Spectroscopy of the Stellar Wind in the Cygnus X-1 System

I. Miškovičová, M. Hanke, J. Wilms, M. A. Nowak, K. Pottschmidt, N. S. Schulz


The X-ray luminosity of black holes is produced through the accretion of material from their companion stars. Depending on the mass of the donor star, accretion of the material falling onto the black hole through the inner Lagrange point of the system or accretion by the strong stellar wind can occur. Cygnus X-1 is a high mass X-ray binary system, where the black hole is powered by accretion of the stellar wind of its supergiant companion star HDE226868. As the companion is close to filling its Roche lobe, the wind is not symmetric, but strongly focused towards the black hole. Chandra-HETGS observations allow for an investigation of this focused stellar wind, which is essential to understand the physics of the accretion flow. We compare observations at the distinct orbital phases of 0.0, 0.2, 0.5 and 0.75. These correspond to different lines of sight towards the source, allowing us to probe the structure and the dynamics of the wind.


X-ray binary; Cygnus X-1; stellar wind; accretion; spectroscopy

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ISSN 1210-2709 (Print)
ISSN 1805-2363 (Online)
Published by the Czech Technical University in Prague