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Average hard X-ray emission from NS LMXBs: Observational evidence of different spectral states in NS LMXBs

Abstract : We studied and compared the long-term average hard X-ray (>20keV) spectra of a sample of twelve bright low-mass X-ray binaries hosting a neutron star (NS). Our sample comprises the six well studied Galactic Z sources and six Atoll sources, four of which are bright ("GX") bulge sources while two are weaker ones in the 2-10keV range (H1750-440 and H1608-55). For all the sources of our sample, we analysed available public data and extracted average spectra from the IBIS/ISGRI detector on board INTEGRAL. We can describe all the spectral states in terms of the bulk motion Comptonisation scenario. We find evidence that bulk motion is always present, its strength is related to the accretion rate and it is suppressed only in the presence of high local luminosity. The two low-dim Atoll source spectra are dominated by photons up-scattered presumably due to dynamical and thermal Comptonisation in an optically thin, hot plasma. For the first time, we extend the detection of H1750-440 up to 150keV. The Z and bright "GX" Atoll source spectra are very similar and are dominated by Comptonised blackbody radiation of seed photons, presumably coming from the accretion disc and NS surface, in an optically thick cloud with plasma temperature in the range of 2.5-3keV. Six sources show a hard tail in their average spectrum: CygX-2 (Z), GX340+0 (Z), GX17+2 (Z), GX5-1 (Z), ScoX-1 (Z) and GX13+1 (Atoll). This is the first detection of a hard tail in the X-ray spectrum of the peculiar GX13+1. Using radio data from the literature we find, in all Z sources and bright "GX" Atolls, a systematic positive correlation between the X-ray hard tail (40-100keV) and the radio luminosity. This suggests that hard tails and energetic electrons causing the radio emission may have the same origin, most likely the Compton cloud located inside the NS magnetosphere.
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Contributor : Simone Lantz <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - 3:20:58 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - 4:32:12 PM

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A. Paizis, R. Farinelli, L. Titarchuk, T. J. -L. Courvoisier, A. Bazzano, et al.. Average hard X-ray emission from NS LMXBs: Observational evidence of different spectral states in NS LMXBs. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2006, 459, pp.187-197. ⟨10.1051/0004-6361:20065792⟩. ⟨in2p3-00112414⟩



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