A CLOSE LOOK INTO THE OUTBURST EVOLUTION OF BLACK HOLE X-RAY BINARIES
X-ray observations performed by several missions during the last few decades have provided a very large data base on black hole X-ray binaries. Many of these objects are transient systems that spend most part of their lives in quiescence, showing occasional outburst where their luminosity increases up to eight orders of magnitude. I will review the state-of-the-art in the field, focussing on the different accretion regimes observed in these sources. In the second part of the talk I will concentrate on the influence that the orbital inclination (i.e., viewing angle) has in the spectral properties of black hole binaries, with emphasis on the detection of relativistic effects in the inner accretion flow surrounding the black hole.