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Detection of distinct power spectra in soft and hard X-ray bands in the hard state of GRS 1915+105

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DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stu646
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The well-known black hole X-ray binary GRS 1915+105 is a unique source in the sense that it cannot be classified within the standard picture of black hole binary states. In this work we study archival XMM-Newton observations taken between 2003 and 2004 of the \c{hi} variability class of GRS 1915+105, which corresponds to the hard state in the standard black hole X-ray binary state classification. The crucial point of our study is that by using XMM-Newton data we can access the variability below 3 keV, an energy range that is not covered with RXTE. We focus on the study of the power spectral shape in the soft and hard X-ray band, in light of our work done with Swift on MAXI J1659-152. In the hard band (above 2.5 keV) power density spectra consist of band-limited noise and quasi-periodic oscillations, corresponding to the power spectral shape seen in the hard or intermediate state, while in the soft band the averaged power density spectrum is consistent with a power-law noise, corresponding to the power spectral shape usually seen in the soft state. The coexisting of two different power spectral shapes in the soft and hard band, where the soft band power spectrum is dominated by a power-law noise, is consistent with MAXI J1659-152, and confirms the energy dependence of power spectral states. Our additional spectral analysis shows that the disc component does contribute to the soft band flux. These findings support that the observed black hole power spectral state depends on which spectral component we are looking at, which implies that power spectral analysis is probably a more sensitive method than spectral modeling to trace the emergence of the disc component in the hard or intermediate state.


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