Diego Altamirano - University of Southampton

Diego Altamirano
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Diego Altamirano
University of Southampton
United Kingdom

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High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (40)
Astrophysics (5)
Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (3)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (2)
General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (2)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (1)

Publications Authored By Diego Altamirano

We present results from simultaneous optical (SALT) and X-ray (Swift and INTEGRAL) observations of GS 1354-64/BW Cir during the 2015 hard state outburst. During the rising phase, optical/X-ray time series show a strong anti-correlation with X-ray photons lagging optical. Optical and X-ray power spectra show quasi-periodic oscillations at a frequency of ~18 mHz with a confidence level of at least 99%. Read More

We performed an analysis of all RXTE observations of the Low Mass X-ray Binary and Black Hole Candidate IGR J17091-3624 during the 2011-2013 outburst of the source. By creating lightcurves, hardness-intensity diagrams and power density spectra of each observation, we have created a set of 9 variability `classes' that phenomenologically describe the range of types of variability seen in this object. We compare our set of variability classes to those established by Belloni et al. Read More

We present 3-79 keV NuSTAR observations of the neutron star low-mass X-ray binary 4U 1636-53 in the soft, transitional and hard state. The spectra display a broad emission line at 5-10 keV. We applied several models to fit this line: A GAUSSIAN line, a relativistically broadened emission line model, KYRLINE, and two models including relativistically smeared and ionized reflection off the accretion disc with different coronal heights, RELXILL and RELXILLLP. Read More

Accreting stellar mass black holes (BHs) routinely exhibit Type-C quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs). These are often interpreted as Lense-Thirring precession of the inner accretion flow, a relativistic effect whereby the spin of the BH distorts the surrounding space-time, inducing nodal precession. The best evidence for the precession model is the recent discovery, using a long joint XMM-Newton and NuSTAR observation of H 1743-322, that the centroid energy of the iron fluorescence line changes systematically with QPO phase. Read More

We investigated the convexity of all type I X-ray bursts with millihertz quasi-periodic oscillations (mHz QPOs) in 4U 1636-53 using archival observations with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. We found that, at a 3.5 $\sigma$ confidence level, in all 39 cases in which the mHz QPOs disappeared at the time of an X-ray burst, the convexity of the burst is positive. Read More

Accreting stellar-mass black holes often show a `Type-C' quasi-periodic oscillation (QPO) in their X-ray flux, and an iron emission line in their X-ray spectrum. The iron line is generated through continuum photons reflecting off the accretion disk, and its shape is distorted by relativistic motion of the orbiting plasma and the gravitational pull of the black hole. The physical origin of the QPO has long been debated, but is often attributed to Lense-Thirring precession, a General Relativistic effect causing the inner flow to precess as the spinning black hole twists up the surrounding space-time. Read More

While there are many dynamical mechanisms and models that try to explain the origin and phenomenology of the quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) seen in the X-ray light curves of low-mass X-ray binaries, few of them address how the radiative processes occurring in these extreme environments give rise to the rich set of variability features actually observed in these light curves. A step towards this end comes from the study of the energy and frequency dependence of the phase lags of these QPOs. Here we used a methodology that allowed us to study, for the first time, the dependence of the phase lags of all QPOs in the range of 1 Hz to 1300 Hz detected in the low-mass X-ray binary 4U 1636-53 upon energy and frequency as the source changes its states as it moves through the colour-colour diagram. Read More

Affiliations: 1University of Southampton, 2INAF--Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, 3University of Southampton, 4University of Southampton, 5University of Southampton, 6Observatoire de Geneve, 7University of Alberta, 8University of Oklahoma, 9University of Southampton, 10University of Southampton, 11University of Southampton, 12Universita' degli Studi Roma Tre, 13University of Southampton, 14University of Southampton, 15University of Southampton, 16University of Southampton, 17University of Southampton, 18Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge

We analyzed a large sample of radio-loud and radio-quiet quasar spectra at redshift 1.0 < z < 1.2 to compare the inferred underlying quasar continuum slopes (after removal of the host galaxy contribution) with accretion disk models. Read More

