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  1. Abstract We report a timing analysis of near-infrared (NIR), X-ray, and submillimeter data during a 3 day coordinated campaign observing Sagittarius A*. Data were collected at 4.5 μ m with the Spitzer Space Telescope, 2–8 keV with the Chandra X-ray Observatory, 3–70 keV with NuSTAR, 340 GHz with ALMA, and 2.2 μ m with the GRAVITY instrument on the Very Large Telescope Interferometer. Two dates show moderate variability with no significant lags between the submillimeter and the infrared at 99% confidence. A moderately bright NIR flare ( F K ∼ 15 mJy) was captured on July 18 simultaneous with an X-ray flare ( F 2−10 keV ∼ 0.1 counts s −1 ) that most likely preceded bright submillimeter flux ( F 340 GHz ∼ 5.5 Jy) by about + 34 − 33 + 14 minutes at 99% confidence. The uncertainty in this lag is dominated by the fact that we did not observe the peak of the submillimeter emission. A synchrotron source cooled through adiabatic expansion can describe a rise in the submillimeter once the synchrotron self-Compton NIR and X-ray peaks have faded. This model predicts high GHz and THz fluxes at the time of the NIR/X-ray peak and electronmore »densities well above those implied from average accretion rates for Sgr A*. However, the higher electron density postulated in this scenario would be in agreement with the idea that 2019 was an extraordinary epoch with a heightened accretion rate. Since the NIR and X-ray peaks can also be fit by a nonthermal synchrotron source with lower electron densities, we cannot rule out an unrelated chance coincidence of this bright submillimeter flare with the NIR/X-ray emission.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  2. ABSTRACT Sgr A* exhibits regular variability in its multiwavelength emission, including daily X-ray flares and roughly continuous near-infrared (NIR) flickering. The origin of this variability is still ambiguous since both inverse Compton and synchrotron emission are possible radiative mechanisms. The underlying particle distributions are also not well constrained, particularly the non-thermal contribution. In this work, we employ the GPU-accelerated general relativistic magnetohydrodynamics code H-AMR to perform a study of flare flux distributions, including the effect of particle acceleration for the first time in high-resolution 3D simulations of Sgr A*. For the particle acceleration, we use the general relativistic ray-tracing code bhoss to perform the radiative transfer, assuming a hybrid thermal+non-thermal electron energy distribution. We extract ∼60 h light curves in the sub-millimetre, NIR and X-ray wavebands, and compare the power spectra and the cumulative flux distributions of the light curves to statistical descriptions for Sgr A* flares. Our results indicate that non-thermal populations of electrons arising from turbulence-driven reconnection in weakly magnetized accretion flows lead to moderate NIR and X-ray flares and reasonably describe the X-ray flux distribution while fulfilling multiwavelength flux constraints. These models exhibit high rms per cent amplitudes, $\gtrsim 150{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ both in the NIR and the X-rays, with changes inmore »the accretion rate driving the 230 GHz flux variability, in agreement with Sgr A* observations.« less
  3. ABSTRACT The black hole candidate and X-ray binary MAXI J1535−571 was discovered in 2017 September. During the decay of its discovery outburst, and before returning to quiescence, the source underwent at least four reflaring events, with peak luminosities of ∼1035–36 erg s−1 (d/4.1 kpc)2. To investigate the nature of these flares, we analysed a sample of NICER (Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer) observations taken with almost daily cadence. In this work, we present the detailed spectral and timing analysis of the evolution of the four reflares. The higher sensitivity of NICER at lower energies, in comparison with other X-ray detectors, allowed us to constrain the disc component of the spectrum at ∼0.5 keV. We found that during each reflare the source appears to trace out a q-shaped track in the hardness–intensity diagram similar to those observed in black hole binaries during full outbursts. MAXI J1535−571 transits between the hard state (valleys) and softer states (peaks) during these flares. Moreover, the Comptonized component is undetected at the peak of the first reflare, while the disc component is undetected during the valleys. Assuming the most likely distance of 4.1 kpc, we find that the hard-to-soft transitions take place at the lowest luminosities ever observed in a black holemore »transient, while the soft-to-hard transitions occur at some of the lowest luminosities ever reported for such systems.« less
  4. We report the time-resolved spectral analysis of a bright near-infrared and moderate X-ray flare of Sgr A ⋆ . We obtained light curves in the M , K , and H bands in the mid- and near-infrared and in the 2 − 8 keV and 2 − 70 keV bands in the X-ray. The observed spectral slope in the near-infrared band is νL ν  ∝  ν 0.5 ± 0.2 ; the spectral slope observed in the X-ray band is νL ν  ∝  ν −0.7 ± 0.5 . Using a fast numerical implementation of a synchrotron sphere with a constant radius, magnetic field, and electron density (i.e., a one-zone model), we tested various synchrotron and synchrotron self-Compton scenarios. The observed near-infrared brightness and X-ray faintness, together with the observed spectral slopes, pose challenges for all models explored. We rule out a scenario in which the near-infrared emission is synchrotron emission and the X-ray emission is synchrotron self-Compton. Two realizations of the one-zone model can explain the observed flare and its temporal correlation: one-zone model in which the near-infrared and X-ray luminosity are produced by synchrotron self-Compton and a model in which the luminosity stems from a cooled synchrotron spectrum. Both models can describe the mean spectral energy distribution (SED)more »and temporal evolution similarly well. In order to describe the mean SED, both models require specific values of the maximum Lorentz factor γ max , which differ by roughly two orders of magnitude. The synchrotron self-Compton model suggests that electrons are accelerated to γ max  ∼ 500, while cooled synchrotron model requires acceleration up to γ max  ∼ 5 × 10 4 . The synchrotron self-Compton scenario requires electron densities of 10 10 cm −3 that are much larger than typical ambient densities in the accretion flow. Furthermore, it requires a variation of the particle density that is inconsistent with the average mass-flow rate inferred from polarization measurements and can therefore only be realized in an extraordinary accretion event. In contrast, assuming a source size of 1  R S , the cooled synchrotron scenario can be realized with densities and magnetic fields comparable with the ambient accretion flow. For both models, the temporal evolution is regulated through the maximum acceleration factor γ max , implying that sustained particle acceleration is required to explain at least a part of the temporal evolution of the flare.« less
  5. null (Ed.)