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Phase-resolved spectroscopy of QPOs seen in simultaneous NuSTAR & XMM-Newton observations of H1743-322 across multiple outbursts

Presentation #406.01 in the session Stellar & Compact Objects III.

Published onJul 01, 2023
Phase-resolved spectroscopy of QPOs seen in simultaneous NuSTAR & XMM-Newton observations of H1743-322 across multiple outbursts

Black hole (BH) X-ray binaries (XRBs) are binary systems containing a stellar-mass BH which accretes matter from a companion star, with the accretion system shining brightly in X-rays. We see the characteristic reflection of high energy X-ray photons incident onto the accretion disc in the observed X-ray spectrum, such as the relativistically distorted Fe Kα line. Quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) are commonly observed in the X-ray flux of these sources. There are many theories to the origin of these QPOs, all of which have predictions of how the X-ray spectrum varies (or not) over a QPO cycle. I will present work phase resolving the X-ray spectrum of type-C QPOs seen in simultaneous NuSTAR and XMM-Newton observations of the BH XRB H1743-322. The observations cover three outbursts in 2014, 2016, and 2018; although I will focus on the 2016 outburst which has the best quality data. These observations suggest the presence of an axi-asymmetric illumination profile, along with modulations in the reflection fraction which adds to the evidence that these QPOs have a geometric origin. Finally, this work highlights the signal requirements of spectral-timing techniques, but also how powerful these techniques will be with data from future X-ray missions, such as HEX-P, in uncovering the accretion processes at play in extreme gravity.

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