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Zurita, C.; Torres, M. A. P.; Steeghs, D.; Rodríguez-Gil, P.; Muñoz-Darias, T.; Casares, J.; Shahbaz, T.; Martinez-Pais, I. G.; Zhao, P.; Garcia, M. R.; Piccioni, A.; Bartolini, C.; Guarnieri, A.; Bloom, Joshua S.; Blake, C. H.; Falco, E. E.; Szentgyorgyi, A.; Skrutskie, M. (2006)
Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd.
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: QB

Classified by OpenAIRE into

arxiv: Astrophysics::High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena, Astrophysics::Solar and Stellar Astrophysics, Astrophysics::Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics
Identifiers:doi:10.1086/503286
We present optical and infrared monitoring of the 2005 outburst of the halo black hole X-ray transient XTE J1118+480. We measured a total outburst amplitude of ~5.7 ± 0.1 mag in the R band and ~5 mag in the infrared J, H, and Ks bands. The hardness ratio HR2 (5-12 keV : 3-5 keV) from the RXTE ASM data is 1.53 ± 0.02 at the peak of the outburst, indicating a hard spectrum. Both the shape of the light curve and the ratio LX(1-10 keV)/Lopt resemble the minioutbursts observed in GRO J0422+32 and XTE J1859+226. During early decline, we find a 0.02 mag amplitude variation consistent with a superhump modulation, like the one observed during the 2000 outburst. Similarly, XTE J1118+480 displayed a double-humped ellipsoidal modulation distorted by a superhump wave when settled into a near-quiescence level, suggesting that the disk expanded to the 3 : 1 resonance radius after outburst, where it remained until early quiescence. The system reached quiescence at R = 19.02 ± 0.03, about 3 months after the onset of the outburst. The optical rise preceded the X-ray rise by at most 4 days. The spectral energy distributions (SEDs) at the different epochs during outburst are all quasi-power laws with Fν να increasing toward the blue. At the peak of the outburst, we derived α = 0.49 ± 0.04 for the optical data alone and α = 0.1 ± 0.1 when fitting solely the infrared. This difference between the optical and the infrared SEDs suggests that the infrared is dominated by a different component (a jet?), whereas the optical is presumably showing the disk evolution.
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