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  Chandra spectral and timing analysis of Sgr A*'s brightest X-Ray flares

Haggard, D., Nynka, M., Mon, B., de la Hernandez, N. C., Nowak, M., Heinke, C., et al. (2019). Chandra spectral and timing analysis of Sgr A*'s brightest X-Ray flares. The Astrophysical Journal, 886(2): 96. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ab4a7f.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-857C-A Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-857D-9
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Haggard, Daryl, Author
Nynka, Melania, Author
Mon, Brayden, Author
de la Hernandez, Noelia Cruz, Author
Nowak, Michael, Author
Heinke, Craig, Author
Neilsen, Joseph, Author
Dexter, Jason1, Author              
Fragile, P. Chris, Author
Baganoff, Fred, Author
Bower, Geoffrey C., Author
Corrales, Lia R., Author
Zelati, Francesco Coti, Author
Degenaar, Nathalie, Author
Markoff, Sera, Author
Morris, Mark R., Author
Ponti, Gabriele2, Author              
Rea, Nanda, Author
Wilms, Jöern, Author
Yusef-Zadeh, Farhad, Author
Affiliations:
1Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society, ou_159889              
2High Energy Astrophysics, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society, ou_159890              

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 Abstract: We analyze the two brightest Chandra X-ray flares detected from Sagittarius A*, with peak luminosities more than 600× and 245× greater than the quiescent X-ray emission. The brightest flare has a distinctive double-peaked morphology—it lasts 5.7 ks (~2 hr), with a rapid rise time of 1500 s and a decay time of 2500 s. The second flare lasts 3.4 ks, with rise and decay times of 1700 and 1400 s. These luminous flares are significantly harder than quiescence: the first has a power-law spectral index Γ = 2.06 ± 0.14 and the second has Γ = 2.03 ± 0.27, compared to Γ = 3.0 ± 0.2 for the quiescent accretion flow. These spectral indices (as well as the flare hardness ratios) are consistent with previously detected Sgr A* flares, suggesting that bright and faint flares arise from similar physical processes. Leveraging the brightest flare's long duration and high signal-to-noise, we search for intraflare variability and detect excess X-ray power at a frequency of ν ≈ 3 mHz, but show that it is an instrumental artifact and not of astrophysical origin. We find no other evidence (at the 95% confidence level) for periodic or quasi-periodic variability in either flares' time series. We also search for nonperiodic excess power but do not find compelling evidence in the power spectrum. Bright flares like these remain our most promising avenue for identifying Sgr A*'s short timescale variability in the X-ray, which may probe the characteristic size scale for the X-ray emission region.

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 Dates: 2019-11-25
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/ab4a7f
Other: LOCALID: 3188205
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Title: The Astrophysical Journal
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Bristol; Vienna : IOP Publishing; IAEA
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 886 (2) Sequence Number: 96 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 0004-637X
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922828215_3