The infrared/X-ray correlation of GX 339-4: probing hard X-ray emission in accreting black holes

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Coriat, Mickael and Corbel, Stephane and Buxton, Michelle M. and Bailyn, Charles D. and Tomsick, John A. and Körding, Elmar and Kalemci, Emrah (2009) The infrared/X-ray correlation of GX 339-4: probing hard X-ray emission in accreting black holes. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 400 (1). pp. 123-133. ISSN 0035-8711

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.15461.x


GX 339-4 has been one of the key sources for unravelling the accretion ejection coupling in accreting stellar mass black holes. After a long period of quiescence between 1999 and 2002, GX 339-4 underwent a series of four outbursts that have been intensively observed by many ground-based observatories [radio/infrared (IR)/optical] and satellites (X-rays). Here, we present results of these broad-band observational campaigns, focusing on the optical-IR (OIR)/X-ray flux correlations over the four outbursts. We found tight OIR/X-ray correlations over four decades with the presence of a break in the IR/X-ray correlation in the hard state. This correlation is the same for all four outbursts. This can be interpreted in a consistent way by considering a synchrotron self-Compton origin of the X-rays in which the break frequency varies between the optically thick and thin regime of the jet spectrum. We also highlight the similarities and differences between optical/X-ray and IR/X-ray correlations which suggest a jet origin of the near-IR emission in the hard state while the optical is more likely dominated by the blackbody emission of the accretion disc in both hard and soft state. However, we find a non-negligible contribution of 40 per cent of the jet emission in the V band during the hard state. We finally concentrate on a soft-to-hard state transition during the decay of the 2004 outburst by comparing the radio, IR, optical and hard X-rays light curves. It appears that unusual delays between the peak of emission in the different energy domains may provide some important constraints on jet formation scenario.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:accretion, accretion discs • stars: individual: GX 339−4 • ISM: jets and outflows • infrared: stars • radio continuum: stars • X-rays: binaries
Subjects:Q Science > QB Astronomy > QB460-466 Astrophysics
ID Code:12687
Deposited By:Emrah Kalemci
Deposited On:16 Nov 2009 22:47
Last Modified:23 Jul 2019 16:05

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