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In the introduction to this paper (https://arxiv.org/abs/1803.06423) it is mentioned that disk-like spectra was observed in black hole X-ray binaries, when models would expected to be unstable (potentially giving rise to disk break down into alternating rings of high surface density low stress and high stress low density).

Can someone explain how exactly are disk like structures identified from the spectral observations (compare that spectra to such potential alternating ring structures)?

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