Super-Eddington outburst of V4641 Sgr
Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1, 85740 Garching bei München, Germany,
2 Space Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Profsoyuznaya 84/32, 117810 Moscow, Russia
Corresponding author: M. Revnivtsev, email@example.com
Accepted: 6 June 2002
X–ray transients provide unique opportunity to probe accretion regimes of at a vastly different accretion rates. We analyze a collection of the RXTE observations (Galactic Center scans, ASM monitoring and a pointed observation) of enigmatic transient source high mass X-ray binary V4641 Sgr and argue that they broadly support the hypothesis that giant September 1999 outburst was associated with an episode of super-Eddington accretion onto the black hole. During the outburst an extended optically thick envelope/outflow has been formed around the source making the observational appearance of V4641 Sgr in many aspects very similar to that of SS433. These results suggest that objects like V4641 Sgr and SS433 indeed represent the class of objects accreting matter at a rate comparable or above Eddington value and the formation of an envelope/outflow is a generic characteristic of supercritical accretion. When the accretion rate decreased the envelope vanished and the source short term variability and spectral properties started to resemble those of other galactic black hole candidates accreting at a rate well below the Eddington value. Interestingly that during this phase the source spectrum was very similar to the Cygnus X-1 spectrum in the low state inspite of more than order of magnitude larger X–ray luminosity.
Key words: accretion, accretion disks / black hole physics / instabilities / stars: binaries: general / X-rays: general / X-rays: stars
© ESO, 2002