Barnard, R.; Osborne, J. P.; Kolb, U. and Haswell, C. A.
|DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:||http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.2130235|
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We present a new technique for identifying stellar mass black holes in low mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs), and apply it to XMM-Newton observations of M31. We examine X-ray time series variability seeking power density spectra (PDS) typical of LMXBs accreting at a low accretion rate (which we refer to as Type A PDS) these are very similar for black hole and neutron star LMXBs. Galactic neutron star LMXBs exhibit Type A PDS at low luminosities ( 1036-1037 erg/s) while black hole LMXBs can exhibit them at luminosities >1038 erg s-1. We propose that Type A PDS are confined to luminosities below a critical fraction of the Eddington limit, lc that is constant for all LMXBs; we have examined a sample of black hole and neutron star LMXBs and find they are all consistent with lc ~ 0.1 in the 0.3-10 keV band. We present luminosity and PDS data from 167 observations of X-ray binaries in M31 that provide strong support for our hypothesis. Since the theoretical maximum mass for a neutron star is 3.1 Msolar, we therefore assert that any LMXB that exhibits a Type A PDS at a 0.3-10 keV luminosity greater than 4×1037 erg s-1 is likely to contain a black hole primary.
|Item Type:||Conference Item|
|Extra Information:||Some of the symbols may not have transferred correctly into this bibliographic record and/or abstract.---Appears in AIP Conference Proceedings, October 21, 2005 (Volume 797, pp. 219-224).|
|Academic Unit/Department:||Science > Physical Sciences
|Interdisciplinary Research Centre:||Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)|
|Depositing User:||Christopher Biggs|
|Date Deposited:||20 Dec 2006|
|Last Modified:||14 Jan 2016 16:18|
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