Tracking the evolution of the accretion flow in MAXI J1820+070 during its hard state with the JED-SAD model
Context. X-ray binaries in outburst typically show two canonical X-ray spectral states (i.e., hard and soft states), as well as different intermediate states, in which the physical properties of the accretion flow are known to change. However, the truncation of the optically thick disk and the geometry of the optically thin accretion flow (corona) in the hard state are still debated. Recently, the JED-SAD paradigm has been proposed for black hole X-ray binaries, aimed at addressing the topic of accretion and ejection and their interplay in these systems. According to this model, the accretion flow is composed of an outer standard Shakura-Sunyaev disk (SAD) and an inner hot jet emitting disk (JED). The JED produces both hard X-ray emission, effectively playing the role of the hot corona, and radio jets. The disruption of the JED at the transition to the soft state coincides with the quenching of the jet.
Aims: In this paper we use the JED-SAD model to describe the evolution of the accretion flow in the black hole transient MAXI J1820+070 during its hard and hard-intermediate states. Unlike the previous applications of this model, the Compton reflection component has been taken into account.
Methods: We use eight broadband X-ray spectra, including NuSTAR, NICER, and the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory data, providing a total spectral coverage of 0.8-190 keV. The data were directly fitted with the JED-SAD model. We performed the procedure twice, considering two different values for the innermost stable circular orbit (ISCO): 4 RG (a* = 0.55) and 2 RG (a* = 0.95).
Results: Our results suggest that the optically thick disk (the SAD) does not extend down to the ISCO in any of the considered epochs. In particular, assuming RISCO = 4 RG, as the system evolves toward the transitional hard-intermediate state, we find an inner radius within a range of ∼60 RG in the first observation down to ∼30 RG in the last one. The decrease of the inner edge of the SAD is accompanied by an increase in the mass-accretion rate. However, when we assume RISCO = 2 we find that the mass accretion rate remains constant and the evolution of the accretion flow is driven by the decrease in the sonic Mach number mS, which is unexpected. In all hard-intermediate state observations, two reflection components, characterized by different values of ionization, are required to adequately explain the data. These components likely originate from different regions of the SAD.
Conclusions: The analysis performed provides a coherent physical evolution of the accretion flow in the hard and hard-intermediate states and supports a truncated disk scenario. We show that a flared outer disk could, in principle, explain the double reflection component. The odd results obtained for RISCO = 2 RG can also be considered as further evidence that MAXI J1820+070 harbors a moderately spinning black hole, as suggested in other works.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- December 2021
- X-rays: binaries;
- accretion disks;
- ISM: jets and outflows;
- X-rays: individuals: MAXI J1820+070;
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
- 15 pages, 11 figures. Accepted for publication in A&