[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aims. We investigate observations of the X-ray binary Cygnus X-1 with unusually high hardness and low flux. In particular, we study the characteristic frequencies seen in the PDS and the hardness-flux correlation within and between these observations. Methods. We analyse observations of Cyg X-1 during periods when the source reaches its highest hardness levels (> 1 for the 9-20 keV over 2-4 keV RXTE/PCA count ratios, corresponding to Gamma < 1.6). Using the relativistic precession model to interpret the PDS we estimate a value for the inner radius of the accretion disc. We also study the hardness-flux correlation. Results. In the selected observations, the characteristic frequencies seen in the power spectrum are shifted to the lowest end of their frequency range. Within a single observation, the hardness-flux correlation is very weak, contrary to the negative correlation normally observed in the hard state. We suggest that this could be interpreted as the inner disc boundary being at large radii (> 50 Rg), thereby requiring more time to adjust to a changing accretion rate than allowed by a single RXTE observation, and compare our findings to estimates of the viscous time scale responsible for small scale variability in the system.
Astronomy and Astrophysics 11/2008; · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Building on results from previous studies of Cygnus~X-1, we analyze Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) data taken when the source was in the soft and transitional spectral states. We look at the power spectrum in the 0.01 -- 50 Hz range, using a model consisting of a cut-off power-law and two Lorentzian components. We are able to constrain the relation between the characteristic frequencies of the Lorentzian components, and show that it is consistent with a power-law relation having the same index (1.2) as previously reported for the hard state, but shifted by a factor ~2. Furthermore, it is shown that the change in the frequency relation seen during the transitions can be explained by invoking a shift of one Lorentzian component to a higher harmonic, and we explore the possible support for this interpretation in the other component parameters. With the improved soft state results we study the evolution of the fractional variance for each temporal component. This approach indicates that the two Lorentzian components are connected to each other, and unrelated to the power-law component in the power spectrum, pointing to at least two separate emission components.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Analyzing the archival data from the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE), we study the power density spectra (PDS) of Cygnus X-1 from 1996 to 2003 in the frequency range of 0.01 - 25 Hz. With our model we are able to track the evolution of the Lorentzian components through all spectral states of the source. We confirm the relation between characteristic frequencies seen both in black hole candidate and neutron star sources, and show the changes in this relation during the transitional and soft states of the source. The connection between the Lorentzian components is investigated by analyzing similarities and differences in their behavior. We find that the spectral state of the source can be uniquely determined from the parameters of the these components. The parameter correlations can all be described by continuous functions, which differ between components. We discuss our results in the context of relativistic precession model for the accretion disk, and show a remarkable agreement between the model prediction and the data in the hard state. We estimate a value for the specific angular momentum of a=+0.49 (-0.57) in the case of prograde retrograde) rotation and an estimate for the inner radius of 22 to 50 (25 to 55) gravitational radii.