4PiSky Authors: Daniel Plant / Rob Fender / Teo Muñoz-Darias
Utilising over 500 (~daily) archival observations of the black hole X-ray binary GX 339-4 with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer, we have been able to map out quantitatively how accretion on to a black hole evolves.
The evolution of the corona and reflection component flux over three outbursts of GX 339-4. Both scales are identical and the solid line indicates one-to-one quantities, thus the hard and soft states are corona and reflection dominated, respectively. Numbered arrows (1-4) illustrate how the source progresses throughout the figure during an outburst.