Cross-correlations between soft and hard light curves depending on luminosity in the transient neutron star XTE J1701-462 [HEAP]

Using all the observations from Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer for accreting neutron star XTE J1701-462, we carry out a systematic study on the cross-correlation between its soft and hard light curves. The anti-correlations appear at the hard vertex and on the upper normal branch (NB) in the Cyg-like interval, occur on the horizontal branch (HB) and/or upper NB in the first and second Sco-like intervals, and display at the upper flaring branch (FB) in the third Sco-like interval. We suggest that the anti-correlation might evolve with luminosity, because with decreasing of luminosity, the source evolved from a Cyg-like Z source, via a Sco-like Z source, to an atoll source. In the Cyg-like interval, the positive correlations are mostly distributed on the HB, which is not consistent with that of the Cyg-like Z source GX 5-1 and Cyg X-2 whose HBs host ambiguous correlations and anti-correlations. From our spectral analyses, it is found that the ratio of the hard emission to the soft emission basically keeps unvaried from the HB to the hard vertex, which might result in the positive correlation. Additionally, we compare the spectra in the third Sco-like interval with those of atoll source 4U 1735-44 and find that their spectral evolution along the tracks in the color-color diagrams are similar, indicating that in this interval, XTE J1701-462 approaches an atoll source. Both hard time lags and soft time lags are detected and the possible origins of them are discussed.

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Y. Wang, Y. Lei, G. Ding, et. al.
Thu, 13 Mar 14