The x-ray properties of the black hole transient MAXI J1659-152 in quiescence

Jeroen Homan, Joel K. Fridriksson, Peter G. Jonker, Dave Russell, Elena Gallo, Erik Kuulkers, Nanda Rea, Diego Altamirano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We present new Chandra X-ray observations of the transient black hole X-ray binary MAXI J1659-152 in quiescence. These observations were made more than one year after the end of the source's 2010-2011 outburst. We detect the source at a 0.5-10 keV flux of 2.8(8) × 10-15 erg s-1 cm -2, which corresponds to a luminosity of ∼1.2 × 10 31 (d/6 kpc)2 erg s-1. This level, while being the lowest at which the source has been detected, is within factors of ∼2 of the levels seen at the end of the initial decay of the outburst and soon after a major reflare of the source. The quiescent luminosity of MAXI J1659-152, which is the shortest-orbital-period black hole X-ray binary (∼2.4 hr), is lower than that of neutron-star X-ray binaries with similar periods. However, it is higher than the quiescent luminosities found for black hole X-ray binaries with orbital periods ∼2-4 times longer. This could imply that a minimum quiescent luminosity may exist for black hole X-ray binaries, around orbital periods of ∼5-10 hr, as predicted by binary-evolution models for the mass transfer rate. Compared to the hard state, we see a clear softening of the power-law spectrum in quiescence, from an index of 1.55(4) to an index of 2.5(4). We constrain the luminosity range in which this softening starts to (0.18-6.2) × 10-5 (d/6 kpc)2 (M/8 M ) L Edd, which is consistent with the ranges inferred for other sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume775
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 20 2013

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luminosity
x rays
softening
outburst
orbitals
erg
neutron stars
mass transfer
power law
decay
index

Keywords

  • accretion
  • accretion disks
  • X-rays: binaries
  • X-rays: individual (MAXI J1659-152)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Homan, J., Fridriksson, J. K., Jonker, P. G., Russell, D., Gallo, E., Kuulkers, E., ... Altamirano, D. (2013). The x-ray properties of the black hole transient MAXI J1659-152 in quiescence. Astrophysical Journal, 775(1), [9]. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/775/1/9

The x-ray properties of the black hole transient MAXI J1659-152 in quiescence. / Homan, Jeroen; Fridriksson, Joel K.; Jonker, Peter G.; Russell, Dave; Gallo, Elena; Kuulkers, Erik; Rea, Nanda; Altamirano, Diego.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 775, No. 1, 9, 20.09.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Homan, J, Fridriksson, JK, Jonker, PG, Russell, D, Gallo, E, Kuulkers, E, Rea, N & Altamirano, D 2013, 'The x-ray properties of the black hole transient MAXI J1659-152 in quiescence', Astrophysical Journal, vol. 775, no. 1, 9. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/775/1/9
Homan, Jeroen ; Fridriksson, Joel K. ; Jonker, Peter G. ; Russell, Dave ; Gallo, Elena ; Kuulkers, Erik ; Rea, Nanda ; Altamirano, Diego. / The x-ray properties of the black hole transient MAXI J1659-152 in quiescence. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2013 ; Vol. 775, No. 1.
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