We studied the outburst properties of the hyper-luminous X-ray source ESO 243-49 HLX-1, using the full set of Swift monitoring observations. We quantified the increase in the waiting time, recurrence time, and e-folding rise timescale along the outburst sequence, and the corresponding decrease in outburst duration, total radiated energy, and e-folding decay timescale, which confirms previous findings. HLX-1 spends less and less time in outburst and more and more time in quiescence, but its peak luminosity remains approximately constant. Read More

We present an analysis of the energy and frequency dependence of the Fourier time lags of the hectoHertz quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) and of the QPOs at the frequency at which the power density spectrum shows a break in the neutron-star low-mass X-ray binary 4U 1636-53, using a large data set obtained with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. We found that: (i) For the break frequency QPO: for low frequencies, in general the time lag is positive, but it is decreasing with increasing frequency, reaching zero lag at 20 Hz. Between 20 and 35 Hz there is a small fluctuation around zero, from where the time lags become positive again and increase slightly above zero up to 65 Hz. Read More

Owing to the frequency and reproducibility of its outbursts, the black-hole candidate GX 339-4 has become the standard against which the outbursts of other black-hole candidate are matched up. Here we present the first systematic study of the evolution of the X-ray lags of the broad-band variability component (0.008-5 Hz) in GX 339-4 as a function of the position of the source in the hardness-intensity diagram. Read More

We detected millihertz quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) in an XMM-Newton observation of the neutron-star low-mass X-ray binary 4U 1636-53. These QPOs have been interpreted as marginally-stable burning on the neutron-star surface. At the beginning of the observation the QPO was at around 8 mHz, together with a possible second harmonic. Read More

Affiliations: 1University of Alberta, 2University of Alberta, 3University of Alberta, 4Astronomical Institute 'Anton Pannekoek', 5Suffolk University, 6University of Southampton

We use K-band spectroscopy of the counterpart to the rapidly variable X-ray transient XMMU J174445.5-295044 to identify it as a new symbiotic X-ray binary. XMMU J174445. Read More

Both the broad iron (Fe) line and the frequency of the kilohertz quasi-periodic oscillations (kHz QPOs) in neutron star low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) can potentially provide independent measures of the inner radius of the accretion disc. We use XMM-Newton and simultaneous Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer observations of the LMXB 4U 1636-53 to test this hypothesis. We study the properties of the Fe-K emission line as a function of the spectral state of the source and the frequency of the kHz QPOs. Read More

Affiliations: 1University of Alberta, 2University of Alberta, 3University of Alberta, 4Astronomical Institute 'Anton Pannekoek', 5Astronomical Institute 'Anton Pannekoek', 6Kavli Institute for Astrophysics & Space Research, 7Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, 8Sam Houston State University, 9University of Michigan, 10University of Alberta

We report and study the outburst of a new transient X-ray binary (XRB) in Terzan 5, the third detected in this globular cluster, Swift J174805.3-244637 or Terzan 5 X-3. We find clear spectral hardening in Swift/XRT data during the outburst rise to the hard state, thanks to our early coverage (starting at L_X ~ 4x10^{34} ergs/s) of the outburst. Read More

The X-ray transient IGR J18245-2452 in the globular cluster M28 contains the first neutron star (NS) seen to switch between rotation-powered and accretion-powered pulsations. We analyse its 2013 March-April 25d-long outburst as observed by Swift, which had a peak bolometric luminosity of ~6% of the Eddington limit (L$_{E}$), and give detailed properties of the thermonuclear burst observed on 2013 April 7. We also present a detailed analysis of new and archival Chandra data, which we use to study quiescent emission from IGR J18245-2452 between 2002 and 2013. Read More

We present new Chandra X-ray observations of the transient black hole X-ray binary MAXI J1659-152 in quiescence. These observations were made more than one year after the end of the source's 2010-2011 outburst. We detect the source at a 0. Read More

Affiliations: 1Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, 2University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 3INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, Italy, 4Dipartimento di Fisica, Universita degli Studi di Cagliari, Italy

