Repetitive patterns in rapid optical variations in the nearby black-hole binary V404 Cygni

Mariko Kimura, Keisuke Isogai, Taichi Kato, Yoshihiro Ueda, Satoshi Nakahira, Megumi Shidatsu, Teruaki Enoto, Takafumi Hori, Daisaku Nogami, Colin Littlefield, Ryoko Ishioka, Ying Tung Chen, Sun Kun King, Chih Yi Wen, Shiang Yu Wang, Matthew J. Lehner, Megan E. Schwamb, Jen Hung Wang, Zhi Wei Zhang, Charles Alcock & 48 others Tim Axelrod, Federica B. Bianco, Yong-Ik Byun, Wen Ping Chen, Kem H. Cook, Dae Won Kim, Typhoon Lee, Stuart L. Marshall, Elena P. Pavlenko, Oksana I. Antonyuk, Kirill A. Antonyuk, Nikolai V. Pit, Aleksei A. Sosnovskij, Julia V. Babina, Aleksei V. Baklanov, Alexei S. Pozanenko, Elena D. Mazaeva, Sergei E. Schmalz, Inna V. Reva, Sergei P. Belan, Raguli Ya Inasaridze, Namkhai Tungalag, Alina A. Volnova, Igor E. Molotov, Enrique De Miguel, Kiyoshi Kasai, William L. Stein, Pavol A. Dubovsky, Seiichiro Kiyota, Ian Miller, Michael Richmond, William Goff, Maksim V. Andreev, Hiromitsu Takahashi, Naoto Kojiguchi, Yuki Sugiura, Nao Takeda, Eiji Yamada, Katsura Matsumoto, Nick James, Roger D. Pickard, Tamás Tordai, Yutaka Maeda, Javier Ruiz, Atsushi Miyashita, Lewis M. Cook, Akira Imada, Makoto Uemura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

How black holes accrete surrounding matter is a fundamental yet unsolved question in astrophysics. It is generally believed that matter is absorbed into black holes via accretion disks, the state of which depends primarily on the mass-accretion rate. When this rate approaches the critical rate (the Eddington limit), thermal instability is supposed to occur in the inner disk, causing repetitive patterns of large-amplitude X-ray variability (oscillations) on timescales of minutes to hours. In fact, such oscillations have been observed only in sources with a high mass-accretion rate, such as GRS 1915+105 (refs 2, 3). These large-amplitude, relatively slow timescale, phenomena are thought to have physical origins distinct from those of X-ray or optical variations with small amplitudes and fast timescales (less than about 10 seconds) often observed in other black-hole binaries - for example, XTE J1118+480 (ref. 4) and GX 339â '4 (ref. 5). Here we report an extensive multi-colour optical photometric data set of V404 Cygni, an X-ray transient source containing a black hole of nine solar masses (and a companion star) at a distance of 2.4 kiloparsecs (ref. 8). Our data show that optical oscillations on timescales of 100 seconds to 2.5 hours can occur at mass-accretion rates more than ten times lower than previously thought. This suggests that the accretion rate is not the critical parameter for inducing inner-disk instabilities. Instead, we propose that a long orbital period is a key condition for these large-amplitude oscillations, because the outer part of the large disk in binaries with long orbital periods will have surface densities too low to maintain sustained mass accretion to the inner part of the disk. The lack of sustained accretion - not the actual rate - would then be the critical factor causing large-amplitude oscillations in long-period systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-58
Number of pages5
JournalNature
Volume529
Issue number7584
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 6

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oscillations
orbitals
companion stars
thermal instability
x rays
accretion disks
astrophysics
color

