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Title: Lord of the Rings - Return of the King: Swift-XRT observations of dust scattering rings around V404 Cygni
Authors: Beardmore, A. P.
Willingale, R.
Kuulkers, E.
Altamirano, D.
Motta, S. E.
Osborne, J. P.
Page, K. L.
Sivakoff, G. R.
First Published: 22-Jul-2016
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP), Royal Astronomical Society
Citation: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, (October 21, 2016) 462 (2): 1847-1863.
Abstract: On 2015 June 15, the black hole X-ray binary V404 Cygni went into outburst, exhibiting extreme X-ray variability which culminated in a final flare on June 26. Over the following days, the Swift-X-ray Telescope detected a series of bright rings, comprising five main components that expanded and faded with time, caused by X-rays scattered from the otherwise unobservable dust layers in the interstellar medium in the direction of the source. Simple geometrical modelling of the rings' angular evolution reveals that they have a common temporal origin, coincident with the final, brightest flare seen by INTEGRAL's JEM X-1, which reached a 3-10 keV flux of ~25 Crab. The high quality of the data allows the dust properties and density distribution along the line of sight to the source to be estimated. Using the Rayleigh-Gans approximation for the dust scattering cross-section and a power-law distribution of grain sizes a, ∝a-q, the average dust emission is well modelled by q = 3.90-0.08+0.09 and maximum grain size of a+ = 0.147-0.004+0.024 μm, though significant variations in q are seen between the rings. The recovered dust density distribution shows five peaks associated with the dense sheets responsible for the rings at distances ranging from 1.19 to 2.13 kpc, with thicknesses of ~40-80 pc and a maximum density occurring at the location of the nearest sheet. We find a dust column density of Ndust ≈ (2.0-2.5) × 1011 cm-2, consistent with the optical extinction to the source. Comparison of the inner rings' azimuthal X-ray evolution with archival Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mid-IR data suggests that the second most distant ring follows the general IR emission trend, which increases in brightness towards the Galactic north side of the source.
DOI Link: 10.1093/mnras/stw1753
ISSN: 0035-8711
eISSN: 1365-2966
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Creative Commons “Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives” licence CC BY-NC-ND, further details of which can be found via the following link: Archived with reference to SHERPA/RoMEO and publisher website.
Description: Heinz et al. (2016) recently published an independent analysis of the X-ray dust scattering rings seen around V404 Cyg, using both Chandra and Swift data. They derive a dust distribution along the line of sight to the source similar to the one found here.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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