An application of Hilbert-Huang transform on the non-stationary astronomical time series: The superorbital modulation of SMC X-1

Chin Ping Hu, Yi Chou, Ming Chya Wu, Ting Chang Yang, Yi Hao Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present the Hilbert-Huang transform (HHT) analysis on the quasi-periodic modulation of SMC X-1. SMC X-1, consisting of a neutron star and a massive companion, exhibits superorbital modulation with a period varying between ~40 d and ~65 d. We applied the HHT on the light curve observed by the All-Sky Monitor onboard Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) to obtain the instantaneous frequency of the superorbital modulation of SMC X-1. The resultant Hilbert spectrum is consistent with the dynamic power spectrum while it shows more detailed information in both the time and frequency domains. According to the instantaneous frequency, we found a correlation between the superorbital period and the modulation amplitude. Combining the spectral observation made by the Proportional Counter Array onboard RXTE and the superorbital phase derived in the HHT, we performed a superorbital phase-resolved spectral analysis of SMC X-1. An analysis of the spectral parameters versus the orbital phase for different superorbital states revealed that the diversity of nH has an orbital dependence. Furthermore, we obtained the variation in the eclipse profiles by folding the All Sky Monitor light curve with orbital period for different superorbital states. A dip feature, similar to the pre-eclipse dip of Her X-1, can be observed only in the superorbital ascending and descending states, while the width is anti-correlated with the X-ray flux.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-82
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Astronomy and Space Sciences
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Hilbert-Huang transform
  • SMC X-1
  • Superorbital modulations
  • X-ray binaries

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