X-ray spectral and flux variability of the microquasar GRS 1758−258 on timescales from weeks to years





Citation of Original Publication

Hirsch, M., “X-ray spectral and flux variability of the microquasar GRS 1758-258 on timescales from weeks to years”, Astronomy and Astrophysics, vol. 636, 2020. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201834647.


This work was written as part of one of the author's official duties as an Employee of the United States Government and is therefore a work of the United States Government. In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105, no copyright protection is available for such works under U.S. Law.
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We present the spectral and timing evolution of the persistent black hole X-ray binary GRS 1758−258 based on almost 12 years of observations using the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer Proportional Counter Array. While the source was predominantly found in the hard state during this time, it entered the thermally dominated soft state seven times. In the soft state GRS 1758−258 shows a strong decline in flux above 3 keV rather than the pivoting flux around 10 keV more commonly shown by black hole transients. In its 3–20 keV hardness intensity diagram, GRS 1758−258 shows a hysteresis of hard and soft state fluxes typical for transient sources in outburst. The RXTE-PCA and RXTE-ASM long-term light curves do not show any orbital modulations in the range of 2–30 d. However, in the dynamic power spectra significant peaks drift between 18.47 and 18.04 d for the PCA data, while less significant signatures between 19 d and 20 d are seen for the ASM data as well as for the Swift/BAT data. We discuss different models for the hysteresis behavior during state transitions as well as possibilities for the origin of the long term variation in the context of a warped accretion disk.