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Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Prof Chris Done

Shidatsu, M. Done, C. & Ueda, Y. (2016). An optically thick disk wind in GRO J1655-40? The Astrophysical Journal 823(2): 159.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

We revisited the unusual wind in GRO J1655−40, detected with Chandra in 2005 April, using long-term Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer X-ray data and simultaneous optical/near-infrared photometric data. This wind is the most convincing case for magnetic driving in black hole binaries, as it has an inferred launch radius that is a factor of 10 smaller than the thermal wind prediction. However, the optical and near-infrared (OIR) fluxes monotonically increase around the Chandra observation, whereas the X-ray flux monotonically decreases from 10 days beforehand. Yet the optical and near-infrared fluxes are from the outer, irradiated disk, so for them to increase implies that the X-rays likewise increased. We applied a new irradiated disk model to the multi-wavelength spectral energy distributions. Fitting the OIR fluxes, we estimated the intrinsic luminosity at the Chandra epoch was $\gtrsim 0.7{L}_{{\rm{Edd}}}$, which is more than one order of magnitude larger than the observed X-ray luminosity. These results could be explained if a Compton-thick, almost completely ionized gas was present in the wind and strong scattering reduced the apparent X-ray luminosity. The effects of scattering in the wind should then be taken into account for discussion of the wind-driving mechanism. Radiation pressure and Compton heating may also contribute to powering the wind at this high luminosity.