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J. Schnittman, C. Reynolds (University of Maryland)
We have developed a Monte Carlo ray-tracing code in the Kerr metric to calculate the observed spectra from accreting black hole binaries. The accretion disk is modeled as a steady state Novikov-Thorne disk with a variable torque at the inner-most stable circular orbit. The emitted photons then propagate through a spherical corona of hot electrons, getting boosted in energy through inverse-Compton scattering. Some photons are scattered back to the disk, producing relativistically broadened fluorescent emission lines. Thus a single integrated model can account for all major features of the X-ray spectrum: the thermal peak, power-law slope, and iron emission line. We also discuss using these observed spectra to measure black hole parameters such as mass, spin, accretion rate, and inclination, as well as the corona temperature and optical depth.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.