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Twin peak high-frequency quasi-periodic oscillations as a spectral imprint of dual oscillation modes of accretion tori

Journal article
Authors P. Bakala
K. Goluchova
G. Torok
E. Sramkova
Marek A Abramowicz
F. H. Vincent
G. P. Mazur
Published in Astronomy & Astrophysics
Volume 581
ISSN 1432-0746
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Physics (GU)
Language en
Subject categories Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology


Context. High-frequency (millisecond) quasi-periodic oscillations (HF QPOs) are observed in the X-ray power-density spectra of several microquasars and low-mass X-ray binaries. Two distinct QPO peaks, so-called twin peak QPOs, are often detected simultaneously exhibiting their frequency ratio close or equal to 3:2. A widely discussed class of proposed QPOs models is based on oscillations of accretion toroidal structures orbiting in the close vicinity of black holes or neutron stars. Aims. Following the analytic theory and previous studies of observable spectral signatures, we aim to model the twin peak QPOs as a spectral imprint of specific dual oscillation regime defined by a combination of the lowest radial and vertical oscillation mode of slender tori. We consider the model of an optically thick slender accretion torus with constant specific angular momentum. We examined power spectra and fluorescent K alpha iron line profiles for two different simulation setups with the mode frequency relations corresponding to the epicyclic resonance HF QPOs model and modified relativistic precession QPOs model. Methods. We used relativistic ray-tracing implemented in the parallel simulation code LSDplus. In the background of the Kerr spacetime geometry, we analyzed the influence of the distant observer inclination and the spin of the central compact object. Relativistic optical projection of the oscillating slender torus is illustrated by images in false colours related to the frequency shift. Results. We show that performed simulations yield power spectra with the pair of dominant peaks that correspond to the frequencies of radial and vertical oscillation modes and with the peak frequency ratio equal to the proper value 3: 2 on a wide range of inclinations and spin values. We also discuss exceptional cases of a very low and very high inclination, as well as unstable high spin relativistic precession-like configurations that predict a constant frequency ratio equal to 1: 2. We demonstrate a significant dependency of broadened K alpha iron line profiles on the inclination of the distant observer. Conclusions. This study presents a further step towards the proper model of oscillating accretion tori producing HF QPOs. More realistic future simulations should be based on incorporating the resonant coupling of oscillation modes, the influence of torus opacity, and the pressure effects on the mode frequencies and the torus shape.

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