Invariably, black hole accretion disks seem to produce plasma outflows that result in blue-shifted absorption features in their spectra1. The X-ray absorption-line properties of these outflows are diverse, ranging in velocity from non-relativistic2 (~300 km s–1) to sub-relativistic3 (~0.1c, where c is the speed of light) and a similarly broad range in the ionization states of the wind plasma2,4. We report here that semi-analytical, self-similar magnetohydrodynamic wind models that have successfully accounted for the X-ray absorber properties of supermassive black holes5,6 also offer a good fit to the high-resolution X-ray spectrum of the accreting stellar-mass black hole GRO J1655–40. This provides an explicit theoretical argument of their magnetohydrodynamic origin (aligned with earlier observational claims)7 and supports the notion of a universal magnetic structure of the observed winds across all known black hole sizes.
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We thank T. Kallman for providing us with the Chandra/HETG data for GRO J1655–40. K.F., D.K. and C.S. acknowledge support by a NASA/ADP grant. E.B. received funding from the European Unions Horizon 2020 research and innovation programm under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 655324. and from the I-CORE program of the Planning and Budgeting Committee (grant number 1937/12). Support for this work was in part provided by NASA through Chandra Award Number AR6-17013A issued by the Chandra X-ray Observatory Center, which is operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for and on behalf of NASA under contract NAS8-03060.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Fukumura, K., Kazanas, D., Shrader, C. et al. Magnetic origin of black hole winds across the mass scale. Nat Astron 1, 0062 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41550-017-0062
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