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Kimura, M., Isogai, K., Kato, T., Ueda, Y., Nakahira, S., Shidatsu, M., ... Uemura, M. (2016). Repetitive patterns in rapid optical variations in the nearby black-hole binary V404 Cygni. Nature, 529(7584), 54-58. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature16452
Kimura, Mariko ; Isogai, Keisuke ; Kato, Taichi ; Ueda, Yoshihiro ; Nakahira, Satoshi ; Shidatsu, Megumi ; Enoto, Teruaki ; Hori, Takafumi ; Nogami, Daisaku ; Littlefield, Colin ; Ishioka, Ryoko ; Chen, Ying Tung ; King, Sun Kun ; Wen, Chih Yi ; Wang, Shiang Yu ; Lehner, Matthew J. ; Schwamb, Megan E. ; Wang, Jen Hung ; Zhang, Zhi Wei ; Alcock, Charles ; Axelrod, Tim ; Bianco, Federica B. ; Byun, Yong-Ik ; Chen, Wen Ping ; Cook, Kem H. ; Kim, Dae Won ; Lee, Typhoon ; Marshall, Stuart L. ; Pavlenko, Elena P. ; Antonyuk, Oksana I. ; Antonyuk, Kirill A. ; Pit, Nikolai V. ; Sosnovskij, Aleksei A. ; Babina, Julia V. ; Baklanov, Aleksei V. ; Pozanenko, Alexei S. ; Mazaeva, Elena D. ; Schmalz, Sergei E. ; Reva, Inna V. ; Belan, Sergei P. ; Inasaridze, Raguli Ya ; Tungalag, Namkhai ; Volnova, Alina A. ; Molotov, Igor E. ; Miguel, Enrique De ; Kasai, Kiyoshi ; Stein, William L. ; Dubovsky, Pavol A. ; Kiyota, Seiichiro ; Miller, Ian ; Richmond, Michael ; Goff, William ; Andreev, Maksim V. ; Takahashi, Hiromitsu ; Kojiguchi, Naoto ; Sugiura, Yuki ; Takeda, Nao ; Yamada, Eiji ; Matsumoto, Katsura ; James, Nick ; Pickard, Roger D. ; Tordai, Tamás ; Maeda, Yutaka ; Ruiz, Javier ; Miyashita, Atsushi ; Cook, Lewis M. ; Imada, Akira ; Uemura, Makoto. / Repetitive patterns in rapid optical variations in the nearby black-hole binary V404 Cygni. In: Nature. 2016 ; Vol. 529, No. 7584. pp. 54-58.
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title = "Repetitive patterns in rapid optical variations in the nearby black-hole binary V404 Cygni",
abstract = "How black holes accrete surrounding matter is a fundamental yet unsolved question in astrophysics. It is generally believed that matter is absorbed into black holes via accretion disks, the state of which depends primarily on the mass-accretion rate. When this rate approaches the critical rate (the Eddington limit), thermal instability is supposed to occur in the inner disk, causing repetitive patterns of large-amplitude X-ray variability (oscillations) on timescales of minutes to hours. In fact, such oscillations have been observed only in sources with a high mass-accretion rate, such as GRS 1915+105 (refs 2, 3). These large-amplitude, relatively slow timescale, phenomena are thought to have physical origins distinct from those of X-ray or optical variations with small amplitudes and fast timescales (less than about 10 seconds) often observed in other black-hole binaries - for example, XTE J1118+480 (ref. 4) and GX 339{\^a} '4 (ref. 5). Here we report an extensive multi-colour optical photometric data set of V404 Cygni, an X-ray transient source containing a black hole of nine solar masses (and a companion star) at a distance of 2.4 kiloparsecs (ref. 8). Our data show that optical oscillations on timescales of 100 seconds to 2.5 hours can occur at mass-accretion rates more than ten times lower than previously thought. This suggests that the accretion rate is not the critical parameter for inducing inner-disk instabilities. Instead, we propose that a long orbital period is a key condition for these large-amplitude oscillations, because the outer part of the large disk in binaries with long orbital periods will have surface densities too low to maintain sustained mass accretion to the inner part of the disk. The lack of sustained accretion - not the actual rate - would then be the critical factor causing large-amplitude oscillations in long-period systems.",
author = "Mariko Kimura and Keisuke Isogai and Taichi Kato and Yoshihiro Ueda and Satoshi Nakahira and Megumi Shidatsu and Teruaki Enoto and Takafumi Hori and Daisaku Nogami and Colin Littlefield and Ryoko Ishioka and Chen, {Ying Tung} and King, {Sun Kun} and Wen, {Chih Yi} and Wang, {Shiang Yu} and Lehner, {Matthew J.} and Schwamb, {Megan E.} and Wang, {Jen Hung} and Zhang, {Zhi Wei} and Charles Alcock and Tim Axelrod and Bianco, {Federica B.} and Yong-Ik Byun and Chen, {Wen Ping} and Cook, {Kem H.} and Kim, {Dae Won} and Typhoon Lee and Marshall, {Stuart L.} and Pavlenko, {Elena P.} and Antonyuk, {Oksana I.} and Antonyuk, {Kirill A.} and Pit, {Nikolai V.} and Sosnovskij, {Aleksei A.} and Babina, {Julia V.} and Baklanov, {Aleksei V.} and Pozanenko, {Alexei S.} and Mazaeva, {Elena D.} and Schmalz, {Sergei E.} and Reva, {Inna V.} and Belan, {Sergei P.} and Inasaridze, {Raguli Ya} and Namkhai Tungalag and Volnova, {Alina A.} and Molotov, {Igor E.} and Miguel, {Enrique De} and Kiyoshi Kasai and Stein, {William L.} and Dubovsky, {Pavol A.} and Seiichiro Kiyota and Ian Miller and Michael Richmond and William Goff and Andreev, {Maksim V.} and Hiromitsu Takahashi and Naoto Kojiguchi and Yuki Sugiura and Nao Takeda and Eiji Yamada and Katsura Matsumoto and Nick James and Pickard, {Roger D.} and Tam{\'a}s Tordai and Yutaka Maeda and Javier Ruiz and Atsushi Miyashita and Cook, {Lewis M.} and Akira Imada and Makoto Uemura",
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Kimura, M, Isogai, K, Kato, T, Ueda, Y, Nakahira, S, Shidatsu, M, Enoto, T, Hori, T, Nogami, D, Littlefield, C, Ishioka, R, Chen, YT, King, SK, Wen, CY, Wang, SY, Lehner, MJ, Schwamb, ME, Wang, JH, Zhang, ZW, Alcock, C, Axelrod, T, Bianco, FB, Byun, Y-I, Chen, WP, Cook, KH, Kim, DW, Lee, T, Marshall, SL, Pavlenko, EP, Antonyuk, OI, Antonyuk, KA, Pit, NV, Sosnovskij, AA, Babina, JV, Baklanov, AV, Pozanenko, AS, Mazaeva, ED, Schmalz, SE, Reva, IV, Belan, SP, Inasaridze, RY, Tungalag, N, Volnova, AA, Molotov, IE, Miguel, ED, Kasai, K, Stein, WL, Dubovsky, PA, Kiyota, S, Miller, I, Richmond, M, Goff, W, Andreev, MV, Takahashi, H, Kojiguchi, N, Sugiura, Y, Takeda, N, Yamada, E, Matsumoto, K, James, N, Pickard, RD, Tordai, T, Maeda, Y, Ruiz, J, Miyashita, A, Cook, LM, Imada, A & Uemura, M 2016, 'Repetitive patterns in rapid optical variations in the nearby black-hole binary V404 Cygni', Nature, vol. 529, no. 7584, pp. 54-58. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature16452

