Galactic Black-Hole Candidates Shining at the Eddington Luminosity

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We discuss distinctive features of luminous accretion disks shining at the Eddington luminosity in the context of galactic black-hole candidates (GBCs). We first note that the standard-disk picture is not applicable, although it is often postulated. Rather, the disk becomes advection-dominated while remainingoptically thick (the so-called slim disk). The slim disk exhibits several noteworthy signatures: (1) The disk luminosity is insensitive to the mass-flow rates, M, and is always kept around the Eddington luminosity, L_E, even if M greatly exceeds L_E/ c^2 . This reflects the fact that radiative cooling is no longer balanced byviscous heating and excess energy is carried by accreting matter to black holes. (2) The spectra of the slim disks are multi-color blackbody characterized by (i) a high maximum temperature, kT_(in) ~ a few keV, (ii) a small size of an emitting region, r_(in) < 3 r_g (with r_g being Schwarzschild radius), due to substantial radiationcoming out from inside 3r_g, and (iii) flatter spectra in the soft-X bands, vS_v x v^0, because of a flatter effective temperature profile of the slim disk, T_(eff) x r^(-1/2) (in contrast with T_(eff) x r^(-3/4) in the standard disk). Thus, a small r_(in)(<< 3r_g ) does not necessarily mean the presence of a Kerr hole. Furthermore, (3) as M increases, T_(in) increases, while r_(in) decreases as r_(in) x {T_(in)^(-l)} approximately. That is, the changes in r_(in) derived from the fitting do not necessarily mean the changes in the physical boundary of the optically thick portions of the disk. Observational implications are discussed in relation to binary jet sources.


  • Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan  

    Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan 52(1), 133-141, 2000-02-25 

    Astronomical Society of Japan

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