The mass of the black hole in GRS 1915+105: new constraints from infrared spectroscopy

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Hurley, Daniel Jason
Callanan, Paul J.
Elebert, Patrick
Reynolds, M. T.
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Oxford University Press
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GRS 1915+105 has the largest mass function of any Galactic black hole system, although the error is relatively large. Here we present spectroscopic analysis of medium-resolution infrared Very Large Telescope archival data of GRS 1915+105 in the K band. We find an updated ephemeris, and report on attempts to improve the mass function by a refinement of the radial velocity estimate. We show that the spectra are significantly affected by the presence of phase-dependent CO bandhead emission, possibly originating from the accretion disc: we discuss the impact this has on efforts to better constrain the black hole mass. We report on a possible way to measure the radial velocity utilizing apparent H-band atomic absorption features and also discuss the general uncertainty of the system parameters of this well-studied object.
Stars , Individual , GRS 1915+105 , Infrared , X-rays , Binaries
Hurley, D. J., Callanan, P. J., Elebert, P. and Reynolds, M. T. (2013) 'The mass of the black hole in GRS 1915+105: new constraints from infrared spectroscopy', Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 430(3), pp. 1832-1838. doi: 10.1093/mnras/stt001
© 2013, the Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society