EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 440, Number 1, September II 2005
Page(s) 207 - 222
Section Stellar structure and evolution
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20042457

A&A 440, 207-222 (2005)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20042457

The evolution of the timing properties of the black-hole transient GX 339-4 during its 2002/2003 outburst

T. Belloni1, J. Homan1, 2, P. Casella1, 3, 4, M. van der Klis5, E. Nespoli1, W. H. G. Lewin2, J. M. Miller6 and M. Méndez7

1  INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, via E. Bianchi 46, 23807 Merate, Italy
    e-mail: belloni@merate.mi.astro.it
2  Center for Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307, USA
3  INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, via di Frascati 33, 00040 Monte Porzio Catone, Italy
4  Dipartimento di Fisica, Università degli Studi "Roma Tre", via della Vasca Navale 84, 00146 Roma, Italy
5  Astronomical Institute "Anton Pannekoek", University of Amsterdam, and Center for High Energy Astrophysics, Kruislaan 403, 1098 SJ, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
6  Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
7  SRON, National Institute for Space Research, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584 CA Utrecht, The Netherlands

(Received 30 November 2004 / Accepted 15 April 2005)

We present the results of the timing and color analysis of more than two hundred RXTE/PCA observations of the bright black-hole transient GX 339-4 obtained during its 2002/2003 outburst. The color-intensity evolution of the system, coupled to the properties of its fast time variability, allow the identification of four separate states. Depending on the state, strong noise is detected, together with a variety of quasi-periodic oscillations at frequencies from 0.2 to 8 Hz. We present a characterization of the timing parameters of these states and compare them to what has been observed in other systems. These results, together with those obtained from energy spectra, point towards a common evolution of black-hole transients through their outbursts.

Key words: accretion, accretion disks -- black hole physics -- stars: oscillations -- X-rays: binaries

SIMBAD Objects

© ESO 2005