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[en] During the first 7 yr of the INTEGRAL mission (2003-2009), Cyg X-1 has essentially been detected in its hard state (HS), with some incursions in intermediate HSs. This long, spectrally stable period allowed in particular the measurement of the polarization of the high-energy component that has long been observed above 200 keV in this peculiar object. This result strongly suggests that here we see the contribution of the jet, known to emit a strong synchrotron radio emission. In 2010 June, Cyg X-1 underwent a completed transition toward a soft state (SS). It gave us the unique opportunity to study in detail the corona emission in this spectral state, and to investigate in particular the behavior of the jet contribution. Indeed, during the SS, the hard X-ray emission decreases drastically, with its maximum energy shifted toward lower energy and its flux divided by a factor of ∼5-10. Interestingly, the radio emission follows a similar drop, supporting the correlation between the jet emission and the hard component, even though the flux is too low to quantify the polarization characteristics.
[en] We study the issue of active galactic nucleus (AGN) and host co-evolution by focusing on the correlation between the hard X-ray emission from central AGNs and the stellar populations of the host galaxies. Focusing on galaxies with strong Hα line emission (EW(Hα) > 5 Å), both X-ray and optical spectral analyses are performed on 67 (partially) obscured AGNs that are selected from the XMM-Newton 2XMMi/SDSS-DR7 catalog originally cross-matched by Pineau et al. The sample allows us to study central AGN activity and host galaxy activity directly and simultaneously in individual objects. Combining the spectral analysis in both bands reveals that the older the stellar population of the host galaxy, the harder the X-ray emission will be, which was missed in our previous study where ROSAT hardness ratios were used. By excluding the contamination from host galaxies and from jet beaming emission, the correlation indicates that Compton cooling in the accretion disk corona decreases with the mean age of the stellar population. We argue that this correlation is related to the correlation of L/LEdd with the host stellar population. In addition, the [O I]/Hα and [S II]/Hα narrow-line ratios are identified to correlate with the spectral slope in hard X-rays, which can be inferred from the currently proposed evolution of the X-ray emission because of the confirmed tight correlations between the two line ratios and stellar population age.
[en] The bright type I Seyfert galaxy NGC 3516 was observed by Suzaku twice, in 2005 October 12-15 and 2009 October 28-November 2, for a gross time coverage of 242 and 544 ks and a net exposure of 134 and 255 ks, respectively. The 2-10 keV luminosity was 2.8 × 1041 erg s–1 in 2005 and 1.6 × 1041 erg s–1 in 2009. The 1.4-1.7 keV and 1.7-10 keV count rates both exhibited peak-to-peak variations of a factor of ∼2 in 2005 and ∼4 in 2009. In both observations, the 15-45 keV count rate was less variable. The 2-10 keV spectrum in 2005 was significantly more convex than that in 2009. Through a count-count plot technique, the 2-45 keV signals in both sets of data were successfully decomposed in a model-independent way into two distinct broadband components. One is a variable emission with a featureless spectral shape, and the other is a non-varying hard component accompanied by a prominent Fe-K emission line at 6.33 keV (6.40 keV in the rest frame). The former was successfully fitted by an absorbed power-law model, while the latter requires a new hard continuum in addition to a reflection component from distant materials. The spectral and variability differences between the two observations are mainly attributed to long-term changes of this new hard continuum, which was stable on timescales of several hundreds of kiloseconds.
[en] We report on high-resolution optical and hard X-ray observations of solar flare ribbons seen during the GOES X6.5 class white-light flare of 2006 December 6. The data consist of imaging observations at 430 nm (the Fraunhofer G band) taken by the Hinode Solar Optical Telescope with the hard X-rays observed by the Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager. The two sets of data show closely similar ribbon structures, strongly suggesting that the flare emissions in white light and in hard X-rays have physically linked emission mechanisms. While the source structure along the ribbons is resolved at both wavelengths (length ∼ 30''), only the G-band observations resolve the width of the ribbon, with values between ∼0.''5 and ∼1.''8. The unresolved hard X-ray observations reveal an even narrower ribbon in hard X-rays (the main footpoint has a width perpendicular to the ribbon of <1.''1 compared to the G-band width of ∼1.''8) suggesting that the hard X-ray emission comes from the sharp leading edge of the G-band ribbon. Applying the thick-target beam model, the derived energy deposition rate is >5 x 1012 erg s-1 cm-2 provided by an electron flux of 1 x 1020 electrons s-1 cm-2 above 18 keV. This requires that the beam density of electrons above 18 keV be at least 1 x 1010 cm-3. Even if field lines converge toward the chromospheric footpoints, the required beam in the corona has too high a density to be described as a dilute tail population on top of a Maxwellian core. We discuss this issue and others associated with this extreme event, which poses serious questions to the standard thick target beam interpretation of solar flares.
[en] We observed the soft gamma repeater SGR 0501+4516 with Suzaku for ∼51 ks on 2008 August 26-27, about 4 days after its discovery. Following the first paper, which reported on the persistent soft X-ray emission and the wide-band spectrum of an intense short burst, this paper presents an analysis of the persistent broadband (1-70 keV) spectra of this source in outburst, taken with the X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (XIS) and the Hard X-ray Detector (HXD). Pulse-phase folding in the 12-35 keV HXD-PIN data on an ephemeris based on multi-satellite timing measurements at soft X-rays revealed the pulsed signals at ∼>99% confidence in the hard X-ray band. The wide-band spectrum clearly consists of a soft component and a separate hard component, crossing over at ∼7 keV. When the soft component is modeled by a blackbody plus a Comptonized blackbody, the hard component exhibits a 20-100 keV flux of 4.8+0.8-0.6(stat.)+0.8-0.4(sys.) x 10-11 erg s-1 cm-2 and a photon index of Γ = 0.79+0.20-0.18(stat.)+0.01-0.06(sys.). The hard X-ray data are compared with those obtained by INTEGRAL about 1 day later. Combining the present results with those on other magnetars, we discuss a possible correlation between the spectral hardness of magnetars and their characteristic age and magnetic field strengths.