Repetitive patterns in rapid optical variations in the nearby black-hole binary V404 Cygni. / Kimura, Mariko; Isogai, Keisuke; Kato, Taichi; Ueda, Yoshihiro; Nakahira, Satoshi; Shidatsu, Megumi; Enoto, Teruaki; Hori, Takafumi; Nogami, Daisaku; Littlefield, Colin; Ishioka, Ryoko; Chen, Ying Tung; King, Sun Kun; Wen, Chih Yi; Wang, Shiang Yu; Lehner, Matthew J.; Schwamb, Megan E.; Wang, Jen Hung; Zhang, Zhi Wei; Alcock, Charles; Axelrod, Tim; Bianco, Federica B.; Byun, Yong-Ik; Chen, Wen Ping; Cook, Kem H.; Kim, Dae Won; Lee, Typhoon; Marshall, Stuart L.; Pavlenko, Elena P.; Antonyuk, Oksana I.; Antonyuk, Kirill A.; Pit, Nikolai V.; Sosnovskij, Aleksei A.; Babina, Julia V.; Baklanov, Aleksei V.; Pozanenko, Alexei S.; Mazaeva, Elena D.; Schmalz, Sergei E.; Reva, Inna V.; Belan, Sergei P.; Inasaridze, Raguli Ya; Tungalag, Namkhai; Volnova, Alina A.; Molotov, Igor E.; Miguel, Enrique De; Kasai, Kiyoshi; Stein, William L.; Dubovsky, Pavol A.; Kiyota, Seiichiro; Miller, Ian; Richmond, Michael; Goff, William; Andreev, Maksim V.; Takahashi, Hiromitsu; Kojiguchi, Naoto; Sugiura, Yuki; Takeda, Nao; Yamada, Eiji; Matsumoto, Katsura; James, Nick; Pickard, Roger D.; Tordai, Tamás; Maeda, Yutaka; Ruiz, Javier; Miyashita, Atsushi; Cook, Lewis M.; Imada, Akira; Uemura, Makoto.

