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Session 76 - Cataclysmic Variables and Accretion Disks.
Display session, Wednesday, January 15
Metropolitan Ballroom,

[76.14] Evidence for Black Hole Event Horizons?, or Luminosities of Black Hole and Neutron Star Transients

M. Garcia, J. McClintock (SAO), R. Narayan (HCO)

Recently, models for Advection Dominated Accretion Flow (ADAF) have been shown to explain many of the quiescent properties of the X-ray and optical emission from black hole soft X-ray transients (BH SXT) (Narayan, McClintock and Yi 1996 ApJ 457, 821; Narayan, Barret and McClintock 1996, submitted to ApJ). One novel feature of the ADAF model is that the black hole event horizon plays a key role in the energetics of the flow, in that it absorbs the majority of the energy in the accretion flow. An ADAF flow around a neutron star (NS) SXT instead will release all of its accretion energy upon impacting on the NS surface (Yi et al 1996, submitted to Aamp;A). Therefore one expects that NS SXT will be substantially more luminous than BH SXT in quiescence. We present results on 5 NS SXT and 4 BH SXT that appear to bear out this expectation. In the context of the ADAF model, the larger dynamic range in BH SXT outburst/quiescent luminosities can be seen as evidence for the existence of an event horizon in these BH.

Program listing for Wednesday