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New Constraints on the Geometry and Kinematics of Matter Surrounding the Accretion Flow in X-Ray Binaries from Chandra High-Energy Transmission Grating X-Ray SpectroscopyThe narrow, neutral Fe Kα fluorescence emission line in X-ray binaries (XRBs) is a powerful probe of the geometry, kinematics, and Fe abundance of matter around the accretion flow. In a recent study it has been claimed, using Chandra High-Energy Transmission Grating (HETG) spectra for a sample of XRBs, that the circumnuclear material is consistent with a solar-abundance, uniform, spherical distribution. It was also claimed that the Fe Kα line was unresolved in all cases by the HETG. However, these conclusions were based on ad hoc models that did not attempt to relate the global column density to the Fe Kα line emission. We revisit the sample and test a self-consistent model of a uniform, spherical X-ray reprocessor against HETG spectra from 56 observations of 14 Galactic XRBs. We find that the model is ruled out in 13/14 sources because a variable Fe abundance is required. In two sources a spherical distribution is viable, but with nonsolar Fe abundance. We also applied a solar-abundance Compton-thick reflection model, which can account for the spectra that are inconsistent with a spherical model, but spectra with a broader bandpass are required to better constrain model parameters. We also robustly measured the velocity width of the Fe Kα line and found FWHM values of up to approx. 5000 km/s. Only in some spectra was the Fe Kα line unresolved by the HETG.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Tzanavaris, P.
(Maryland Univ. Baltimore County Baltimore, MD, United States)
Yaqoob, T.
(Maryland Univ. Baltimore County Baltimore, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
May 25, 2018
Publication Date
March 1, 2018
Publication Information
Publication: The Astrophysical Journal
Publisher: American Astronomical Society
Volume: 855
Issue: 1
ISSN: 0004-637X
e-ISSN: 1538-4357
Subject Category
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
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