[en] Finding and characterizing the population of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) that produces the X-ray background (XRB) is necessary to connect the history of accretion to observations of galaxy evolution at longer wavelengths. The year 2012 will see the deployment of the first hard X-ray imaging telescope which, through deep extragalactic surveys, will be able to measure the AGN population at the energies where the XRB peaks (∼20-30 keV). Here, we present predictions of AGN number counts in three hard X-ray bandpasses: 6-10 keV, 10-30 keV, and 30-60 keV. Separate predictions are presented for the number counts of Compton thick AGNs, the most heavily obscured active galaxies. The number counts are calculated for five different models of the XRB that differ in the assumed hard X-ray luminosity function, the evolution of the Compton thick AGNs, and the underlying AGN spectral model. The majority of the hard X-ray number counts will be Compton thin AGNs, but there is a greater than tenfold increase in the Compton thick number counts from the 6-10 keV to the 10-30 keV band. The Compton thick population shows enough variation that a hard X-ray number counts measurement will constrain the models. The computed number counts are used to consider various survey strategies for the NuSTAR mission, assuming a total exposure time of 6.2 Ms. We find that multiple surveys will allow a measurement of Compton thick evolution. The predictions presented here should be useful for all future imaging hard X-ray missions.
[en] We obtained relatively high signal-to-noise X-ray spectral data of the early massive star τ Sco (B0.2V) with the Suzaku X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (XIS) instrument. This source displays several unusual features that motivated our study: (1) redshifted absorption in UV P Cygni lines to approximately +250 km s-1 suggestive of infalling gas, (2) unusually hard X-ray emission requiring hot plasma at temperatures in excess of 10 MK whereas most massive stars show relatively soft X-rays at a few MK, and (3) a complex photospheric magnetic field of open and closed field lines. In an attempt to understand the hard component better, X-ray data were obtained at six roughly equally spaced phases within the same epoch of τ Sco's 41 day rotation period. The XIS instrument has three operable detectors: XIS1 is back-illuminated with sensitivity down to 0.2 keV; XIS0 and XIS2 are front-illuminated with sensitivity only down to 0.4 keV and have an overall less effective area than XIS1. The XIS0 and XIS3 detectors show relatively little variability. In contrast, there is a ∼4σ detection of a ∼4% drop in the count rate of the XIS1 detector at one rotational phase. In addition, all three detectors show a ∼3% increase in count rate at the same phase. The most optimistic prediction of X-ray variability allows for a 40% change in the count rate, particularly near phases where we have pointings. Observed modulations in the X-ray light curve on the rotation cycle is an order of magnitude smaller than this, which places new stringent constraints on future modeling of this interesting magnetic massive star.
[en] A 24 day period for the low-mass X-ray binary (LMXB) GX 13+1 was previously proposed on the basis of seven years of RXTE All-Sky Monitor (ASM) observations and it was suggested that this was the orbital period of the system. This would make it one of the longest known orbital periods for a Galactic LMXB powered by Roche lobe overflow. We present here the results of (1) K-band photometry obtained with the SMARTS Consortium CTIO 1.3 m telescope on 68 nights over a 10 month interval; (2) continued monitoring with the RXTE ASM, analyzed using a semi-weighted power spectrum instead of the data filtering technique previously used; and (3) Swift Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) hard X-ray observations. Modulation near 24 days is seen in both the K band and additional statistically independent ASM X-ray observations. However, the modulation in the ASM is not strictly periodic. The periodicity is also not detected in the Swift BAT observations, but modulation at the same relative level as seen with the ASM cannot be ruled out. If the 24 day period is the orbital period of system, this implies that the X-ray modulation is caused by structure that is not fixed in location. A possible mechanism for the X-ray modulation is the dipping behavior recently reported from XMM-Newton observations.
[en] The IBIS imager on board INTEGRAL, with a sensitivity better than a milliCrab in deep observations and a point-source location accuracy on the order of few arcminutes, has thus far localized 723 hard X-ray sources in the 17-100 keV energy band, of which about 1/3 are still unclassified. The aim of this paper is to provide subarcsecond localizations of the unidentified sources, necessary to pinpoint the optical and/or infrared (IR) counterpart of those objects whose nature is so far unknown. Cross-correlation between the new IBIS sources published in the fourth INTEGRAL/IBIS Survey catalog and the Chandra/ACIS data archive resulted in a sample of five previously unidentified objects. We present here the results of Chandra X-ray Observatory observations of these five hard X-ray sources discovered by the INTEGRAL satellite. We associated IGR J10447-6027 with IR source 2MASS J10445192-6025115, IGR J16377-6423 with the cluster CIZA J1638.2-6420, IGR J14193-6048 with the pulsar with nebula PSR J1420-6048, and IGR J12562+2554 with the quasar SDSS J125610.42+260103.5. We suggest that the counterpart of IGR J12288+0052 may be an active galactic nucleus/quasi-stellar object type 2 at a confidence level of 90%.
[en] IGR J17454−2919 is a hard X-ray transient discovered by INTEGRAL on 2014 September 27. We report on our 20 ks Chandra observation of the source, performed about five weeks after the discovery, as well as on INTEGRAL and Swift long-term monitoring observations.