Detection of the first infra-red quasi-periodic oscillation in a black hole X-ray binary

M. Kalamkar, P. Casella, P. Uttley, K. O'Brien, Dave Russell, T. Maccarone, M. van der Klis, F. Vincentelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We present the analysis of fast variability of Very Large Telescope/ISAAC (Infrared Spectrometer And Array Camera) (infra-red), XMM-Newton/OM (optical) and EPIC-pn (X-ray), and RXTE/PCA (X-ray) observations of the black hole X-ray binary GX 339-4 in a rising hard state of its outburst in 2010. We report the first detection of a quasi-periodic oscillation (QPO) in the infra-red band (IR) of a black hole X-ray binary. The QPO is detected at 0.08 Hz in the IR as well as two optical bands (U and V). Interestingly, these QPOs are at half the X-ray QPO frequency at 0.16 Hz, which is classified as the type-C QPO; a weak sub-harmonic close to the IR and optical QPO frequency is also detected in X-rays. The band-limited sub-second time-scale variability is strongly correlated in IR/X-ray bands, with X-rays leading the IR by over 120 ms. This short time delay, shape of the cross-correlation function and spectral energy distribution strongly indicate that this band-limited variable IR emission is the synchrotron emission from the jet. A jet origin for the IR QPO is strongly favoured, but cannot be definitively established with the current data. The spectral energy distribution indicates a thermal disc origin for the bulk of the optical emission, but the origin of the optical QPO is unclear. We discuss our findings in the context of the existing models proposed to explain the origin of variability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3284-3291
Number of pages8
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume460
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Fingerprint

oscillation
oscillations
x rays
spectral energy distribution
detection
outburst
energy
X Ray Timing Explorer
infrared spectrometers
spectrometer
XMM-Newton telescope
cross correlation
newton
timescale
light emission
synchrotrons
time lag
cameras
telescopes
harmonics

Keywords

  • Black hole physics
  • Stars: winds, outflows
  • X-rays: binaries
  • X-rays: individual: GX 339-4

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Detection of the first infra-red quasi-periodic oscillation in a black hole X-ray binary. / Kalamkar, M.; Casella, P.; Uttley, P.; O'Brien, K.; Russell, Dave; Maccarone, T.; van der Klis, M.; Vincentelli, F.

In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 460, No. 3, 01.01.2016, p. 3284-3291.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kalamkar, M, Casella, P, Uttley, P, O'Brien, K, Russell, D, Maccarone, T, van der Klis, M & Vincentelli, F 2016, 'Detection of the first infra-red quasi-periodic oscillation in a black hole X-ray binary', Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 460, no. 3, pp. 3284-3291. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stw1211
Kalamkar, M. ; Casella, P. ; Uttley, P. ; O'Brien, K. ; Russell, Dave ; Maccarone, T. ; van der Klis, M. ; Vincentelli, F. / Detection of the first infra-red quasi-periodic oscillation in a black hole X-ray binary. In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 2016 ; Vol. 460, No. 3. pp. 3284-3291.
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