Abstract

In this Paper we report on radio (VLA and ATCA) and X-ray (RXTE, Chandra and Swift) observations of the outburst decay of the transient black hole candidate H1743-322 in early 2008. We find that the X-ray light curve followed an exponential decay, leveling off towards its quiescent level. The exponential decay timescale is ~4 days and the quiescent flux corresponds to a luminosity of 3x10^32 (d/7.5 kpc)^2 erg/s. This together with the relation between quiescent X-ray luminosity and orbital period reported in the literature suggests that H1743-322 has an orbital period longer than ~10 hours. Both the radio and X-ray light curve show evidence for flares. The radio - X-ray correlation can be well described by a power-law with index ~0.18. This is much lower than the index of 0.6-0.7 found for the decay of several black hole transients before. The radio spectral index measured during one of the radio flares while the source is in the low-hard state, is -0.5+-0.15, which indicates that the radio emission is optically thin. This is unlike what has been found before in black hole sources in the low-hard state. We attribute the radio flares and the low index for the radio - X-ray correlation to the presence of shocks downstream the jet flow, triggered by ejection events earlier in the outburst. We find no evidence for a change in X-ray power law spectral index during the decay, although the relatively high extinction of N_H =2.3x10^22 cm^-2 limits the detected number of soft photons and thus the accuracy of the spectral fits.

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