On the seed photon source for Comptonisation in the black hole binary SWIFT J1753.5-0127

Our paper, entitled “On the seed photon source for Comptonisation in the black hole binary SWIFT J1753.5–0127” accepted for publication in A&A. Preprint: arXiv:1603.08796

Kajava J. J. E., Veledina A., Tsygankov S., Neustroev V.:
Aims. The black hole binary SWIFT J1753.5-0127 is providing a unique data-set to study accretion flows. Various investigations of this system and of other black holes have not, however, led to an agreement on the accretion flow geometry nor on the seed photon source for Comptonisation during different stages of X-ray outbursts. We aim to place constraints on these accretion flow properties by studying long term spectral variations of this source. Methods. We performed phenomenological and self-consistent broad band spectral modeling of SWIFT J1753.5-0127 using quasi-simultaneous archived data from INTEGRAL/ISGRI, Swift/UVOT/XRT/BAT, RXTE/PCA/HEXTE and Maxi/GSC instruments. Results. 1. We identify a critical flux limit, F \sim 1.5 \times 10^{-8} erg/cm^2/s, and show that the spectral properties of SWIFT J1753.5-0127 are markedly different above and below that. Above the limit, during the outburst peak, the hot medium seems to intercept roughly 50 per cent of the disc emission. Below it, in the outburst tail, the contribution of the disc photons reduces significantly and the entire optical-to-X-ray spectrum can be produced by a synchrotron-self-Compton mechanism. 2. The long term variations in the hard X-ray spectra are caused by erratic changes of the electron temperatures in the hot medium. 3. Thermal Comptonization models indicate unreasonably low hot medium optical depths during the short incursions into the soft state after 2010, suggesting that non-thermal electrons produce the Comptonized tail in this state. 4. The soft X-ray excess, likely produced by the accretion disc, shows peculiarly stable temperatures for over an order of magnitude changes in flux. (abridged)

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