Regulation of black-hole accretion by a disk wind during a violent outburst of V404 Cygni

Accretion of matter onto black holes is universally associated with strong radiative feedback and powerful outflows. In particular, black hole transients show outflows whose properties are strongly coupled to those of the accretion flow. This includes X-ray winds of ionized material, expelled from the accretion disc encircling the black hole, and collimated radio jets. Very recently, a distinct optical variability pattern has been reported in the transient black hole transient V404 Cyg, and interpreted as disrupted mass flow into the inner regions of its large accretion disc. Here, we report on the discovery of a sustained outer accretion disc wind in V404 Cyg, which is unlike any seen previously. We find that the outflowing wind is neutral, has a large covering factor, expands at 1% of the speed of light and triggers a nebular phase once accretion sharply drops and the ejecta become optically thin. The large expelled mass (> 10^-8 Msun) indicates that the outburst was prematurely ended when a sizeable fraction of the outer disc was depleted by the wind, detaching the inner regions from the rest of the disc. The luminous, but brief, accretion phases shown by transients with large accretion discs imply that this outflow is most likely a new fundamental ingredient regulating mass accretion onto black holes.

Comments: Published in Nature on 9 May 2016

Similar Publications

Recently a repeating fast radio burst (FRB) 121102 has been confirmed to be an extragalactic event and a persistent radio counterpart has been identified. While other possibilities are not ruled out, the emission properties are broadly consistent with theoretical suggestions of Murase et al. (2016) for quasi-steady nebula emission from a pulsar-driven supernova remnant as a counterpart of FRBs. Read More


Cosmic ray muons with the average energy of 280 GeV and neutrons produced by muons are detected with the Large Volume Detector at LNGS. We present an analysis of the seasonal variation of the neutron flux on the basis of the data obtained during 15 years. The measurement of the seasonal variation of the specific number of neutrons generated by muons allows to obtaine the variation magnitude of of the average energy of the muon flux at the depth of the LVD location. Read More


XMM-Newton has deeply changed our picture of X-ray emission of hot, massive stars. High-resolution X-ray spectroscopy as well as monitoring of these objects helped us gain a deeper insight into the physics of single massive stars with or without magnetic fields, as well as of massive binary systems, where the stellar winds of both stars interact. These observations also revealed a number of previously unexpected features that challenge our understanding of the dynamics of the stellar winds of massive stars. Read More


We review the physics of GRB production by relativistic jets that start highly opaque near the central source and then expand to transparency. We discuss dissipative and radiative processes in the jet and how radiative transfer shapes the observed nonthermal spectrum released at the photosphere. A comparison of recent detailed models with observations gives estimates for important parameters of GRB jets, such as the Lorentz factor and magnetization. Read More


We examine the 2008-2016 gamma-ray and optical light curves of three bright BL Lac objects, PKS 0716+71, MRK 421, BL Lac, which exhibit large structured variability. We searched for periodicities by using a fully Bayesian approach. For two out of three sources investigated no significant periodic variability was found. Read More


The antiproton-to-proton ratio in the cosmic-ray spectrum is a sensitive probe of new physics. Using recent measurements of the cosmic-ray antiproton and proton fluxes in the energy range of 1-1000 GeV, we study the contribution to the $\bar{p}/p$ ratio from secondary antiprotons that are produced and subsequently accelerated within individual supernova remnants. We consider several well-motivated models for cosmic-ray propagation in the interstellar medium and marginalize our results over the uncertainties related to the antiproton production cross section and the time-, charge-, and energy-dependent effects of solar modulation. Read More


A two-phase description of the quark-nuclear matter hybrid equation of state that takes into account the effect of excluded volume in both the hadronic and the quark-matter phases is introduced. The nuclear phase manifests a reduction of the available volume as density increases, leading to a stiffening of the matter. The quark-matter phase displays a reduction of the effective string-tension in the confining density-functional from available volume contributions. Read More


2017Jan
Affiliations: 1METU, Ankara, Turkey, 2METU, Ankara, Turkey, 3METU, Ankara, Turkey, 4METU, Ankara, Turkey, 5Baskent University, Ankara, Turkey, 6METU, Ankara, Turkey

We represent noise strength analysis of Anomalous X-Ray Pulsars (AXPs) 4U 0142+61, 1RXS J170849.9-400910, 1E 1841-045, 1E 2259+586 and Soft Gamma Repeaters (SGRs) SGR J1833-0832, SWIFT J1822.3-1606 and SWIFT J1834. Read More


2017Jan
Affiliations: 1METU, Ankara, Turkey, 2METU, Ankara, Turkey, 3METU, Ankara, Turkey, 4Baskent University, Ankara, Turkey, 5METU, Ankara, Turkey

We analyse archival CGRO-BATSE X-ray flux and spin frequency measurements of GX 1+4 over a time span of 3000 days. We systematically search for time dependent variations of torque luminosity correlation. Our preliminary results indicate that the correlation shifts from being positive to negative on time scales of few 100 days. Read More