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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 284568 matches for " Silas G. T. Laycock "
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Chandra and XMM Monitoring of the Black Hole X-ray Binary IC 10 X-1
Silas G. T. Laycock,Rigel C. Cappallo,Matthew J. Moro
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stu2151
Abstract: The massive black hole + Wolf-Rayet binary IC10 X-1 was observed in a series of 10 Chandra and 2 XMM-Newton observations spanning 2003-2012, showing consistent variability around 7 x10^37 erg/s, with a spectral hardening event in 2009. We phase-connected the entire light-curve by folding the photon arrival times on a series of trial periods spanning the known orbital period and its uncertainty, refining the X-ray period to P = 1.45175(1)d. The duration of minimum-flux in the X-ray eclipse is 5 hr which together with the optical radial velocity curve for the companion yields a radius for the eclipsing body of 8-10 Rsun for the allowed range of masses. The orbital separation of 18.5-22 Rsun then provides a limiting inclination i>63 degrees for total eclipses to occur. The eclipses are asymmetric (egress duration 0.9 hr) and show energy dependence, suggestive of an accretion-disk hotspot and corona. The eclipse is much (5X) wider than the 1.5-2 Rsun WR star, pointing to absorption/scattering in the dense wind of the WR star. The same is true of the close analog NGC 300 X-1. RV measurements of the He II [4686] line from the literature show a phase-shift with respect to the X-ray ephemeris such that the velocity does not pass through zero at mid-eclipse. The X-ray eclipse leads inferior conjunction of the RV curve by 90 degrees, so either the BH is being eclipsed by a trailing shock/plume, or the He II line does not directly trace the motion of the WR star and instead originates in a shadowed partially-ionized region of the stellar wind.
Revisiting the Dynamical Case for a Massive Black Hole in IC10 X-1
Silas G. T. Laycock,Thomas J. Maccarone,Dimitris M. Christodoulou
Physics , 2015, DOI: 10.1093/mnrasl/slv082
Abstract: The relative phasing of the X-ray eclipse ephemeris and optical radial velocity (RV) curve for the X-ray binary IC10 X-1 suggests the He[$\lambda$4686] emission-line originates in a shadowed sector of the stellar wind that avoids ionization by X-rays from the compact object. The line attains maximum blueshift when the wind is directly toward us at mid X-ray eclipse, as is also seen in Cygnus X-3. If the RV curve is unrelated to stellar motion, evidence for a massive black hole evaporates because the mass function of the binary is unknown. The reported X-ray luminosity, spectrum, slow QPO, and broad eclipses caused by absorption/scattering in the WR wind are all consistent with either a low-stellar-mass BH or a NS. For a NS, the centre of mass lies inside the WR envelope whose motion is then far below the observed 370 km/s RV amplitude, while the velocity of the compact object is as high as 600 km/s. The resulting 0.4\% doppler variation of X-ray spectral lines could be confirmed by missions in development. These arguments also apply to other putative BH binaries whose RV and eclipse curves are not yet phase-connected. Theories of BH formation and predicted rates of gravitational wave sources may need revision.
The Magnetic Field of the Ultraluminous X-ray Pulsar M82 X-2
Dimitris M. Christodoulou,Silas G. T. Laycock,Demosthenes Kazanas
Physics , 2014,
Abstract: Pulsations were recently detected from the ultraluminous X-ray source X-2 in M82. The newly discovered pulsar has been described as a common neutron star with a 1 TG magnetic field that accretes above the Eddington rate and as a magnetar-like pulsar with a 100 TG magnetic field that is above the quantum limit. We show here that this X-ray source is not exotic in any sense. The standard equations of accretion along field lines predict that, for the measured spin period $P_S$ and spinup rate $\dot{P_S}$, the isotropic X-ray luminosity $L_X$ must be near the Eddington limit (i.e., $L_{X}\approx 3.5\times 10^{38}$~erg~s$^{-1}$); and that the surface magnetic field $B$, that does not depend on $P_S$, must be modest (i.e., $B_*\approx 1-10$ TG). The observed higher luminosity can be explained by a moderate amount of geometric beaming that occurs in our direction. Other ultraluminous X-ray sources may also turn out to be common pulsars with similar physical characteristics, but since the emission must occur at a favorable angle to the observer, we expect that very few such pulsars will be discovered in the future.
On the Spin of the Black Hole in IC 10 X-1
James F. Steiner,Dominic J. Walton,Javier A. Garcia,Jeffrey E. McClintock,Silas G. T. Laycock,Matthew J. Middleton,Robin Barnard,Kristin K. Madsen
Physics , 2015,
Abstract: The compact X-ray source in the eclipsing X-ray binary IC 10 X-1 has reigned for years as ostensibly the most massive stellar-mass black hole, with a mass estimated to be about twice that of its closest rival. However, striking results presented recently by Laycock et al. reveal that the mass estimate, based on emission-line velocities, is unreliable and that the mass of the X-ray source is essentially unconstrained. Using Chandra and NuSTAR data, we rule against a neutron-star model and conclude that IC 10 X-1 contains a black hole. The eclipse duration of IC 10 X-1 is shorter and its depth shallower at higher energies, an effect consistent with the X-ray emission being obscured during eclipse by a Compton-thick core of a dense wind. The spectrum is strongly disk-dominated, which allows us to constrain the spin of the black hole via X-ray continuum fitting. Three other wind-fed black-hole systems are known; the masses and spins of their black holes are high: M ~ 10-15 Msun and a*>0.8. If the mass of IC 10 X-1's black hole is comparable, then its spin is likewise high.
