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Title: WATCHDOG: A COMPREHENSIVE ALL-SKY DATABASE OF GALACTIC BLACK HOLE X-RAY BINARIES

With the advent of more sensitive all-sky instruments, the transient universe is being probed in greater depth than ever before. Taking advantage of available resources, we have established a comprehensive database of black hole (and black hole candidate) X-ray binary (BHXB) activity between 1996 and 2015 as revealed by all-sky instruments, scanning surveys, and select narrow-field X-ray instruments on board the INTErnational Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory, Monitor of All-Sky X-ray Image, Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer, and Swift telescopes; the Whole-sky Alberta Time-resolved Comprehensive black-Hole Database Of the Galaxy or WATCHDOG. Over the past two decades, we have detected 132 transient outbursts, tracked and classified behavior occurring in 47 transient and 10 persistently accreting BHs, and performed a statistical study on a number of outburst properties across the Galactic population. We find that outbursts undergone by BHXBs that do not reach the thermally dominant accretion state make up a substantial fraction (∼40%) of the Galactic transient BHXB outburst sample over the past ∼20 years. Our findings suggest that this “hard-only” behavior, observed in transient and persistently accreting BHXBs, is neither a rare nor recent phenomenon and may be indicative of an underlying physical process, relatively common among binary BHs, involving the mass-transfer ratemore » onto the BH remaining at a low level rather than increasing as the outburst evolves. We discuss how the larger number of these “hard-only” outbursts and detected outbursts in general have significant implications for both the luminosity function and mass-transfer history of the Galactic BHXB population.« less
Authors:
; ; ;  [1]
  1. Department of Physics, University of Alberta, CCIS 4-181, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E1 (Canada)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22520004
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series; Journal Volume: 222; 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; ASTROPHYSICS; BLACK HOLES; CATALOGS; COSMIC X-RAY SOURCES; GAMMA RADIATION; LUMINOSITY; MASS TRANSFER; MILKY WAY; PROBES; SKY; STARS; TELESCOPES; TIME RESOLUTION; TRANSIENTS; UNIVERSE