In: Nature, Vol. 529, No. 7584, 06.01.2016, p. 54-58.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Repetitive patterns in rapid optical variations in the nearby black-hole binary V404 Cygni

AU - Kimura, Mariko

AU - Isogai, Keisuke

AU - Kato, Taichi

AU - Ueda, Yoshihiro

AU - Nakahira, Satoshi

AU - Shidatsu, Megumi

AU - Enoto, Teruaki

AU - Hori, Takafumi

AU - Nogami, Daisaku

AU - Littlefield, Colin

AU - Ishioka, Ryoko

AU - Chen, Ying Tung

AU - King, Sun Kun

AU - Wen, Chih Yi

AU - Wang, Shiang Yu

AU - Lehner, Matthew J.

AU - Schwamb, Megan E.

AU - Wang, Jen Hung

AU - Zhang, Zhi Wei

AU - Alcock, Charles

AU - Axelrod, Tim

AU - Bianco, Federica B.

AU - Byun, Yong-Ik

AU - Chen, Wen Ping

AU - Cook, Kem H.

AU - Kim, Dae Won

AU - Lee, Typhoon

AU - Marshall, Stuart L.

AU - Pavlenko, Elena P.

AU - Antonyuk, Oksana I.

AU - Antonyuk, Kirill A.

AU - Pit, Nikolai V.

AU - Sosnovskij, Aleksei A.

AU - Babina, Julia V.

AU - Baklanov, Aleksei V.

AU - Pozanenko, Alexei S.

AU - Mazaeva, Elena D.

AU - Schmalz, Sergei E.

AU - Reva, Inna V.

AU - Belan, Sergei P.

AU - Inasaridze, Raguli Ya

AU - Tungalag, Namkhai

AU - Volnova, Alina A.

AU - Molotov, Igor E.

AU - Miguel, Enrique De

AU - Kasai, Kiyoshi

AU - Stein, William L.

AU - Dubovsky, Pavol A.

AU - Kiyota, Seiichiro

AU - Miller, Ian

AU - Richmond, Michael

AU - Goff, William

AU - Andreev, Maksim V.

