Chandra/High Energy Transmission Grating Spectrometer spectroscopy of the Galactic black hole GX 339-4: A relativistic iron emission line and evidence for a Seyfert-like warm absorber

J M Miller, J Raymond, A C Fabian, J Homan, M A Nowak, R Wijnands, M van der Klis, T Belloni, J A Tomsick, D M Smith, P A Charles, W H G Lewin

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127 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We observed the Galactic black hole GX 339 - 4 with the Chandra High Energy Transmission Grating Spectrometer (HETGS) for 75 ks during the decline of its 2002 - 2003 outburst. The sensitivity of this observation provides an unprecedented glimpse of a Galactic black hole at about a tenth of the luminosity of the outburst peak. The continuum spectrum is well described by a model consisting of multicolor disk blackbody (kT similar or equal to 0.6 keV) and power-law (Gamma similar or equal to 2.5) components. X-ray reflection models yield improved fits. A strong, relativistic Fe Kalpha emission line is revealed, indicating that the inner disk extends to the innermost stable circular orbit. The breadth of the line is sufficient to suggest that GX 339 - 4 may harbor a black hole with significant angular momentum. Absorption lines from H- and He-like O and He-like Ne and Mg are detected, as well as lines that are likely due to Ne II and Ne III. The measured line properties make it difficult to associate the absorption with the coronal phase of the interstellar medium. A scenario wherein the absorption lines are due to an intrinsic AGN-like warm-absorber geometry - perhaps produced by a disk wind in an extended disk-dominated state - may be more viable. We compare our results to Chandra observations of the Galactic black hole candidate XTE J1650 - 500 and discuss our findings in terms of prominent models for Galactic black hole accretion flows and connections to supermassive black holes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-465
Number of pages16
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume601
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2004

Keywords

  • accretion, accretion disks
  • black hole physics
  • relativity
  • stars : individual (GX 339-4, XTE J1650-500)
  • ADVECTION-DOMINATED ACCRETION
  • QUASI-PERIODIC OSCILLATIONS
  • X-RAY BINARIES
  • GX 339-4
  • XTE J1550-564
  • CANDIDATE GX-339-4
  • GRO J1655-40
  • CYGNUS X-1
  • HIGH STATE
  • H I

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