Spectroscopic signatures of conduction-mediated transition layers above an X-ray-illuminated disk

L. I. Yuexing, Ming F. Gu, Steven M. Kahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We derive a semianalytic solution for the structure of conduction-mediated transition layers above an X-ray-illuminated accretion disk and calculate explicitly the X-ray line radiation resulting from both resonance-line scattering and radiative recombination in these layers. The vertical thermal structure of the illuminated disk is found to depend on the illuminating continuum: for a hard power-law continuum, there are two stable phases connected by a single transition layer, while for a softer continuum, there may exist three stable phases connected by two separate transition layers, with an intermediate stable layer in between. We show that the structure can be written as a function of the electron scattering optical depth through these layers, which leads to unique predictions of the equivalent width of the resulting line radiation from both recombination cascades and resonance-line scattering. We find that resonance-line scattering plays an important role, especially for the case in which there is no intermediate stable layer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)644-651
Number of pages8
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume560
Issue number2 PART 1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 20 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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