The Open UniversitySkip to content

The evolving accretion disc in the black hole X-ray transient XTE J1859+226

Hynes, R.I.; Haswell, C.A.; Chaty, S.; Shrader, C.R. and Cui, W. (2002). The evolving accretion disc in the black hole X-ray transient XTE J1859+226. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 331(1) pp. 169–179.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


We present HST, RXTE, and UKIRT observations of the broad-band spectra of the black hole X-ray transient XTE J1859+226 during the decline from its 1999–2000 outburst. Our UV spectra define the 2175-Å interstellar absorption feature very well and based on its strength we estimate E(B-V)=0.58±0.12. Hence we deredden our spectra and follow the evolution of the spectral energy distribution on the decline from outburst. We find that the UV and optical data, and the X-ray thermal component when detectable, can be fitted with a simple blackbody model of an accretion disc heated by internal viscosity and X-ray irradiation, and extending to close to the last stable orbit around the black hole, although the actual inner radius cannot be well constrained. During the decline we see the disc apparently evolving from a model with the edge dominated by irradiative heating towards one where viscous heating is dominant everywhere. The outer disc radius also appears to decrease during the decline; we interpret this as evidence of a cooling wave moving inwards and discuss its implications for the disc instability model. Based on the normalization of our spectral fits we estimate a likely distance range of 4.6–8.0 kpc, although a value outside this range cannot securely be ruled out.

Item Type: Journal Article
ISSN: 1365-2966
Extra Information: Some of the symbols may not have transferred correctly into this bibliographic record.
Academic Unit/Department: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Physical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)
Item ID: 4421
Depositing User: Users 6827 not found.
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2006
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2016 09:52
Share this page:


Scopus Citations

▼ Automated document suggestions from open access sources

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340