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NuSTAR and Swift observations of the very high state in GX 339-4: Weighing the black hole with X-rays

Parker, M. L. and Tomsick, J. A. and Kennea, J. A. and Miller, J. M. and Harrison, F. A. and Barret, D. and Christensen, F. E. and Craig, W. W. and Fabian, A. C. and Fürst, F. and Grinberg, V. and Hailey, C. J. and Romano, P. and Stern, D. and Walton, D. J. and Zhang, W. W. (2016) NuSTAR and Swift observations of the very high state in GX 339-4: Weighing the black hole with X-rays. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 821 (1). Art. No. L6. ISSN 2041-8205. doi:10.3847/2041-8205/821/1/L6.

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We present results from spectral fitting of the very high state of GX 339-4 with Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) and Swift. We use relativistic reflection modeling to measure the spin of the black hole and inclination of the inner disk and find a spin of ɑ = 0.95^(+0.02)_(-0.08) and inclination of 30° ± 1° (statistical errors). These values agree well with previous results from reflection modeling. With the exceptional sensitivity of NuSTAR at the high-energy side of the disk spectrum, we are able to constrain multiple physical parameters simultaneously using continuum fitting. By using the constraints from reflection as input for the continuum fitting method, we invert the conventional fitting procedure to estimate the mass and distance of GX 339-4 using just the X-ray spectrum, finding a mass of 9.0^(+1.6)_(-1.2) M_☉ and distance of 8.4 ± 0.9 kpc (statistical errors).

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Parker, M. L.0000-0002-8466-7317
Tomsick, J. A.0000-0001-5506-9855
Kennea, J. A.0000-0002-6745-4790
Harrison, F. A.0000-0003-2992-8024
Barret, D.0000-0002-0393-9190
Christensen, F. E.0000-0001-5679-1946
Fabian, A. C.0000-0002-9378-4072
Fürst, F.0000-0003-0388-0560
Grinberg, V.0000-0003-2538-0188
Stern, D.0000-0003-2686-9241
Walton, D. J.0000-0001-5819-3552
Zhang, W. W.0000-0002-1426-9698
Additional Information:© 2016. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2015 October 14; accepted 2016 March 10; published 2016 April 7. We are grateful to the referee for detailed and thoughtful comments that have significantly improved the paper. M.L.P. acknowledges financial support from the STFC. P.R. acknowledges financial contribution from ASI-INAF I/004/11/0 and ASI-INAF I/037/12/0. This work made use of data from the NuSTAR mission, a project led by the California Institute of Technology, managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and funded by NASA. This research has made use of the NuSTAR Data Analysis Software (NuSTARDAS) jointly developed by the ASI Science Data Center and the California Institute of Technology.
Group:NuSTAR, Space Radiation Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)I/004/11/0
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)I/037/12/0
Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:accretion, accretion disks – X-rays: binaries – X-rays: individual (GX 339-4)
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Space Radiation Laboratory2016-02
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160321-073930769
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:M. L. Parker et al 2016 ApJ 821 L6
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:65501
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:31 Mar 2016 00:02
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:46

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