Black hole spin inferred from 3:2 epicyclic resonance model of high-frequency quasi-periodic oscillations
1 Institute of Physics, Faculty of Philosophy and Science, Silesian University in Opava, Bezručovo nám. 13, 74601 Opava, Czech Republic
2 Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Centre, Bartycka 18, 00716 Warsaw, Poland
Received: 30 October 2014
Accepted: 30 April 2015
Estimations of black hole spin in the three Galactic microquasars GRS 1915+105, GRO J1655-40, and XTE J1550-564 have been carried out based on spectral and timing X-ray measurements and various theoretical concepts. Among others, a non-linear resonance between axisymmetric epicyclic oscillation modes of an accretion disc around a Kerr black hole has been considered as a model for the observed high-frequency quasi-periodic oscillations (HF QPOs). Estimates of spin predicted by this model have been derived based on the geodesic approximation of the accreted fluid motion. Here we assume accretion flow described by the model of a pressure-supported torus and carry out related corrections to the mass-spin estimates. We find that for dimensionless black hole spin a ≡ cJ/GM2 ≲ 0.9, the resonant eigenfrequencies are very close to those calculated for the geodesic motion. Their values slightly grow with increasing torus thickness. These findings agree well with results of a previous study carried out in the pseudo-Newtonian approximation. The situation becomes different for a ≳ 0.9, in which case the resonant eigenfrequencies rapidly decrease as the torus thickness increases. We conclude that the assumed non-geodesic effects shift the lower limit of the spin, implied for the three microquasars by the epicyclic model and independently measured masses, from a ~ 0.7 to a ~ 0.6. Their consideration furthermore confirms compatibility of the model with the rapid spin of GRS 1915+105 and provides highly testable predictions of the QPO frequencies. Individual sources with a moderate spin (a ≲ 0.9) should exhibit a smaller spread of the measured 3:2 QPO frequencies than sources with a near-extreme spin (a ~ 1). This should be further examined using the large amount of high-resolution data expected to become available with the next generation of X-ray instruments, such as the proposed Large Observatory for X-ray Timing (LOFT).
Key words: X-rays: binaries / black hole physics / accretion, accretion disks
© ESO, 2015