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Doughnut strikes sandwich: the geometry of hot medium in accreting black hole X-ray binaries
Stockholm University, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita). University of Turku, Finland; Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0983-0049
Stockholm University, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita). University of Turku, Finland; Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia.
Number of Authors: 32018 (English)In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, ISSN 0004-6361, E-ISSN 1432-0746, Vol. 614, article id A79Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We study the effects of the mutual interaction of hot plasma and cold medium in black hole binaries in their hard spectral state. We consider a number of different geometries. In contrast to previous theoretical studies, we use a modern energy-conserving code for reflection and reprocessing from cold media. We show that a static corona above an accretion disc extending to the innermost stable circular orbit produces spectra not compatible with those observed. They are either too soft or require a much higher disc ionization than that observed. This conclusion confirms a number of previous findings, but disproves a recent study claiming an agreement of that model with observations. We show that the cold disc has to be truncated in order to agree with the observed spectral hardness. However, a cold disc truncated at a large radius and replaced by a hot flow produces spectra which are too hard if the only source of seed photons for Comptonization is the accretion disc. Our favourable geometry is a truncated disc coexisting with a hot plasma either overlapping with the disc or containing some cold matter within it, also including seed photons arising from cyclo-synchrotron emission of hybrid electrons, i.e. containing both thermal and non-thermal parts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 614, article id A79
Keywords [en]
accretion, accretion discs, black hole physics, stars: individual: GX 339-4, X-rays: binaries, X-rays: stars
National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-158257DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201732345ISI: 000435438700004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-158257DiVA, id: diva2:1237601
Available from: 2018-08-09 Created: 2018-08-09 Last updated: 2018-08-09Bibliographically approved

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