Suzaku Observations of 4U 1957+11: Potentially the Most Rapidly Spinning Black Hole in (the Halo of) the Galaxy

Kavli Affiliate: Norbert Schulz

| First 5 Authors: Michael A. Nowak, Joern Wilms, Katja Pottschmidt, Norbert Schulz, Dipankar Maitra

| Summary:

We present three Suzaku observations of the black hole candidate 4U 1957+11
(V1408 Aql) — a source that exhibits some of the simplest and cleanest
examples of soft, disk-dominated spectra. 4U 1957+11 also presents among the
highest peak temperatures found from disk-dominated spectra. Such temperatures
may be associated with rapid black hole spin. The 4U 1957+11 spectra also
require a very low normalization, which can be explained by a combination of
small inner disk radius and a large distance (>10 kpc) which places 4U 1957+11
well into the Galactic halo. We perform joint fits to the Suzaku spectra with
both relativistic and Comptonized disk models. Assuming a low mass black hole
and the nearest distance (3 M_sun, 10 kpc), the dimensionless spin parameter a*
= Jc/GM^2 >~ 0.9. Higher masses and farther distances yield a*~1. Similar
conclusions are reached with Comptonization models; they imply a combination of
small inner disk radii (or, equivalently, rapid spin) and large distance. Low
spin cannot be recovered unless 4U 1957+11 is a low mass black hole that is at
the unusually large distance of >~ 40 kpc. We speculate whether the suggested
maximal spin is related to how the system came to reside in the halo.

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