Multi-wavelength coverage of state transitions in the new black hole X-ray binary Swift J1910.2-0546

N. Degenaar, D. Maitra, E. M. Cackett, M. T. Reynolds, J. M. Miller, R. C. Reis, A. L. King, K. Gültekin, C. D. Bailyn, M. M. Buxton, R. K.D. Macdonald, A. C. Fabian, D. B. Fox, E. S. Rykoff

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Abstract

Understanding how black holes accrete and supply feedback to their environment is one of the outstanding challenges of modern astrophysics. Swift J1910.2-0546 is a candidate black hole low-mass X-ray binary that was discovered in 2012 when it entered an accretion outburst. To investigate the binary configuration and the accretion morphology, we monitored the evolution of the outburst for ≃3 months at X-ray, UV, optical (B, V, R, I), and near-infrared (J, H, K) wavelengths using Swift and SMARTS. The source evolved from a hard to a soft X-ray spectral state with a relatively cold accretion disk that peaked at ≃0.5 keV. A Chandra/HETG spectrum obtained during this soft state did not reveal signatures of an ionized disk wind. Both the low disk temperature and the absence of a detectable wind could indicate that the system is viewed at relatively low inclination. The multi-wavelength light curves revealed two notable features that appear to be related to X-ray state changes. First, a prominent flux decrease was observed in all wavebands ≃ 1-2 weeks before the source entered the soft state. This dip occurred in (0.6-10 keV) X-rays ≃ 6 days later than at longer wavelengths, which could possibly reflect the viscous timescale of the disk. Second, about two weeks after the source transitioned back into the hard state, the UV emission significantly increased while the X-rays steadily decayed. We discuss how these observations may reflect changes in the accretion morphology, perhaps related to the quenching/launch of a jet or the collapse/recovery of a hot flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number122
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume784
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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    Degenaar, N., Maitra, D., Cackett, E. M., Reynolds, M. T., Miller, J. M., Reis, R. C., King, A. L., Gültekin, K., Bailyn, C. D., Buxton, M. M., Macdonald, R. K. D., Fabian, A. C., Fox, D. B., & Rykoff, E. S. (2014). Multi-wavelength coverage of state transitions in the new black hole X-ray binary Swift J1910.2-0546. Astrophysical Journal, 784(2), [122]. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/784/2/122