8th HEAD Meeting, 8-11 September, 2004
Session 20 Black Hole Binaries and Intermediate Mass Black Holes
Oral, Thursday, September 9, 2004, 2:00-3:38pm

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[20.03] Relativistic Iron Emission Lines and Multi-Wavelength Variability in a Low L_X State of the Black Hole GX 339-4: A Prominent Role for Jets?

J. M. Miller (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA), J. Homan (MIT), D. Steeghs (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA), M. Rupen (NRAO), R. Wijnands (Univ. of Amsterdam), P. Charles (Univ. of Southampton)

We observed the Galactic black hole GX 339-4 in its ``low/hard" state continuously for nearly 4 days in X-rays, radio, and optical/IR bands using XMM-Newton (and, RXTE), the Australia Telescope, and the South African Astronomical Observatory. Strong, regular, and remarkably similar variability is seen in the multi-wavelength lightcurves, suggesting that the X-rays, optical/IR, and radio emission may all be produced partly through a jet. The X-ray spectra require a relativistically-skewed, double-peaked iron emission line. There is some evidence for additional relativistic lines in the spectrum. The iron line and broad-band reflection fits suggest a geometry wherein the disk remains at the marginally stable orbit around the black hole in the low/hard state, and where the hard X-ray emission mechanism is anisotropic (again, jet-like). In sum, these observations suggest a new picture of accretion onto black holes in this state, and greatly bolster evidence for relativistic effects in accreting black hole systems.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.