Fe Kα Line in Hard X-ray Emitting Symbiotic Stars

The 6.4 keV iron emission line is typically created by irradiation of the neutral (or low ionized) iron by a hard X-ray source. Whereas the 6.7 and 7.0 keV emission lines are mainly produced by photoionization and collisional excitation in hot plasma, the 6.4 keV fluorescence line is typically a signature of either reflection from an accretion disk or absorption. We have surveyed the emission using a collection of Suzaku ob- servations of hard X-ray emitting symbiotic stars to better understand the geometry of these systems. We find that they do not seem to have a single geometry, and that while absorption-induced fluorescence leads to some emission in two of the hard X-ray emitting symbiotic stars (hSSs) in our study, CH Cyg, T CrB and RT Cru there are strong hints that significant 6.4 keV emission arises in the accretion disk irradiated by the hard X-rays from the boundary layer between the accretion disk and hot white dwarf in one of sources, SS73 17. The 6.7 and 7.0 keV lines, however, are largely produced by collisional excitation in the vicinity of the compact white dwarf.

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Date added: Thu, 10 Oct 13