• R. K. Manchanda

      Articles written in Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy

    • X-ray measurements of black hole X-ray binary source GRS 1915+105 and the evolution of hard X-ray spectrum

      R. K. Manchanda

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      We report the spectral measurement of GRS 1915+105 in the hard X-ray energy band of 20–140keV. The observations were made on March 30th, 1997 during a quiescent phase of the source. We discuss the mechanism of emission of hard X-ray photons and the evolution of the spectrum by comparing the data with earlier measurements and an axiomatic model for the X-ray source.

    • Observation of ultra low hard X-ray flux from Cyg X-1 —A possible partial occulation of the X-ray source

      R. K. Manchanda

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      The black hole candidate Cyg X-1 was observed in ultra low state on march 30, 1997 using Large Area Scintillation counter Experiment (LASE) in the hard X-ray energy region of 20–180 keV. During the 30 minute exposure a combined signal of 68 sigma was obtained, however, the measured flux at 50 keV was lower by a factor of 2 than the minimum flux reported so far. Using the recent orbital ephemeris of the source, our snap-shot observations were made at ϕ5.6 = 0.915, which corresponds to the binary minimum revealed by the ASM light curves. The daily average data from the BATSE detectors give the source intensity level to be higher by a factor of 5. Very low flux values measured in the present experiment suggest that the hard X-ray source may have been partially occulted by the primary companion during its transit near the X-ray minimum.

    • Hard X-ray spectrum of Mkn 421 during the active phase

      R. K. Manchanda

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      Spectral measurement of Mkn 421 were made in the hard X-ray energy band of 20–200 keV using a high sensitivity, large area scintillation counter telescope on November 21, 2000 and these coincided with the onset of an active X-ray phase as seen in the ASM counting rates on board RXTE. The observed spectrum can not be fitted to a single power law similar to the PDS data of BeppoSAX. The data can be fitted both by a two component power-law function or a combination of an exponential function with a power law component at the high energies above 80 keV. We identify these components with those arising from the synchrotron self compton and the high energy power-law tail arising from the upgrading of the thermal photons due to multiple Compton scattering a la Cyg X-1. A comparison with the earlier data clearly suggests a spectral variability in the hard X-ray spectrum of the source. We propose a continuously flaring geometry for the source as the underlying mechanism for energy release.

    • Preface

      R. K. Manchanda B. Paul

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    • Spectral measurements of Cyg X-3: A thermal source embedded in hot plasma within a cold shell

      R. K. Manchanda

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      The attempts at unified model fitting to explain the spectral variations in Cyg X-3 suggest equally probable fits with a combination of an absorbed blackbody and a separately absorbed power law with an exponential cut-off or a composite of absorbed free-free emission with a power law hard X-ray component apart from the iron emission line. These seemingly ordinary but ad hoc mixtures of simple X-ray emission mechanisms have a profound implication about the geometry of the X-ray source. While the first set suggests a black-hole nature of the compact object, the second combination is consistent with a neutron star binary picture. The spectral variability at hard X-ray energies above 30 keV can provide crucial input for the unified picture. In this paper, we present spectral observations of Cyg X-3, made in our on-going survey of galactic and extragalactic X-ray sources in the 20–200 keV energy region, using Large Area Scintillation counter Experiment. The data show a clear power-law photon spectrum of the form dN/dE ∼ E−2.8 in the 20 to 130 keV energy range. A comparison with earlier data suggests that the total number of X-ray photons in the entire 2–500 keV energy band is conserved at all time for a given luminosity level irrespective of the state. We propose that this behaviour can be explained by a simple geometry in which a thermal X-ray source is embedded in a hot plasma formed by winds from the accretion disk within a cold shell. The high/soft and low/hard X-ray states of the source are simply the manifestation of the extent of the surrounding scattering medium in which the seed photons are Comptonized and hot plasma can be maintained by either the X-ray driven winds or the magneto-centrifugal winds.

