THE CONSTANT INNER-DISK RADIUS OF LMC X-3: A BASIS FOR MEASURING BLACK HOLE SPIN
Author(s)Steiner, James F.; McClintock, Jeffrey E.; Gou, Lijun; Yamada, Shin'ya; Narayan, Ramesh; Remillard, Ronald A; ... Show more Show less
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The black hole binary system LMC X-3 has been observed by virtually every X-ray mission since the inception of X-ray astronomy. Among the persistent sources, LMC X-3 is uniquely both habitually soft and highly variable. Using a fully relativistic accretion disk model, we analyze hundreds of spectra collected during eight X-ray missions that span 26 years. For a selected sample of 391 RXTE spectra, we find that to within ≈2% the inner radius of the accretion disk is constant over time and unaffected by source variability. Even considering an ensemble of eight X-ray missions, we find consistent values of the radius to within ≈4%-6%. Our results provide strong evidence for the existence of a fixed inner-disk radius. The only reasonable inference is that this radius is closely associated with the general relativistic innermost stable circular orbit. Our findings establish a firm foundation for the measurement of black hole spin.
DepartmentMIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research
Astrophysical Journal. Letters
Steiner, James F., Jeffrey E. McClintock, Ronald A. Remillard, Lijun Gou, Shin’ya Yamada, and Ramesh Narayan. “THE CONSTANT INNER-DISK RADIUS OF LMC X-3: A BASIS FOR MEASURING BLACK HOLE SPIN.” The Astrophysical Journal 718, no. 2 (July 9, 2010): L117–L121. © 2010 The American Astronomical Society
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