Astronomy and Astrophysics – Astrophysics
5 pages; MNRAS Letters, in press
Observations of X-ray emissions from binary systems have long since been considered important tools to test General Relativity in strong-field regimes. The high frequency quasi-periodic oscillations (HFQPOs) observed in binaries containing a black hole candidate, in particular, have been proposed as a means to measure more directly the black hole properties such as its mass and spin. Numerous models have been suggested to explain the HFQPOs and the rich phenomenology accompanying them. Many of these models rest on a number of assumptions and are at times in conflict with the most recent observations. We here propose a new, simple model in which the HFQPOs result from basic $p$-mode oscillations of a small accretion torus orbiting close to the black hole. We show that within this model the key properties of the HFQPOs can be explained simply, given a single reasonable assumption. We also discuss observational tests that can falsify the model.
Maccarone Thomas J.
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