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Accretion disc wind variability in the states of the microquasar GRS 1915+105

Authors

  • Joseph Neilsen,

    Corresponding author
    1. MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
    2. Astronomy Department, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
    3. Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
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  • Andrew J. Petschek,

    1. Astronomy Department, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
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  • Julia C. Lee

    1. Astronomy Department, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
    2. Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
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E-mail: jneilsen@space.mit.edu

ABSTRACT

Continuing our study of the role and evolution of accretion disc winds in the microquasar GRS 1915+105, we present high-resolution spectral variability analysis of the β and γ states with the Chandra High-Energy Transmission Grating Spectrometer. By tracking changes in the absorption lines from the accretion disc wind, we find new evidence that radiation links the inner and outer accretion discs on a range of time-scales. As the central X-ray flux rises during the high-luminosity γ state, we observe the progressive overionization of the wind. In the β state, we argue that changes in the inner disc leading to the ejection of a transient ‘baby jet’ also quench the highly ionized wind from the outer disc. Our analysis reveals how the state, structure and X-ray luminosity of the inner accretion disc all conspire to drive the formation and variability of highly ionized accretion disc winds.

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