Observations of the unusual counterpart to the X-ray pulsar AX J0051-733
M. J. Coe,N. J. Haigh,S. G. T. Laycock,I. Negueruela,C. R. Kaiser
Physics , 2002, DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-8711.2002.05342.x
Abstract: We report optical and IR observations of the ASCA X-ray pulsar system AX J0051-733. The relationship between the X-ray source and possible optical counterparts is discussed. Long term optical data from over 7 years are presented which reveal both a 1.4d modulation and an unusually rapid change in this possible binary period. Various models are discussed.
Hard X-ray lightcurves of High Mass X-ray binaries
S. G. T. Laycock,M. J. Coe,C. A. Wilson,B. A. Harmon,M. Finger
Physics , 2002, DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-8711.2003.06037.x
Abstract: Using the 9 years of continuous data now available from the Burst And Transient Source Experiment (BATSE) aboard CGRO, we have measured orbital periods and produced folded lightcurves for 8 High Mass X-ray Binaries (HMXB). Given the length of the datasets, our determinations are based on many more binary orbits than previous investigations. Thus our source detections have high statistical significance and we are able to follow long-term trends in X-ray output. In particular we focus on two systems: A0538-668 and EXO2030+375 both HMXBs exhibiting Type I outbursts.
Optical studies of two LMC X-ray transients : RX J0544.1-7100 and RX J0520.5-6932
M. J. Coe,I. Negueruela,D. A. H. Buckley,N. J. Haigh,S. G. T. Laycock
Physics , 2001, DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-8711.2001.04327.x
Abstract: We report observations which confirm the identities of the optical counterpart to the transient sources RX J0544.1-7100 and RX J0520.5-6932. The counterparts are suggested to be a B-type stars. Optical data from the observations carried out at ESO and SAAO, together with results from the OGLE data base, are presented. In addition, X-ray data from the RXTE all-sky monitor are investigated for long term periodicities. A strong suggestion for a binary period of 24.4d is seen in RX J0520.5-6932 from the OGLE data.
Long-term Properties of Accretion Disks in X-ray Binaries: I. the variable third period in SMC X-1
W. I. Clarkson,P. A. Charles,M. J. Coe,S. G. T. Laycock,M. D. Tout,C. A. Wilson
Physics , 2002, DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-8711.2003.06176.x
Abstract: Long term X-ray monitoring data from the RXTE ASM and CGRO BATSE reveal that the third (superorbital) period in SMC X-1 is not constant, but varies between 40-60 days. A dynamic power spectrum analysis indicates that the third period has been present continuously throughout the five years of ASM observations. This period changed smoothly from 60 days to 45 days and then returned to its former value, on a timescale of approximately 1600 days. During the nearly 4 years of overlap between the CGRO & RXTE missions, the simultaneous BATSE hard X-ray data confirm and extend this variation in SMC X-1. Our discovery of such an instability in the superorbital period of SMC X-1 is interpreted in the context of recent theoretical studies of warped, precessing accretion disks. We find that the behaviour of SMC X-1 is consistent with a radiation-driven warping model.
DASCH Discovery of Large Amplitude ~10-100 Year Variability in K Giants
Sumin Tang,Jonathan Grindlay,Edward Los,Silas Laycock
Physics , 2010, DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/710/1/L77
Abstract: Here we present the discovery of three unusual long-term variables found in the Digital Access to a Sky Century at Harvard (DASCH) project, with ~1 magnitude variations in their lightcurves on ~10-100 yr timescales. They are all spectroscopically identified as K2III giant stars, probably in the thick disk. Their lightcurves do not match any previously measured for known types of variable stars, or any theoretical model reported for red giants, and instead suggest a new dust formation mechanism or the first direct observation of "short" timescale evolution-driven variability. More theoretical work on the lithium flash near the Red Giant Branch (RGB) bump and the helium shell ignition in the lower Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB), as well as long term monitoring of K2III thick disk stars is needed.
The DASCH Data Processing Pipeline and Multiple Exposure Plate Processing
Edward Los,Jonathan Grindlay,Sumin Tang,Mathieu Servillat,Silas Laycock
Physics , 2011,
Abstract: Digital Access to a Sky Century @ Harvard (DASCH) is a project to digitize the collection of approximately 525,000 astronomical plates held at the Harvard College Observatory. This paper presents an overview of the DASCH data processing pipeline, with special emphasis on the processing of multiple-exposure plates. Such plates extended the dynamic range of photograph emulsions and improved photometric accuracy by minimizing variations in plate development procedures. Two approaches are explored in this paper: The repetitive use of astrometry.net (Lang et al. 2010) and local correlation searches. Both procedures have yielded additional quality control checks useful to the pipeline.
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