A black hole in Swift J1357.2-0933 obscured by an inner disc torus

Jesús Corral Santana
Fecha y hora


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X-ray transients are binary systems composed by a 'normal' star which is transfering mass onto a compact object (either a black hole or a neutron star) through Roche lobe overflow. These systems show sporadic outburst episodes and long quiescence states, being ideal systems to search for stellar-mass black holes. Different studies predict a Galactic population of ~10^3-10^4 X-ray transients, however, there are only 18 stellar-mass black holes dynamically confirmed (and other ~32 candidates whichc share similar timing and spectral properties).

In this talk I'll present the case of Swift J1357.2-0933, a new X-ray transient discovered in 2011. Our analysis shows that Swift J1357.2-0933 is the first black hole transient seen at a large inclination (>75º). High time resolution lightcurves show dips or eclipses produced by a vertical structure present in the inner accretion rather than the companion star. Some dips display up to ~50% reduction of flux in ~2min (~30% reduction of flux in 7s). Moreover, the dips present a recurrence period of a few minutes which increases with time. This can only be explained by the expansion of the obscuring structure outward in the accretion. Swift J1357.2-0933 could be the prototype of an hytherto Galactic population of black hole transients with large inclinations.