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Discovery of an similar to 7 Hz quasi-periodic oscillation in the low-luminosity low-mass X-ray binary 4U 1820-30

Wijnands, R; van der Klis, M; Rijkhorst, EJ; (1999) Discovery of an similar to 7 Hz quasi-periodic oscillation in the low-luminosity low-mass X-ray binary 4U 1820-30. ASTROPHYS J , 512 (1) L39 - L42.

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Abstract

We have discovered a 7.06 +/- 0.08 Hz quasi-periodic oscillation (QPO) in the X-ray flux of the low-luminosity low-mass X-ray binary (LMXB) and atoll source 4U 1820-30. This QPO was only observable at the highest observed mass accretion rate, when the source was in the uppermost part of the banana branch, at a 2-25 keV luminosity of 5.4 x 10(37) ergs s(-1) (for a distance of 6.4 kpc). The QPO had an FWHM of only 0.5 +/- 0.2 Hz during small time intervals (32 s of data) and showed erratic shifts in the centroid frequency between 5.5 and 8 Hz. The rms amplitude over the energy range 2-60 keV was 5.6% +/- 0.2%. The amplitude increased with photon energy from 3.7% +/- 0.5% between 2.8 and 5.3 keV to 7.3% +/- 0.6% between 6.8 and 9.3 keV, above which it remained approximately constant at similar to 7%. The time lag of the QPO between 2.8-6.8 and 6.8-18.2 keV was consistent with being zero (-1.2 +/- 3.4 ms). The properties of the QPO (i.e., its frequency and its presence only at the highest observed mass accretion rate) are similar to those of the 5-20 Hz QPO observed in the highest luminosity LMXBs (the Z sources) when they are accreting near the Eddington mass accretion limit. If this is indeed the same phenomenon, then models explaining the 5-20 Hz QPO in the Z sources, which require the near-Eddington accretion rates, will not hold. Assuming isotropic emission, the 2-25 keV luminosity of 4U 1820-30 at the time of the 7 Hz QPOs is at maximum at only 40% (for a companion star with cosmic abundances), but most likely at similar to 20% (for a helium companion star), of the Eddington accretion limit.

Type: Article
Title: Discovery of an similar to 7 Hz quasi-periodic oscillation in the low-luminosity low-mass X-ray binary 4U 1820-30
Keywords: accretion, accretion disks, stars : individual (4U 1820-30), stars : neutron, X-rays : stars, BEHAVIOR, STATE, FLUX
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Med Phys and Biomedical Eng
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/60715
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