Journal Article

Effects of the stellar wind on X-ray spectra of Cygnus X-3

Anna Szostek and Andrzej A. Zdziarski

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 386, issue 2, pages 593-607
Published in print May 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Effects of the stellar wind on X-ray spectra of Cygnus X-3

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We study X-ray spectra of Cyg X-3 from BeppoSAX, taking into account absorption and emission in the strong stellar wind of its companion. We find the intrinsic X-ray spectra are well modelled by disc blackbody emission, its upscattering by hot electrons with a hybrid distribution, and by Compton reflection. These spectra are strongly modified by absorption and reprocessing in the stellar wind, which we model using the photoionization code cloudy. The form of the observed spectra implies the wind is composed of two phases. A hot tenuous plasma containing most of the wind mass is required to account for the observed features of very strongly ionized Fe. Small dense cool clumps filling ≲0.01 of the volume are required to absorb the soft X-ray excess, which is emitted by the hot phase but not present in the data. The total mass-loss rate is found to be (0.6–1.6) × 10−5M yr−1. We also discuss the feasibility of the continuum model dominated by Compton reflection, which we find to best describe our data. The intrinsic luminosities of our models suggest that the compact object is a black hole.

Keywords: accretion, accretion discs; binaries: general; stars: individual: Cyg X-3; X-rays: binaries; X-rays: individual: Cyg X-3; X-rays: stars

Journal Article.  12322 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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