Volume 533, September 2011
|Number of page(s)||13|
|Published online||12 August 2011|
Spectro-timing analysis of Cygnus X-1 during a fast state transition
Dr. Karl-Remeis-Sternwarte, Astronomisches Institut der Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, and Erlangen Centre for Astroparticle Physics, Sternwartstraße 7, 96049 Bamberg, Germany
2 Universitätssternwarte, Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München, Scheinerstr. 1, 81679 Munich, Germany
3 CRESST, University of Maryland Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250, USA
4 NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Astrophysics Science Division, Code 661, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
5 MIT-CXC, NE80-6077, 77 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
6 Astronomical Institute “Anton Pannekoek”, University of Amsterdam, Kruislaan 403, Amsterdam, 1098 SJ, The Netherlands
7 University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
8 Laboratoire AIM, CEA/IRFU – Université Paris Diderot – CNRS/INSU, CEA DSM/IRFU/SAp, Centre de Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
9 Cavendish Laboratory, J. J. Thomson Avenue, Cambridge CB3 0HE, UK
10 Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, 9500 Gilman Drive, CA 92093-0424, USA
Received: 29 April 2011
Accepted: 7 July 2011
We present the analysis of two long, quasi-uninterrupted RXTE observations of Cygnus X-1 that span several days within a 10 d interval. The spectral characteristics during this observation cover the region where previous observations have shown the source to be most dynamic. Despite that the source behavior on time scales of hours and days is remarkably similar to that on year time scales. This includes a variety of spectral/temporal correlations that previously had only been observed over Cyg X-1’s long-term evolution. Furthermore, we observe a full transition from a hard to a soft spectral state that occurs within less than 2.5 h–shorter than previously reported for any other similar Cyg X-1 transition. We describe the spectra with a phenomenological model dominated by a broken power law, and we fit the X-ray variability power spectra with a combination of a cutoff power law and Lorentzian components. The spectral and timing properties are correlated: the power spectrum Lorentzian components have an energy-dependent amplitude, and their peak frequencies increase with photon spectral index. Averaged over 3.2 − 10 Hz, the time lag between the variability in the 4.5−5.7 keV and 9.5−15 keV bands increases with decreasing hardness when the variability is dominated by the Lorentzian components during the hard state. The lag is small when there is a large power law noise contribution, shortly after the transition to the soft state. Interestingly, the soft state not only shows the shortest lags, but also the longest lags when the spectrum is at its softest and faintest. We discuss our results in terms of emission models for black hole binaries.
Key words: X-rays: binaries / X-rays: individuals: Cyg X-1
© ESO, 2011
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