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Journal Articles The Astrophysical Journal Letters Year : 2015

X-ray Transients: Hyper- or Hypo-Luminous?


The disk instability picture gives a plausible explanation for the behavior of soft X-ray transient systems if self-irradiation of the disk is included. We show that there is a simple relation between the peak luminosity (at the start of an outburst) and the decay timescale. We use this relation to place constraints on systems assumed to undergo disk instabilities. The observable X-ray populations of elliptical galaxies must largely consist of long-lived transients, as deduced on different grounds by Piro & Bildsten (2002). The strongly varying X-ray source HLX-1 in the galaxy ESO 243-49 can be modeled as disk instability of a highly super-Eddington stellar-mass binary similar to SS 433. A fit to the disk instability picture is not possible with an intermediate-mass black hole model for HLX-1. Other recently identified super-Eddington ULXs might be subject to disk instability.

Dates and versions

insu-03644752 , version 1 (19-04-2022)



Jean-Pierre Lasota, Andrew R. King, Guillaume Dubus. X-ray Transients: Hyper- or Hypo-Luminous?. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 2015, 801, ⟨10.1088/2041-8205/801/1/L4⟩. ⟨insu-03644752⟩
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