Properties of unique hard X-ray dips observed from GRS 1915+105 and IGR J17091-3624 and their implications
We report a comprehensive study on spectral and timing properties of hard X-ray dips uniquely observed in some so-called variability classes of the micro-quasars GRS 1915+105 and IGR J17091-3624. These dips are characterized by a sudden decline in the 2.0-60.0 keV X-ray intensity by a factor of 4-12 simultaneous with the increase in hardness ratio by a factor of 2-4. Using 31 observations of GRS 1915+105 with RXTE/PCA, we show that different behavior are observed in different types of variability classes, and we find that a dichotomy is observed between classes with abrupt transitions vs those with smoother evolution. For example, both energy-lag spectra and frequency-lag spectra of hard X-ray dips in classes with abrupt transitions and shorter dip intervals show hard-lag (hard photons lag soft photons), while both lag spectra during hard dips in classes with smoother evolution and longer dip intervals show soft-lag. Both lag time-scales are of the order of 100-600 msec. We also show that timing and spectral properties of hard X-ray dips observed in light curves of IGR J17091-3624 during its 2011 outburst are consistent with the properties of the abrupt transitions in GRS 1915+105 rather than smooth evolution. A global correlation between the X-ray intensity cycle time and hard dip time is observed for both abrupt and smooth transition which may be due to two distinct physical processes whose time-scales are eventually correlated. We discuss implications of our results in the light of some generic models.