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Combining timing characteristics with physical broad-band spectral modelling of black hole X-ray binary GX 339–4

Connors, R. M. T. and van Eijnatten, D. and Markoff, S. and Ceccobello, C. and Grinberg, V. and Heil, L. and Kantzas, D. and Lucchini, M. and Crumley, P. (2019) Combining timing characteristics with physical broad-band spectral modelling of black hole X-ray binary GX 339–4. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 485 (3). pp. 3696-3714. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/stz604.

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GX 339–4 is a black hole X-ray binary that is a key focus of accretion studies, since it goes into outburst roughly every 2–3 yr. Tracking of its radio, infrared (IR), and X-ray flux during multiple outbursts reveals tight broad-band correlations. The radio emission originates in a compact, self-absorbed jet; however, the origin of the X-ray emission is still debated: jet base or corona? We fit 20 quasi-simultaneous radio, IR, optical, and X-ray observations of GX 339–4 covering three separate outbursts in 2005, 2007, 2010–2011, with a composite corona+jet model, where inverse Compton emission from both regions contributes to the X-ray emission. Using a recently proposed identifier of the X-ray variability properties known as power-spectral hue, we attempt to explain both the spectral and evolving timing characteristics, with the model. We find the X-ray spectra are best fit by inverse Compton scattering in a dominant hot corona (kT_e ∼ hundreds of keV). However, radio and IR-optical constraints imply a non-negligible contribution from inverse Compton scattering off hotter electrons (kT_e ≥ 511 keV) in the base of the jets, ranging from a few up to ∼50 per cent of the integrated 3–100 keV flux. We also find that the physical properties of the jet show interesting correlations with the shape of the broad-band X-ray variability of the source, posing intriguing suggestions for the connection between the jet and corona.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Connors, R. M. T.0000-0002-8908-759X
Markoff, S.0000-0001-9564-0876
Ceccobello, C.0000-0002-4767-9925
Grinberg, V.0000-0003-2538-0188
Crumley, P.0000-0002-5355-7158
Alternate Title:Combining timing characteristics with physical broadband spectral modelling of black hole X-ray binary GX~339−4
Additional Information:© 2019 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model ( Accepted 2019 February 25. Received 2019 February 15; in original form 2018 May 31. We thank the referee for their useful comments that have gone a long way to improving this manuscript. DK thanks Maria Petropoulou for informative discussions regarding pair processes. RMTC also thanks Javier Garcia for useful discussions. This research has made use of ISIS functions provided by ECAP/Remeis observatory and MIT (, and data obtained from the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), provided by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. This paper has made use of up-to-date SMARTS optical/near-infrared light curves that are available at The Yale SMARTS XRB team is supported by NSF grants 0407063 and 070707 to Charles Bailyn. RMTC is thankful for support from NOVA (Dutch Research School for Astronomy), and acknowledges funding from NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) grant no. 80NSSC177K0515. CC acknowledges support from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), grant no. 614.001.209. SM, DK, and ML acknowledge support from NWO VICI grant no. 639.043.513. VG is supported through the Margarete von Wrangell fellowship by the ESF and the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Nederlandse Onderzoekschool voor de Astronomie (NOVA)UNSPECIFIED
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)614.001.209
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)639.043.513
European Social FundUNSPECIFIED
Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst Baden-WürttembergUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:accretion, accretion discs, black hole physics, relativistic processes, galaxies: jets, X-rays: binaries
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190725-125943048
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Official Citation:R M T Connors, D van Eijnatten, S Markoff, C Ceccobello, V Grinberg, L Heil, D Kantzas, M Lucchini, P Crumley, Combining timing characteristics with physical broad-band spectral modelling of black hole X-ray binary GX 339–4, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 485, Issue 3, May 2019, Pages 3696–3714,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:97407
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:01 Aug 2019 19:31
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:31

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