First simultaneous NIR/X-ray detection of a flare from Sgr A

A. Eckart, F. K. Baganoff, M. Morris, M. W. Bautz, William Nielsen Brandt, G. P. Garmire, R. Genzel, T. Ott, G. R. Ricker, C. Straubmeier, T. Viehmann, R. Schödel, G. C. Bower, J. E. Goldston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

We report on the first simultaneous near-infrared/X-ray detection of the Sgr A* counterpart associated with the massive 3-4 × 106 M⊙ black hole at the center of the Milky Way. The observations have been carried out using the NACO adaptive optics (AO) instrument at the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope* and the ACIS-I instrument aboard the Chandra X-ray Observatory. We also report on quasi-simultaneous observations at a wavelength of 3.4 mm using the Berkeley-Illinois-Maryland Association (BIMA) array. A flare was detected in the X-domain with an excess 2-8 keV luminosity of about 6 × 1033 erg/s. A fading flare of Sgr A* with >2 times the interim-quiescent flux was also detected at the beginning of the NIR observations, that overlapped with the fading part of the X-ray flare. Compared to 8-9 h before the NIR/X-ray flare we detected a marginally significant increase in the millimeter flux density of Sgr A* during measurements about 7-9 h afterwards. We find that the flaring state can be conveniently explained with a synchrotron self-Compton model involving up-scattered sub-millimeter photons from a compact source component, possibly with modest bulk relativistic motion. The size of that component is assumed to be of the order of a few times the Schwarzschild radius. The overall spectral indices αNIR/X-ray (Sν ν) of both states are quite comparable with a value of ∼1.3. Since the interim-quiescent X-ray emission is spatially extended, the spectral index for the interim-quiescent state is probably only a lower limit for the compact source Sgr A*. A conservative estimate of the upper limit of the time lag between the ends of the NIR and X-ray flare is of the order of 15 min.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Volume427
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2004

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flares
x rays
fading
observatory
detection
European Southern Observatory
adaptive optics
erg
near infrared
observatories
synchrotrons
time lag
flux density
luminosity
telescopes
wavelength
radii
photons
estimates
wavelengths

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Eckart, A., Baganoff, F. K., Morris, M., Bautz, M. W., Brandt, W. N., Garmire, G. P., ... Goldston, J. E. (2004). First simultaneous NIR/X-ray detection of a flare from Sgr A. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 427(1), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20040495
Eckart, A. ; Baganoff, F. K. ; Morris, M. ; Bautz, M. W. ; Brandt, William Nielsen ; Garmire, G. P. ; Genzel, R. ; Ott, T. ; Ricker, G. R. ; Straubmeier, C. ; Viehmann, T. ; Schödel, R. ; Bower, G. C. ; Goldston, J. E. / First simultaneous NIR/X-ray detection of a flare from Sgr A. In: Astronomy and Astrophysics. 2004 ; Vol. 427, No. 1. pp. 1-11.
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abstract = "We report on the first simultaneous near-infrared/X-ray detection of the Sgr A* counterpart associated with the massive 3-4 × 106 M⊙ black hole at the center of the Milky Way. The observations have been carried out using the NACO adaptive optics (AO) instrument at the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope* and the ACIS-I instrument aboard the Chandra X-ray Observatory. We also report on quasi-simultaneous observations at a wavelength of 3.4 mm using the Berkeley-Illinois-Maryland Association (BIMA) array. A flare was detected in the X-domain with an excess 2-8 keV luminosity of about 6 × 1033 erg/s. A fading flare of Sgr A* with >2 times the interim-quiescent flux was also detected at the beginning of the NIR observations, that overlapped with the fading part of the X-ray flare. Compared to 8-9 h before the NIR/X-ray flare we detected a marginally significant increase in the millimeter flux density of Sgr A* during measurements about 7-9 h afterwards. We find that the flaring state can be conveniently explained with a synchrotron self-Compton model involving up-scattered sub-millimeter photons from a compact source component, possibly with modest bulk relativistic motion. The size of that component is assumed to be of the order of a few times the Schwarzschild radius. The overall spectral indices αNIR/X-ray (Sν ν-α) of both states are quite comparable with a value of ∼1.3. Since the interim-quiescent X-ray emission is spatially extended, the spectral index for the interim-quiescent state is probably only a lower limit for the compact source Sgr A*. A conservative estimate of the upper limit of the time lag between the ends of the NIR and X-ray flare is of the order of 15 min.",
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Eckart, A, Baganoff, FK, Morris, M, Bautz, MW, Brandt, WN, Garmire, GP, Genzel, R, Ott, T, Ricker, GR, Straubmeier, C, Viehmann, T, Schödel, R, Bower, GC & Goldston, JE 2004, 'First simultaneous NIR/X-ray detection of a flare from Sgr A', Astronomy and Astrophysics, vol. 427, no. 1, pp. 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20040495

