On The Soft Excess in the X-ray Spectrum of Cir X 1: Revisitation of the Distance to Cir X 1

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Abstract

We report on a 300 ks BeppoSAX (0.12-200 keV) observation of Circinus X-1 (Cir X-1) at phases between 0.62 and 0.84 and on a 90 ks BeppoSAX observation of Cir X-1 at phases 0.11-0.16. Using the canonical model adopted until now to fit the energy spectrum of this source, large residuals appear below 1 keV. These are well fitted using an equivalent hydrogen column of 0.66×1022 cm-2, adding absorption edges of O VII, O VIII, and Ne IX in the spectra extracted from the observation at phases 0.62-0.84 and adding absorption edges of O VII, O VIII, Mg XI, and Mg XII and absorption lines of O VIII and Mg XII in the spectra extracted from the observation at phases 0.11-0.16. During the observation at phases 0.62-0.84 the electron density associated with the ionized matter is ~1013 cm-3, remaining quite constant going away from the compact object. During the observation at phases 0.11-0.16, the electron density profile varies along the distance going from ~6×1013 cm-3 at ~1011 cm to ~9×1010 cm-3 at ~1013 cm. The equivalent hydrogen column toward Cir X-1 is 3 times lower than the value obtained from previous models. This low value would imply that Cir X-1 is at a distance of 4.1 kpc.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)503-516
RivistaTHE ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL
Volume619
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2005

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