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Characterization of the infrared/X-ray subsecond variability for the black hole transient GX 339-4

Characterization of the infrared/X-ray subsecond variability for the black hole transient GX 339-4
Characterization of the infrared/X-ray subsecond variability for the black hole transient GX 339-4

We present a detailed analysis of the X-ray/IR fast variability of the Black-Hole Transient GX 339-4 during its low/hard state in 2008 August. Thanks to simultaneous high time resolution observations made with the VLT and RXTE, we performed the first characterization of the subsecond variability in the near-infrared band - and of its correlation with the X-rays - for a low-mass X-ray binary, using both time- and frequency-domain techniques. We found a power-law correlation between the X-ray and infrared fluxes when measured on time-scales of 16 s, with a marginally variable slope, steeper than the one found on time-scales of days at similar flux levels. We suggest the variable slope - if confirmed - could be due to the infrared flux being a non-constant combination of both optically thin and optically thick synchrotron emission from the jet, as a result of a variable self-absorption break. From cross spectral analysis, we found an approximately constant infrared time lag of ≈0.1 s, and a very high coherence of ~90 per cent on time-scales of tens of seconds, slowly decreasing towards higher frequencies. Finally,we report on the first detection of a linear rms-flux relation in the emission from a low-mass X-ray binary jet, on time-scales where little correlation is found between the X-rays and the jet emission itself. This suggests that either the inflow variations and jet IR emission are coupled by a non-linear or time-variable transform, or that the IR rms-flux relation is not transferred from the inflow to the jet, but is an intrinsic property of emission processes in the jet.

Black hole physics, Stars: Individual: GX 339-4 -X-rays: Binaries
0035-8711
4524-4533
Vincentelli, F.M.
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Casella, P.
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Maccarone, T.J.
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Uttley, P.
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Gandhi, P.
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Belloni, T.
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De Marco, B.
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Russell, D.M.
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Stella, L.
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O'Brien, K.
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Vincentelli, F.M.
887c23da-b7be-4649-a3c0-6d954d8b6c22
Casella, P.
c254f195-d43d-4385-98ef-d33600fb7f81
Maccarone, T.J.
c2f1d87b-e2ef-4e33-b09f-a2861d917ea8
Uttley, P.
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Gandhi, P.
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Belloni, T.
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De Marco, B.
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Russell, D.M.
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Stella, L.
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O'Brien, K.
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Vincentelli, F.M., Casella, P., Maccarone, T.J., Uttley, P., Gandhi, P., Belloni, T., De Marco, B., Russell, D.M., Stella, L. and O'Brien, K. (2018) Characterization of the infrared/X-ray subsecond variability for the black hole transient GX 339-4. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 477 (4), 4524-4533. (doi:10.1093/mnras/sty710).

Record type: Article

Abstract

We present a detailed analysis of the X-ray/IR fast variability of the Black-Hole Transient GX 339-4 during its low/hard state in 2008 August. Thanks to simultaneous high time resolution observations made with the VLT and RXTE, we performed the first characterization of the subsecond variability in the near-infrared band - and of its correlation with the X-rays - for a low-mass X-ray binary, using both time- and frequency-domain techniques. We found a power-law correlation between the X-ray and infrared fluxes when measured on time-scales of 16 s, with a marginally variable slope, steeper than the one found on time-scales of days at similar flux levels. We suggest the variable slope - if confirmed - could be due to the infrared flux being a non-constant combination of both optically thin and optically thick synchrotron emission from the jet, as a result of a variable self-absorption break. From cross spectral analysis, we found an approximately constant infrared time lag of ≈0.1 s, and a very high coherence of ~90 per cent on time-scales of tens of seconds, slowly decreasing towards higher frequencies. Finally,we report on the first detection of a linear rms-flux relation in the emission from a low-mass X-ray binary jet, on time-scales where little correlation is found between the X-rays and the jet emission itself. This suggests that either the inflow variations and jet IR emission are coupled by a non-linear or time-variable transform, or that the IR rms-flux relation is not transferred from the inflow to the jet, but is an intrinsic property of emission processes in the jet.

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Characterization of the infrared/X-ray subsecond variability for the black hole transient GX 339-4 - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 14 March 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 16 March 2018
Published date: 11 July 2018
Keywords: Black hole physics, Stars: Individual: GX 339-4 -X-rays: Binaries

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 421688
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/421688
ISSN: 0035-8711
PURE UUID: b7ce995b-80c3-4af3-8c28-2d770b6d163c
ORCID for P. Gandhi: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3105-2615

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Date deposited: 21 Jun 2018 16:30
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 01:34

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Contributors

Author: F.M. Vincentelli
Author: P. Casella
Author: T.J. Maccarone
Author: P. Uttley
Author: P. Gandhi ORCID iD
Author: T. Belloni
Author: B. De Marco
Author: D.M. Russell
Author: L. Stella
Author: K. O'Brien

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