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Paper: X-ray Echoes of Infrared Flaring in Sgr A*
Volume: 439, The Galactic Center: a Window to the Nuclear Environment of Disk Galaxies
Page: 450
Authors: Wardle, M.
Abstract: Sgr A* exhibits flaring in the infrared several times each day, occasionally accompanied by flaring in X-rays. The infrared flares are believed to arise through synchrotron emission from a transient population of accelerated electrons. The X-ray flaring has been interpreted as self-synchrotron-compton, inverse compton, or synchrotron emission associated with the transient electrons. Here I consider the upscattering of infrared flare photons by relativistic thermal electrons in the accretion flow around Sgr A*. Typical profiles of electron density and temperature in the accretion flow are adopted and the X-ray light curves produced by upscattering of infrared flare photons by the accretion flow are computed. Peak X-ray luminosities between 1033 and 1034 erg s-1 are attained for a 10 mJy near-infrared flare, compatible with observed coincident infrared/X-ray flares from Sgr A*. Even if this process is not responsible for the observed flares it still presents a serious constraint on accretion flow models, which must avoid over-producing X-rays and also predicting observable time lags between flaring in infrared and in X-rays. Future high-resolution infrared instrumentation will be able to place the location of the infrared flare and in coordination with the X-ray would severely constrain the disc geometry and the radial profiles of electron density and temperature in the accretion flow.
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