Si K Edge Structure and Variability in Galactic X-Ray Binaries

Kavli Affiliate: Norbert S. Schulz

| First 5 Authors: Norbert S. Schulz, Lia Corrales, Claude R. Canizares, ,

| Summary:

We survey the Si K edge structure in various absorbed Galactic low-mass X-ray
binaries (LMXBs) to study states of silicon in the inter- and circum-stellar
medium. The bulk of these LMXBs lie toward the Galactic bulge region and all
have column densities above $10^{22}$ cm$^{-2}$. The observations were
performed with the emph{Chandra} High Energy Transmission Grating
Spectrometer. The Si K edge in all sources appears at an energy value of
1844$pm$0.001 eV. The edge exhibits significant substructure which can be
described by a near edge absorption feature at 1849$pm$0.002 eV and a far edge
absorption feature at 1865$pm$0.002 eV. Both of these absorption features
appear variable with equivalent widths up to several mAA. We can describe the
edge structure with several components: multiple edge functions, near edge
absorption excesses from silicates in dust form, signatures from X-ray
scattering optical depths, and a variable warm absorber from ionized atomic
silicon. The measured optical depths of the edges indicate much higher values
than expected from atomic silicon cross sections and ISM abundances, and appear
consistent with predictions from silicate X-ray absorption and scattering. A
comparison with models also indicates a preference for larger dust grain sizes.
In many cases we identify sixiii resonance absorption and determine
ionization parameters between log $xi$ = 1.8 and 2.8 and turbulent velocities
between 300 and 1000 kms. This places the warm absorber in close vicinity of
the X-ray binaries. In some data we observe a weak edge at 1.840 keV,
potentially from a lesser contribution of neutral atomic silicon.

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