Stellar Winds in Massive X-ray Binaries

Strong winds from massive stars are a topic of interest to a wide range of astrophysical fields. In High-Mass X-ray Binaries the presence of an accreting compact object on the one side allows to infer wind parameters from studies of the varying properties of the emitted X-rays; but on the other side the accretor’s gravity and ionizing radiation can strongly influence the wind flow. Based on a collaborative effort of astronomers both from the stellar wind and the X-ray community, this presentation attempts to review our current state of knowledge and indicate avenues for future progress.

Quasi-periodic oscillations from relativistic ray-traced hydrodynamical tori

We simulate an oscillating polytropic torus with constant specific angular momentum around a Schwarzschild black hole. The goal is to search for quasi-periodic oscillations in the light curve of the torus. The torus is subjected to an initial radial, vertical or diagonal (combination of radial and vertical) velocity perturbation. The hydrodynamical simulations are performed using the general relativistic magnetohydrodynamics code cosmos++ and ray traced using the general relativistic ray-tracing code gyoto. We found that a horizontal velocity perturbation triggers the radial and plus modes, whereas a vertical velocity perturbation triggers the vertical and X modes. The diagonal perturbation gives a combination of the modes triggered in the radial and vertical cases. The breathing mode is excited in all cases. We find that the radial eigenmode frequency is independent of the equation of state used. We conclude that the radial and plus modes we find in our simulations are identical to f and o1 modes reported in Rezolla et al.

Multi-wavelength observations of IGR J17544-2619 from quiescence to outburst

In this paper we report on a long multi-wavelength observational campaign of the supergiant fast X-ray transient prototype IGR J17544-2619. A 150 ks-long observation was carried out simultaneously with XMM-Newton and NuSTAR, catching the source in an initial faint X-ray state and then undergoing a bright X-ray outburst lasting approximately 7 ks. We studied the spectral variability during outburst and quiescence by using a thermal and bulk Comptonization model that is typically adopted to describe the X-ray spectral energy distribution of young pulsars in high mass X-ray binaries. Although the statistics of the collected X-ray data were relatively high, we could neither confirm the presence of a cyclotron line in the broad-band spectrum of the source (0.5-40 keV), nor detect any of the previously reported tentative detections of the source spin period. The monitoring carried out with Swift /XRT during the same orbit of the system observed by XMM-Newton and NuSTAR revealed that the source remained in a low emission state for most of the time, in agreement with the known property of all supergiant fast X-ray transients being significantly sub-luminous compared to other supergiant X-ray binaries. Optical and infrared observations were carried out for a total of a few thousand seconds during the quiescence state of the source detected by XMM-Newton and NuSTAR. The measured optical and infrared magnitudes were slightly lower than previous values reported in the literature, but compatible with the known micro-variability of supergiant stars. UV observations obtained with the UVOT telescope on-board Swift did not reveal significant changes in the magnitude of the source in this energy domain compared to previously reported values.