Article

Black hole X-ray binaries LMC X-1 and X-3: observations confront spectral models

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (Impact Factor: 5.52). 08/2005; DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2005.09294.x
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT We present a comprehensive spectral analysis of black hole X-ray binaries, LMC X-1 and LMC X-3, based on BeppoSAX observations. We test both the multi-color disk plus power law (MCD+PL) model and a newly-developed Monte-Carlo simulation- based model for a Comptonized MCD (CMCD) with either a spherical or a slab-like corona, by comparing the inferred parameters with independent direct measurements. While all models give an adequate description of the spectra, we find a significant discrepancy between the MCD+PL inferred X-ray-absorbing gas column density and the absorption-edge measurement based on dispersed X-ray spectra. The MCD+PL fits to the LMC X-1 spectra also require a change in the inner disk radius during the BeppoSAX observation, which may be due to the nonphysical effects inherited in the model. In contrast, the CMCD model with the spheric corona gives the predictions of both the disk inclination angle and the absorption that are consistent with the direct measurements, and only slightly under-predicts the black hole mass of LMC X-3. The model explains the spectral state evolution of LMC X-1 within the BeppoSAX observation as a change in the accretion rate, which leads to an increase in both the inner disk temperature and the Comptonization opacity. On the other hand, the CMCD model with the slab-like corona is more problematic in the test and is thus not recommended. Comment: 7 pages including 3 tables and 4 figures, MNRAS in press

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