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Astrophysical Journal 700 (2009) 1831-1846
On the Nonrelativistic Origin of Red-skewed Iron Lines in Cataclysmic Variable, Neutron Star, and Black Hole Sources
L. Titarchuk1, 2, P. Laurent3, 4, N. Shaposhnikov2

We perform the analysis of the iron Kα lines detected in three sources representing three types of accreting compact sources: cataclysmic variable (CV) GK Per, neutron star (NS) Serpens X-1, and black hole (BH) GX 339-4. We find, using data from Epic-PN Camera onboard XMM-Newton observatory, that the iron Kα emission line in GK Per has a noticeable red-skewed profile. We compare the GK Per asymmetric line with the red-skewed lines observed by XMM-Newton in Serpens X-1 and GX 339-4. The observation of the Kα emission with red-skewed features in CV GK Per cannot be related to the redshift effects of General Relativity (GR). Therefore, if the mechanism of the Kα-line formation is the same in CVs, NSs, and BHs then it is evident that the GR effects would be ruled out as a cause of red skewness of Kα line. The line reprocessing in an outflowing wind has been recently suggested as an alternative model for a broad red-shifted iron line formation. In the framework of the outflow scenario the red-skewed iron line is formed in the strong extended wind due to its illumination by the radiation emanating from the innermost part of the accreting material. The outflow is a common phenomenon for CVs, NSs, and BHs. In this paper, we demonstrate that the asymmetric shapes of the lines detected from these CV, NS, and BH sources are well described with the wind (outflow) model. Furthermore we find by analyzing Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer(RXTE) observations that when the strong red-skewed iron line is observed in GX 339-4 the high-frequency variability is strongly suppressed. While this fact is hard to reconcile with the relativistic models, it is consistent with the outflowing gas washing out high-frequency modulations of the radiation presumably originated in the innermost part of the source.
1 :  UNIFE - Department of Physics
2 :  NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
3 :  APC - UMR 7164 - AstroParticule et Cosmologie
4 :  IRFU - Institut de Recherches sur les lois Fondamentales de l'Univers (ex DAPNIA)
Planète et Univers/Astrophysique/Phénomènes cosmiques de haute energie

Physique/Astrophysique/Phénomènes cosmiques de haute energie
line: profiles – radiation mechanisms: general – stars: neutron – X-rays: binaries – X-rays: individual: GK Per Serpens X-1 GX 339-4 – white dwarfs
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