BEPPOSAX and RXTE spectral study of the low-mass X-ray binary 4u~1705-44. Spectral hardening during the banana branch [SSA]

We analyze the X-ray spectra of the atoll 4U~1705-44 when the source undergoes the island-banana state transition. We use the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) and BeppoSAX observations for this analysis. We demonstrate that the broad-band energy spectral distributions for all evolutinary states can be fitted by a model, consisting two Comptonized components. One arises from the seed photons coming from a neutron star (NS) atmosphere at a temperature kT_{s1}<1.5 keV (herein Comptb) and a second resulting from the seed photons of T_{s2}~1.1-1.3 keV coming from the disk (herein Comptb2). We found that we needed to add a low-temperature blackbody and an iron-line ({Gaussian}) component to the model in order to obtain high-quality fits. The data analysis using this model indicates that the power-law photon index Gamma_{1} of our model is always about 2, independently of the spectral state. Another parameter, Gamma_{2} demonstrates a two-phase behavior depending on the spectral state. Gamma_{2} is quasi-constant at Gamma_{2}~ 2 when the electron temperature kT^{(2)}_e<80 keV and Gamma_{2} is less than 2, in the range of 1.3<Gamma_{2}<2, when kT^{(2)}_e>80 keV. This phase is similar to that was previously found in the Z-source Sco X-1. We interpret the decreasing index phase using a model in which a super-Eddington radiation pressure from the neutron star causes an expansion of the Compton cloud similar to that found previously in Sco~X-1 during the Flaring branch.

Read this paper on arXiv…

E. Seifina, L. Titarchuk, C. Shrader, et. al.
Tue, 14 Jul 15

Comments: 19 pages, 11 figures, 5 Tables, Accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal