The Spectral Variability of Cygnus X-1 at MeV Energies


McConnell ML, Bennett K, Bloemen H, Collmar W, Hermsen W, Kuiper L, Phlips B, Ryan JM, Schoenfelder V, Steinle H, et al. The Spectral Variability of Cygnus X-1 at MeV Energies . American Institute of Physics Conference Proceedings [Internet]. 2000;510 :114.


In previous work, we have used data from the first three years of the CGRO mission to assemble a broad-band \$\gamma\$-ray spectrum of the galactic black hole candidate Cygnus X-1. Contemporaneous data from the COMPTEL, OSSE and BATSE experiments on CGRO were selected on the basis of the hard X-ray flux (45–140 keV) as measured by BATSE. This provided a spectrum of Cygnus X-1 in its canonical low X-ray state (as measured at energies below 10 keV), covering the energy range from 50 keV to 5 MeV. Here we report on a comparison of this spectrum to a COMPTEL-OSSE spectrum collected during a high X-ray state of Cygnus X-1 (May, 1996). These data provide evidence for significant spectral variability at energies above 1 MeV. In particular, whereas the hard X-ray flux ıt decreases during the high X-ray state, the flux at energies above 1 MeV ıt increases, resulting in a significantly harder high energy spectrum. This behavior is consistent with the general picture of galactic black hole candidates having two distinct spectral forms at soft \$\gamma\$-ray energies. These data extend this picture, for the first time, to energies above 1 MeV.


5 pages, 4 figures, to be published in AIP Conf. Proc., "The Fifth Compton Symposium"

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