We measured the phase-lag spectrum of the high-frequency quasi-periodic oscillations (QPO) in the black hole systems (at QPO frequencies) GRS 1915+105 (35 Hz and 67 Hz), GRO J1655-40 (300 Hz and 450 Hz), XTE J1550-564 (180 Hz and 280 Hz), and IGR J17091-3624 (67 Hz). The lag spectra of the 67-Hz QPO in, respectively, GRS 1915+105 and IGR J17091-3624, and the 450-Hz QPO in GRO J1655-40 are hard (hard photons lag the soft ones) and consistent with each other, with the hard lags increasing with energy. On the contrary, the lags of the 35-Hz QPO in GRS 1915+105 are soft, with the lags becoming softer as the energy increases; the lag spectrum of the 35-Hz QPO is inconsistent with that of the 67-Hz QPO. Read More

We report the discovery of kHz quasi periodic oscillations (QPOs) in three Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer observations of the low mass X-ray binary (LMXB) XTE J1701-407. In one of the observations we detect a kHz QPO with a characteristic frequency of 1153 +/- 5 Hz, while in the other two observations we detect twin QPOs at characteristic frequencies of 740 +/- 5 Hz, 1112 +/- 17 Hz and 740 +/- 11 Hz, 1098 +/- 5 Hz. All detections happen when XTE J1701-407 was in its high intensity soft state, and their single trial significance are in the 3. Read More

Affiliations: 1Groningen, 2Groningen, 3Groningen, 4Amsterdam, 5INAF-OAB, 6Canary Islands

We analysed the X-ray spectra of six observations, simultaneously taken with XMM-Newton and Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE), of the neutron star low-mass X-ray binary 4U 1636-53. The observations cover several states of the source, and therefore a large range of inferred mass accretion rate. These six observations show a broad emission line in the spectrum at around 6. Read More

Affiliations: 1INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, Italy, 2University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

We report the discovery in the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer data of GRS 1915+105 of a second quasi-periodic oscillation at 34 Hz, simultaneous with that observed at 68 Hz in the same observation. The data corresponded to those observations from 2003 where the 68-Hz oscillation was very strong. The significance of the detection is 4. Read More

Affiliations: 1INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, Italy, 2University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

We report the results of a systematic timing analysis of all archival Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) observations of the bright black-hole binary GRS 1915+105 in order to detect high-frequency quasi-periodic oscillations (HFQPO). We produced power-density spectra in two energy bands and limited the analysis to the frequency range 30-1000 Hz. We found 51 peaks with a single trial significance larger than 3 sigma. Read More

After a careful analysis of the instrumental effects on the Poisson noise to demonstrate the feasibility of detailed stochastic variability studies with the Swift X-Ray Telescope (XRT), we analyze the variability of the black hole X-ray binary SWIFT J1753.5-0127 in all XRT observations during 2005-2010. We present the evolution of the power spectral components along the outburst in two energy bands: soft (0. Read More

We report the discovery of quasi-periodic oscillations (QPO) at ~11 mHz in two RXTE observations and one Chandra observation of the black hole candidate H1743-322. The QPO is observed only at the beginning of the 2010 and 2011 outbursts at similar hard colour and intensity, suggestive of an accretion state dependence for the QPO. Although its frequency appears to be correlated with X-ray intensity on timescales of a day, in successive outbursts eight months apart we measure a QPO frequency that differs by less than ~2. Read More

We analysed all archival RXTE observations of the neutron-star low-mass X-ray binary 4U 1636-53 up to May 2010. In 528 out of 1280 observations we detected kilohertz quasi-periodic oscillations (kHz QPOs), with ~ 65% of these detections corresponding to the so-called lower kHz QPO. Using this QPO we measured, for the first time, the rate at which the QPO frequency changes as a function of QPO frequency. Read More

We report on two short XMM-Newton observations performed in August 2006 and February 2007 during the quiescence state of the enigmatic black hole candidate system IGR J17091-3624. During both observations the source was clearly detected. Although the errors on the estimated fluxes are large, the source appears to be brighter by several tens of percents during the February 2007 observation compared to the August 2006 observation. Read More

