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Title: A unified lense-thirring precession model for optical and X-ray quasi-periodic oscillations in black hole binaries

Recent observations of accreting black holes reveal the presence of quasi-periodic oscillations (QPO) in the optical power density spectra. The corresponding oscillation periods match those found in X-rays, implying a common origin. Among the numerous suggested X-ray QPO mechanisms, some may also work in the optical. However, their relevance to the broadband—optical through X-ray—spectral properties have not been investigated. For the first time, we discuss the QPO mechanism in the context of the self-consistent spectral model. We propose that the QPOs are produced by Lense-Thirring precession of the hot accretion flow, whose outer parts radiate in optical wavelengths. At the same time, its innermost parts are emitting X-rays, which explains the observed connection of QPO periods. We predict that the X-ray and optical QPOs should be either in phase or shifted by half a period, depending on the observer position. We investigate the QPO harmonic content and find that the variability amplitudes at the fundamental frequency are larger in the optical, while the X-rays are expected to have strong harmonics. We then discuss the QPO spectral dependence and compare the expectations to the existing data.
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Astronomy Division, Department of Physics, P.O. Box 3000, FI-90014, University of Oulu (Finland)
  2. Astronomical Institute "Anton Pannekoek," University of Amsterdam, Postbus 94249, 1098 GE Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22341895
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 778; Journal Issue: 2; 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; AMPLITUDES; BINARY STARS; BLACK HOLES; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; HARMONICS; PERIODICITY; POWER DENSITY; PRECESSION; SPECTRA; X RADIATION