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By National Research Council, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications Commission on Physical Sciences, Board on Physics and Astronomy, Space Studies Board, Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics

ISBN-10: 0309058279

ISBN-13: 9780309058278

Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics, area reviews Board, Board on Physics and Astronomy, arithmetic, and functions fee on actual Sciences, department on Engineering and actual Sciences, nationwide examine Council

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To better understand these issues, the sample of candidate black holes should be significantly extended by conducting an all-sky, hard x-ray, imaging survey. Follow-up optical and infrared spectroscopy will be needed to measure the system mass functions and black hole masses and thereby determine the mass function for stellar-mass black holes. 9. Exploring the astrophysical nature of black hole transients. The physics of accretion disks is reflected in their light curves. Obtaining multiwavelength light curves of black hole transients requires optical all-sky monitors coordinated with both all-sky and detailed imaging and spectroscopic observations at hard x-ray and gamma-ray wavelengths.

These lines trace the energy budget, the warm ionized and neutral medium, and warm molecular gas throughout the disk and halo. Not only would a [C II] and [O I] survey locate the diffuse clouds in the galaxy, but comparison with H I (21-cm) surveys and infrared continuum surveys would also reveal the density and temperature structure of the clouds. The mapping of [N II] will trace the leakage of ionizing photons from massive stars in the disk into the halo. The first two H2 rotational lines at 28 µm and 17 µm will be observed primarily in photodissociation regions, the warm outer envelopes of GMCs illuminated by intense far-ultraviolet fluxes from regions of active star formation.

One of the most exciting recent discoveries in stellar astrophysics was the identification of a new class of binary star systems containing black hole candidates. Rather than orbiting massive stars, as in the case of Cygnus X-l, these black holes generally have low-mass companions. They are revealed by strong, transient x-ray emissions, often accompanied by optical and radio outbursts, and they provide a new wealth of observational detail and a challenge to theories of the origin, evolution, and astrophysical manifestation of black holes.

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A New Science Strategy for Space Astronomy and Astrophysics by National Research Council, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications Commission on Physical Sciences, Board on Physics and Astronomy, Space Studies Board, Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics


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