We present the optical to near-infrared spectrum of MAXI J1659-152, during the onset of its 2010 X-ray outburst. The spectrum was obtained with X-shooter on the ESO - Very Large Telescope (VLT) early in the outburst simultaneous with high quality observations at both shorter and longer wavelengths. At the time of the observations, the source was in the low-hard state. Read More

We report the discovery of 8.5 sigma high-frequency quasi-periodic oscillations (HFQPOs) at 66 Hz in the RXTE data of the black hole candidate IGR J17091-3624, a system whose X-ray properties are very similar to those of microquasar GRS 1915+105. The centroid frequency of the strongest peak is ~66 Hz, its quality factor above 5 and its rms is between 4 and 10%. Read More

We report on the aperiodic X-ray timing and color behavior of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar (AMXP) IGR J17511-3057, using all the pointed observations obtained with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer Proportional Counter Array since the source's discovery on 2009 September 12. The source can be classified as an atoll source on the basis of the color and timing characteristics. It was in the hard state during the entire outburst. Read More

We present the results of continued monitoring of the quiescent neutron star low-mass X-ray binary XTE J1701-462 with Chandra and Swift. A new Chandra observation from 2010 October extends our tracking of the neutron star surface temperature from ~800 days to ~1160 days since the end of an exceptionally luminous 19 month outburst. This observation indicates that the neutron star crust may still be slowly cooling toward thermal equilibrium with the core; another observation further into quiescence is needed to verify this. Read More

Affiliations: 1ICRAR/Curtin, 2U. Virginia, 3U. Amsterdam, 4U. Paris Diderot, 5NASA/GSFC, 6U. Michigan, 7MIT, 8U. Amsterdam, 9ASTRON, 10NRAO, 11U. Southampton, 12U. Wisconsin-Madison, 13U. Amsterdam, 14ESAC, 15NRAO, 16U. Virginia

Relationships between the X-ray and radio behavior of black hole X-ray binaries during outbursts have established a fundamental coupling between the accretion disks and radio jets in these systems. We begin by reviewing the prevailing paradigm for this disk-jet coupling, also highlighting what we know about similarities and differences with neutron star and white dwarf binaries. Until recently, this paradigm had not been directly tested with dedicated high-angular resolution radio imaging over entire outbursts. Read More

Time-resolved spectra during the cooling phase of thermonuclear X-ray bursts in low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) can be used to measure the radii and masses of neutron stars. We analyzed ~ 300 bursts of the LMXB 4U 1636-53 using data from the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. We divided the bursts in three groups, photospheric radius expansion (PRE), hard non-PRE and soft non-PRE bursts, based on the properties of the bursts and the state of the source at the time of the burst. Read More

We report on an analysis of RXTE data of the transient neutron star low-mass X-ray binary (NS-LMXB) XTE J1701-462, obtained during its 2006-2007 outburst. The X-ray properties of the source changed between those of various types of NS-LMXB subclasses. At high luminosities the source switched between two types of Z source behavior and at low luminosities we observed a transition from Z source to atoll source behavior. Read More

We observed the new X-ray transient and black-hole candidate XTE J1652-453 simultaneously with XMM-Newton and the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE). The observation was done during the decay of the 2009 outburst, when XTE J1652-453 was in the hard-intermediate state. The spectrum shows a strong and broad iron emission line with an equivalent width of ~ 450 eV. Read More

We present Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer and Swift observations made during the final three weeks of the 2006-2007 outburst of the super-Eddington neutron star (NS) transient XTE J1701-462, as well as Chandra and XMM-Newton observations covering the first ~800 days of the subsequent quiescent phase. The source transitioned quickly from active accretion to quiescence, with the luminosity dropping by over 3 orders of magnitude in ~13 days. The spectra obtained during quiescence exhibit both a thermal component, presumed to originate in emission from the NS surface, and a non-thermal component of uncertain origin, which has shown large and irregular variability. Read More

Affiliations: 1Astronomical Institute `A. Pannekoek', Univeristy of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2Astronomical Institute `A. Pannekoek', Univeristy of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 3Albert Einstein Institute for Gravitational Research, Hannover, Germany

