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The Innermost Extremes of Black Hole Accretion


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      The inner 20 gravitational radii around the black hole at the centre of luminous Active Galactic Nuclei and stellar mass Black Hole Binaries are now being routinely mapped by X-ray spectral-timing techniques. Spectral blurring and reverberation of the reflection spectrum are key tools in this work. In the most extreme AGN cases with high black hole spin, when the source appears in a low state, observations probe the region within 1 gravitational radius of the event horizon. The location, size and operation of the corona, which generates the power-law X-ray continuum, are also being revealed.

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      High energy astrophysical phenomena


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