Ultraviolet observations of the X-ray photoionized wind of Cygnus X-1 during X-ray soft/high state

Vrtilek, S. D.
Boroson, B.
Hunacek, A.
Gies, D
Bolton, C. T.
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(Shortened) Ultraviolet observations of the black hole X-ray binary Cygnus X-1 were obtained using the STIS on HSTubble. We detect P Cygni line features show strong, broad absorption components when the X-ray source is behind the companion star and noticeably weaker absorption when the X-ray source is between us and the companion star. We fit the P Cygni profiles using the SEI method applied to a spherically symmetric stellar wind subject to X-ray photoionization from the black hole. The Si IV doublet provides the most reliable estimates of the parameters of the wind and X-ray illumination. The velocity $v$ increases with radius $r$ according to $v=v_\infty(1-r_\star/r)^\beta$, with$\beta\approx0.75$ and $v_\infty\approx1420$ km s$^{-1}$.The microturbulent velocity was $\approx160$ km s$^{-1}$. Our fit implies a ratio of X-ray luminosity to wind mass-loss rate of L$_{X,38}/\dot M_{-6} \approx 0.33$, measured at $\dot M_{-6}$ = 4.8. Our models determine parameters that may be used to estimate the accretion rate onto the black hole and independently predict the X-ray luminosity. Our predicted L$_x$ matches that determined by contemporaneous RXTE ASM remarkably well, but is a factor of 3 lower than the rate according to Bondi-Hoyle-Littleton spherical wind accretion. We suggest that some of the energy of accretion may go into powering a jet.
Comment: 34 pages, 21 figures, 4 tables, accepted for publication in ApJ