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INTEGRAL discovery of a high-energy tail in the microquasar Cygnus X-3

Abstract : Context. The X-ray spectra of X-ray binaries are dominated by emission of either soft or hard X-rays which defines their soft and hard spectral states. While the generic picture is relatively well understood, little is known about the interplay of the various media at work, or about the reasons why some sources do not follow common behavior. Cygnus X-3 is amongst the list of X-ray binaries that show quite complex behavior, with various distinct spectral states not seen in other sources. These states have been characterized in many studies. Because of its softness and intrinsic low flux above typically 50 keV, very little is known about the hard X/soft gamma-ray (100–1000 keV) emission in Cygnus X-3.Aims. Using the whole INTEGRAL data base, we aim to explore the 3–1000 keV spectra of Cygnus X-3. This allows to probe this region with the highest sensitivity ever, and search for the potential signature of a high-energy non-thermal component as sometimes seen in other sources.Methods. Our work is based on state classification carried out in previous studies with data from the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer. We extend this classification to the whole INTEGRAL data set in order to perform a long-term state-resolved spectral analysis. Six stacked spectra were obtained using 16 years of data from JEM-X (3–25 keV), ISGRI (25–300 keV), and SPI (20–400 keV).Results. We extract stacked images in three different energy bands, and detect the source up to 200 keV. In the hardest states, our purely phenomenological approach clearly reveals the presence of an additonnal component > 50 keV in addition to the component usually interpreted as thermal Comptonization. We apply a more physical model of hybrid thermal/nonthermal corona (EQPAIR) to characterize this nonthermal component and compare our results with those of previous studies and analyses. Our modeling indicates a more efficient acceleration of electrons in states where major ejections are observed. We also evaluate and find a dependence of the photon index of the power law as a function of the strong orbital modulation of the source in the Flaring InterMediate state. This dependence could be due to a higher absorption when Cygnus X-3 is behind its companion. However, the uncertainties on the density column prevent us from drawing any firm conclusions.
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https://hal-cea.archives-ouvertes.fr/cea-03109731
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - 10:58:20 PM
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F. Cangemi, J. Rodriguez, V. Grinberg, R. Belmont, P. Laurent, et al.. INTEGRAL discovery of a high-energy tail in the microquasar Cygnus X-3. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2021, 645, pp.A60. ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/202037951⟩. ⟨cea-03109731⟩

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