Effects of inclination angle on the spectra of X-ray binaries

S. D. Vrtilek*, Noam Soker, J. C. Raymond

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Iron emission and absorption features from nine X-ray binaries are compared with a model that predicts characteristics of iron K-shell features corresponding to different viewing angles for the accretion disk. In this model, emission and absorption features arise from an accretion disk corona whose structure is computed under the assumptions of ionization, thermal, and hydrostatic balance of gas illuminated by the central continuum source. Hence the equivalent widths of the emission and absorption features are predicted without the introduction of any free parameters to control the physical conditions in the disk corona. Our data/model comparison suggests an explanation for the equivalent widths of the iron Kα emission and the depth of the absorption edge in terms of (1) the angle of inclination between the observer's line of sight and the plane of the accretion disk and (2) the shape of the incident source spectrum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)696-705
Number of pages10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 20 Feb 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Accretion, accretion disks
  • X-rays: stars


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