We present a timing analysis of the 2009 outburst of the accreting millisecond X-ray pulsar Swift J1756.9-2508, and a re-analysis of the 2007 outburst. The source shows a short recurrence time of only ~2 years between outbursts. Read More

We have discovered a triple-peaked X-ray burst from the low-mass X-ray binary (LMXB) 4U 1636-53 with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE). This is the first triple-peaked burst reported from any LMXB using RXTE, and it is only the second burst of this kind observed from any source. (The previous one was also from 4U 1636-53, and was observed with EXOSAT. Read More

Affiliations: 1University of Amsterdam, 2University of Amsterdam, 3University of Amsterdam, 4University of Amsterdam, 5University of Amsterdam, 6University of Amsterdam, 7University of Amsterdam, 8University of Amsterdam, 9University of Amsterdam, 10University of Amsterdam, 11University of Amsterdam

We report the discovery of burst oscillations from the intermittent accretion-powered millisecond pulsar (AMP) HETE J1900.1-2455, with a frequency approximately 1 Hz below the known spin frequency. The burst oscillation properties are far more similar to those of the non-AMPs and Aql X-1 (an intermittent AMP with a far lower duty cycle), than those of the AMPs SAX J1808. Read More

Affiliations: 1MIT, 2University of Amsterdam, 3MIT, 4MIT, 5University of Amsterdam, 6INAF -- Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera

The neutron-star X-ray transient XTE J1701-462 was observed for $\sim$3 Ms with \xte during its 2006-2007 outburst. Here we report on the discovery of three type-I X-ray bursts from XTE J1701-462. They occurred as the source was in transition from the typical Z-source behavior to the typical atoll-source behavior, at $\sim10%$ of the Eddington luminosity. Read More

XMM-Newton observed the accreting millisecond pulsar SAX J1808.4-3658 during its 2008 outburst. We present timing and spectral analyses of this observation, in particular the first pulse profile study below 2 keV, and the high-resolution spectral analysis of this source during the outburst. Read More

Affiliations: 1Univ. Amsterdam, 2Univ. Amsterdam, 3Univ Southampton, 4Univ. Amsterdam, 5Univ. Amsterdam, 6Univ. Amsterdam, 7Univ. Amsterdam, 8INAF-OAB, 9NRAO, 10Univ. Amsterdam, 11Univ. Amsterdam
Category: Astrophysics

We present preliminary results from the analysis of simultaneous multiwavelength observations of the black hole candidate Swift J1753.5-0127. The source is still continuing its outburst started in May 2005, never leaving the Low/Hard State. Read More

Affiliations: 1API, Univ. Amsterdam, 2API, Univ. Amsterdam, 3API, Univ. Amsterdam, 4API, Univ. Amsterdam, 5API, Univ. Amsterdam, 6API, Univ. Amsterdam
Category: Astrophysics

We present a phase-coherent timing analysis of the intermittent accreting millisecond pulsar SAX J1748.9-2021. A new timing solution for the pulsar spin period and the Keplerian binary orbital parameters was achieved by phase connecting all episodes of intermittent pulsations visible during the 2001 outburst. Read More

We report the discovery of twin kHz QPOs in the X ray flux of XTE J1807--294, the fourth accreting millisecond pulsar (AMP). This is the second AMP exhibiting twin kHz QPOs. In contrast to the first case, SAX J1808. Read More

We study the rapid X-ray time variability in all public data available from the \textit{Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer's} Proportional Counter Array on the atoll source 4U 1820--30 in the low-luminosity island state. A total of $\sim46$ ks of data were used. We compare the frequencies of the variability components of 4U 1820--30 with those in other atolls sources. Read More

Affiliations: 1ESA/ESTEC;, 2SRON;, 3MIT;, 4University of Amsterdam, 5University of Amsterdam, 6University of Amsterdam
Category: Astrophysics

Preliminary results are reported on the spectral and timing properties of the spectacular 2001 superburst of 4U 1636-536 as seen by the RXTE/PCA. The (broad-band) power-spectral and hardness properties during the superburst are compared to those just before and after the superburst. Not all of the superburst emission can be fitted by pure black-body radiation. Read More