Rapid spectral transition of the black hole binary V404 Cygni

Kajava, J. J. E., Sánchez Fernández, C., Alfónso Garzón, J., Motta, S. E., Veledina, A. (2020). Rapid spectral transition of the black hole binary V404 Cygni. Astronomy and Astrophysics 634 DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201937191

During the June 2015 outburst of the black hole binary V404 Cyg, rapid changes in the X-ray brightness and spectra were common. The INTEGRAL monitoring campaign detected spectacular Eddington-limited X-ray flares, but also rapid variations at much lower flux levels. On 2015 June 21 at 20 h 50 min, the 3-10 keV JEM-X data as well as simultaneous optical data started to display a gradual brightening from one of these low-flux states. This was followed 15 min later by an order-of-magnitude increase of flux in the 20-40 keV IBIS/ISGRI light curve in just 15 s. The best-fitting model for both the pre- and post-transition spectra required a Compton-thick partially covering absorber. The absorber parameters remained constant, but the spectral slope varied significantly during the event, with the photon index decreasing from Gamma approximate to 3.7 to Gamma approximate to 2.3. We propose that the rapid 20-40 keV flux increase was either caused by a spectral state transition that was hidden from our direct view, or that there was a sudden reduction in the amount of Compton down-scattering of the primary X-ray emission in the disk outflow.

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