First simultaneous NIR/X-ray detection of a flare from Sgr A. / Eckart, A.; Baganoff, F. K.; Morris, M.; Bautz, M. W.; Brandt, William Nielsen; Garmire, G. P.; Genzel, R.; Ott, T.; Ricker, G. R.; Straubmeier, C.; Viehmann, T.; Schödel, R.; Bower, G. C.; Goldston, J. E.

In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, Vol. 427, No. 1, 01.11.2004, p. 1-11.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - First simultaneous NIR/X-ray detection of a flare from Sgr A

AU - Eckart, A.

AU - Baganoff, F. K.

AU - Morris, M.

AU - Bautz, M. W.

AU - Brandt, William Nielsen

AU - Garmire, G. P.

AU - Genzel, R.

AU - Ott, T.

AU - Ricker, G. R.

AU - Straubmeier, C.

AU - Viehmann, T.

AU - Schödel, R.

AU - Bower, G. C.

AU - Goldston, J. E.

PY - 2004/11/1

Y1 - 2004/11/1

N2 - We report on the first simultaneous near-infrared/X-ray detection of the Sgr A* counterpart associated with the massive 3-4 × 106 M⊙ black hole at the center of the Milky Way. The observations have been carried out using the NACO adaptive optics (AO) instrument at the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope* and the ACIS-I instrument aboard the Chandra X-ray Observatory. We also report on quasi-simultaneous observations at a wavelength of 3.4 mm using the Berkeley-Illinois-Maryland Association (BIMA) array. A flare was detected in the X-domain with an excess 2-8 keV luminosity of about 6 × 1033 erg/s. A fading flare of Sgr A* with >2 times the interim-quiescent flux was also detected at the beginning of the NIR observations, that overlapped with the fading part of the X-ray flare. Compared to 8-9 h before the NIR/X-ray flare we detected a marginally significant increase in the millimeter flux density of Sgr A* during measurements about 7-9 h afterwards. We find that the flaring state can be conveniently explained with a synchrotron self-Compton model involving up-scattered sub-millimeter photons from a compact source component, possibly with modest bulk relativistic motion. The size of that component is assumed to be of the order of a few times the Schwarzschild radius. The overall spectral indices αNIR/X-ray (Sν ν-α) of both states are quite comparable with a value of ∼1.3. Since the interim-quiescent X-ray emission is spatially extended, the spectral index for the interim-quiescent state is probably only a lower limit for the compact source Sgr A*. A conservative estimate of the upper limit of the time lag between the ends of the NIR and X-ray flare is of the order of 15 min.

AB - We report on the first simultaneous near-infrared/X-ray detection of the Sgr A* counterpart associated with the massive 3-4 × 106 M⊙ black hole at the center of the Milky Way. The observations have been carried out using the NACO adaptive optics (AO) instrument at the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope* and the ACIS-I instrument aboard the Chandra X-ray Observatory. We also report on quasi-simultaneous observations at a wavelength of 3.4 mm using the Berkeley-Illinois-Maryland Association (BIMA) array. A flare was detected in the X-domain with an excess 2-8 keV luminosity of about 6 × 1033 erg/s. A fading flare of Sgr A* with >2 times the interim-quiescent flux was also detected at the beginning of the NIR observations, that overlapped with the fading part of the X-ray flare. Compared to 8-9 h before the NIR/X-ray flare we detected a marginally significant increase in the millimeter flux density of Sgr A* during measurements about 7-9 h afterwards. We find that the flaring state can be conveniently explained with a synchrotron self-Compton model involving up-scattered sub-millimeter photons from a compact source component, possibly with modest bulk relativistic motion. The size of that component is assumed to be of the order of a few times the Schwarzschild radius. The overall spectral indices αNIR/X-ray (Sν ν-α) of both states are quite comparable with a value of ∼1.3. Since the interim-quiescent X-ray emission is spatially extended, the spectral index for the interim-quiescent state is probably only a lower limit for the compact source Sgr A*. A conservative estimate of the upper limit of the time lag between the ends of the NIR and X-ray flare is of the order of 15 min.

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