estimates of Sgr A*'s near-IR flux distribution. The observed flares contribute one-third of the total X-ray output of Sgr A* during the campaign, and as much as 10% of the quiescent X-ray emission could be comprised of weak, undetected flares, which may also contribute high-frequency variability.more » We argue that flares may be the only source of X-ray emission from the inner accretion flow.« less
Authors:
 [1] ; ; ;  [2] ;
  1. Boston University Department of Astronomy, Boston, MA 02215 (United States)
  2. MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22133962
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 774; 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; BLACK HOLES; COLOR; COUNTING RATES; DISTRIBUTION; KEV RANGE; LUMINOSITY; PHOTON EMISSION; SPECTROMETERS; TIME RESOLUTION; X RADIATION