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Y. Feng (U. Maryland), S.-N. Zhang (NASA/MSFC, U. Alabama in Huntsville), W. Chen (NASA/GSFC, U. Maryland), Wei Cui (Center for Space Research, MIT)
The evolution of the iron K-alpha line emission feature was found from the black hole candidate GX339-4 when its X-ray flux (2 to 10 keV) decreased significantly from 5.0-9 erg cm-2 s -1 to 1.0-11 erg cm-2s-1. With RXTE observations, a broad line emission feature around 7 keV was detected in its quiescent and low flux state; while in the high flux state, an emission line feature around 6.4 keV was detected. A similar 6.4 keV line feature was also detected with previous ASCA observations in a high flux state. We consider that the evolution could be the evidence of the variations in the geometric structure and the physical properties of the accretion flow when the accretion rate changed. This is because that the 7 keV line feature can be produced by the radiative recombination cascade, collisional excitation, and fluorescence of Fe XXVI and Fe XXV, which can exist in a very high temperature plasma; while the 6.4 keV line feature can be produced by fluorescent K-alpha line emission of neutral iron atoms in the cold accretion disk.