AU - Takahashi, Hiromitsu

AU - Kojiguchi, Naoto

AU - Sugiura, Yuki

AU - Takeda, Nao

AU - Yamada, Eiji

AU - Matsumoto, Katsura

AU - James, Nick

AU - Pickard, Roger D.

AU - Tordai, Tamás

AU - Maeda, Yutaka

AU - Ruiz, Javier

AU - Miyashita, Atsushi

AU - Cook, Lewis M.

AU - Imada, Akira

AU - Uemura, Makoto

PY - 2016/1/6

Y1 - 2016/1/6

N2 - How black holes accrete surrounding matter is a fundamental yet unsolved question in astrophysics. It is generally believed that matter is absorbed into black holes via accretion disks, the state of which depends primarily on the mass-accretion rate. When this rate approaches the critical rate (the Eddington limit), thermal instability is supposed to occur in the inner disk, causing repetitive patterns of large-amplitude X-ray variability (oscillations) on timescales of minutes to hours. In fact, such oscillations have been observed only in sources with a high mass-accretion rate, such as GRS 1915+105 (refs 2, 3). These large-amplitude, relatively slow timescale, phenomena are thought to have physical origins distinct from those of X-ray or optical variations with small amplitudes and fast timescales (less than about 10 seconds) often observed in other black-hole binaries - for example, XTE J1118+480 (ref. 4) and GX 339â '4 (ref. 5). Here we report an extensive multi-colour optical photometric data set of V404 Cygni, an X-ray transient source containing a black hole of nine solar masses (and a companion star) at a distance of 2.4 kiloparsecs (ref. 8). Our data show that optical oscillations on timescales of 100 seconds to 2.5 hours can occur at mass-accretion rates more than ten times lower than previously thought. This suggests that the accretion rate is not the critical parameter for inducing inner-disk instabilities. Instead, we propose that a long orbital period is a key condition for these large-amplitude oscillations, because the outer part of the large disk in binaries with long orbital periods will have surface densities too low to maintain sustained mass accretion to the inner part of the disk. The lack of sustained accretion - not the actual rate - would then be the critical factor causing large-amplitude oscillations in long-period systems.

AB - How black holes accrete surrounding matter is a fundamental yet unsolved question in astrophysics. It is generally believed that matter is absorbed into black holes via accretion disks, the state of which depends primarily on the mass-accretion rate. When this rate approaches the critical rate (the Eddington limit), thermal instability is supposed to occur in the inner disk, causing repetitive patterns of large-amplitude X-ray variability (oscillations) on timescales of minutes to hours. In fact, such oscillations have been observed only in sources with a high mass-accretion rate, such as GRS 1915+105 (refs 2, 3). These large-amplitude, relatively slow timescale, phenomena are thought to have physical origins distinct from those of X-ray or optical variations with small amplitudes and fast timescales (less than about 10 seconds) often observed in other black-hole binaries - for example, XTE J1118+480 (ref. 4) and GX 339â '4 (ref. 5). Here we report an extensive multi-colour optical photometric data set of V404 Cygni, an X-ray transient source containing a black hole of nine solar masses (and a companion star) at a distance of 2.4 kiloparsecs (ref. 8). Our data show that optical oscillations on timescales of 100 seconds to 2.5 hours can occur at mass-accretion rates more than ten times lower than previously thought. This suggests that the accretion rate is not the critical parameter for inducing inner-disk instabilities. Instead, we propose that a long orbital period is a key condition for these large-amplitude oscillations, because the outer part of the large disk in binaries with long orbital periods will have surface densities too low to maintain sustained mass accretion to the inner part of the disk. The lack of sustained accretion - not the actual rate - would then be the critical factor causing large-amplitude oscillations in long-period systems.

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Kimura M, Isogai K, Kato T, Ueda Y, Nakahira S, Shidatsu M et al. Repetitive patterns in rapid optical variations in the nearby black-hole binary V404 Cygni. Nature. 2016 Jan 6;529(7584):54-58. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature16452