    • Spectral variability in hard X-rays and the evidence for a 13.5 years period in the bright quasar 3C273

      R. K. Manchanda

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      We report the observation of nearest quasar 3C273 made with LASE instrument on November 20th, 1998 as a part of our continuing programme of balloon borne hard X-ray observations in the 20–200 keV band using high sensitivity Large Area Scintillation counter Experiment. Our data clearly show a steep spectrum in the 20–200 keV with power law spectral indexα = 2.26 ± 0.07. This is in complete contrast to the reported data from OSSE and BeppoSAX which suggest the value of 1.3 to 1.6 for the power law index in the X-ray energy band, but is quite consistent with the value derived for the high energy gamma ray data. A single power law fit in the X-ray and gamma ray energy bands points to a common origin of these photons and the absence of spectral break around 1 MeV as suggested in literature. We have reanalyzed the available data to study the temporal variability of the spectrum in the hard X-ray band. Our analysis reveals that 50 keV flux from the source, shows a strong modulation with a period of about 13.5 years. The analysis of the optical light curve of the source also supports the 5000 day period. We discuss the emission mechanism and the possible sites for X-ray photons along with the implications of the long term periodicity with respect to source geometry.

    • Large Area X-Ray Proportional Counter (LAXPC) Instrument on AstroSat and Some Preliminary Results from its Performance in the Orbit

      P. C. Agrawal J. S. Yadav H. M. Antia Dhiraj Dedhia P. Shah Jai Verdhan Chauhan R. K. Manchanda V. R. Chitnis V. M. Gujar Tilak Katoch V. N. Kurhade P. Madhwani T. K. Manojkumar V. A. Nikam A. S. Pandya J. V. Parmar D. M. Pawar Jayashree Roy B. Paul Mayukh Pahari Ranjeev Misra M. H. Ravichandran K. Anilkumar C. C. Joseph K. H. Navalgund R. Pandiyan K. S. Sarma K. Subbarao

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      Large area X-ray propositional counter (LAXPC) instrument on AstroSat is aimed at providing high time resolution X-ray observations in 3–80 keV energy band with moderate energy resolution. To achieve large collecting area, a cluster of three co-aligned identical LAXPC detectors, is used to realize an effective area in access of ∼6000cm2 at 15 keV. The large detection volume of the LAXPC detectors, filled with xenon gas at ∼2 atmosphere pressure, results in detection efficiency greater than 50%, above 30 keV. In this article, we present salient features of the LAXPC detectors, their testing and characterization in the laboratory prior to launch and calibration in the orbit. Some preliminary results on timing and spectral characteristics of a few X-ray binaries and other type of sources, are briefly discussed to demonstrate that the LAXPC instrument is performing as planned in the orbit.

    • Large Area X-ray Proportional Counter (LAXPC) in orbit performance: Calibration, background, analysis software


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      The Large Area X-ray Proportional Counter (LAXPC) instrument on-board AstroSat has three nominally identical detectors for timing and spectral studies in the energy range of 3–80 keV. The performance of these detectors during the five years after the launch of AstroSat is described. Currently, only oneof the detector is working nominally. The variation in pressure, energy resolution, gain and background with time are discussed. The capabilities and limitations of the instrument are described. A brief account of available analysis software is also provided.

    • LAXPC instrument onboard AstroSat: Five exciting years of new scientific results specially on X-ray binaries


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      With its large effective area at hard X-rays, high time resolution and having co-aligned other instruments, AstroSat/LAXPC was designed to usher in a new era in rapid variability studies and wide spectral band measurements of the X-ray binaries. Over the last five years, the instrument has successfully achieved to a significant extent these Science goals. In the coming years, it is poised to make more important discoveries. This paper highlights the primary achievements of AstroSat/LAXPC in unraveling the behavior of black hole and neutron star systems and discusses the exciting possibility of the instrument’s contributionto future science.

  • Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | News

    • Continuous Article Publication

      Posted on January 27, 2016

      Since January 2016, the Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy has moved to Continuous Article Publishing (CAP) mode. This means that each accepted article is being published immediately online with DOI and article citation ID with starting page number 1. Articles are also visible in Web of Science immediately. All these have helped shorten the publication time and have improved the visibility of the articles.

    • Editorial Note on Continuous Article Publication

      Posted on July 25, 2019

      Click here for Editorial Note on CAP Mode

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