Document Type



We report on a deep Suzaku observation of the stellar-mass black hole GX 339-4 in outburst. A clear, strong, relativistically shaped iron emission line from the inner accretion disk is observed. The broadband disk reflection spectrum revealed is one of the most sensitive yet obtained from an accreting black hole. We fit the Suzaku spectra with a physically motivated disk reflection model, blurred by a new relativistic line function in which the black hole spin parameter is a variable. This procedure yielded a black hole spin parameter of a=0.89+/-0.04. Joint modeling of these Suzaku spectra and prior XMM-Newton spectra obtained in two different outburst phases yields a spin parameter of a=0.93+/-0.01. The degree of consistency between these results suggests that disk reflection models allow for spin measurements that are not strongly biased by scattering effects. We suggest that the best value of the black hole spin parameter is a=0.93+/-0.01 (statistical)+/-0.04 (systematic). Although preliminary, these results represent the first direct measurement of nonzero spin in a stellar-mass black hole using relativistic line modeling.


Cosmology, Relativity, and Gravity | Stars, Interstellar Medium and the Galaxy


NOTICE IN COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLISHER POLICY: ©2008, American Astronomical Society. Available at: doi:10.1086/589446