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Low-frequency radio observations of jets from X-ray binaries

Low-frequency radio observations of jets from X-ray binaries

James Miller-Jones
LOFAR and the Transient Radio Sky, Amsterdam, December 2008

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transientskp

June 18, 2012
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  1. James Miller-Jones Jansky Fellow, NRAO jmiller@nrao.edu Anna Kapinska, Katherine Blundell,

    and The LOFAR Transients Key Project collaboration (Fender, Stappers, Wijers et al.)
  2. ¨  Compact objects in binary systems with less evolved stars

    ¨  X-rays emitted from the central regions ¨  Radio emission from jets ¨  Accretion and ejection fundamentally linked
  3. ¨  All X-ray binaries thought to produce jets ¨  Compact,

    flat-spectrum jets exist in quiescence ¨  Bright, relativistic jets observed during outburst Mirabel & Rodriguez (1994) Fuchs et al. (2003)
  4. Fender, Belloni & Gallo (2004)

  5. ¨  Census of transient sources ¨  Duty cycles ¨  Impact

    on the environment ¨  Energetics via calorimetry ¨  Shape of the low-energy electron distribution ¨  Absorption properties of the surrounding gas
  6. ¨  Delayed rise, lower peak at low frequencies ¨  Smoothed-out

    lightcurves
  7. ¨  X-ray binaries exhibit different ‘states’ ¨  Jet properties related

    to X-ray state ¨  Compact hard state jet ¨  Lorentz factor increases as intensity rises ¨  Internal shocks cause outbursts ¨  Constrain duty cycles using a proper census Fender, Belloni & Gallo (2004) Migliari & Fender (2006)
  8. ¨  Constant input of energy and momentum into ISM ¨ 

    Jets can inflate bubbles in their surroundings ¨  Few known examples; most jets in dynamically underpressured, underdense environments Gallo et al. (2005) Tudose et al. (2006)
  9. ¨  Synchrotron energy spectra are power laws ¨  Measure low

    frequency spectrum to determine power-law shape ¨  Determines if a low- energy cutoff exists ¨  Implications for electron acceleration mechanisms ¨  Low-frequency turnover can constrain surrounding gas density van der Horst (2007)
  10. ¨  High-energy processes lead to radio and X-ray emission ¨ 

    RXTE ASM shows variable X-ray sky ¨  Large fields of view at low frequencies make radio sky monitoring possible
  11. ¨  Take X-ray luminosity function, use Fundamental Plane ¨  Convolve

    with Galactic distribution ¨  Expect several XRBs detectable at all times, plus transients Heinz & Grimm (2005)
  12. Instrument Frequency range (MHz) Primary beam (deg) Resolution (arcsec) Sensitivity

    (mJy/bm) VLA 74 700 24-850 15 (12h) 330 150 6-200 0.2 (12h) GMRT 151 186 20/420 1.5 235 114 13/270 0.6 325 81 9/200 0.3 WSRT 117-175 300-480 104-160 3-5 310-390 160 55 0.25
  13. ¨  Fixed dipoles, rather than steerable dishes ¨  Split into

    compact core and extended array ¨  Full polarization imaging ¨  Point source sensitivity: ¡  0.4 mJy (1h, high band, full array) ¡  11-20 mJy (1h, low band, full array) ¨  Synthesised beam 3-20” (full array), 1-14’ (core only)
  14. ¨  5 quiescent black hole systems ¨  Not detected by

    GMRT at 1280, 610 or 235 MHz Source Epochs 235-MHz upper limit (mJy) log10(LX ) (erg/s) Predicted LR (mJy) XTE J1118+480 7 <4.8 30.5 9x10-3 GRO J1655-40 4 <5.7 31.2 8x10-3 XTE J1748-288 4 <3.8 - GRS 1758-258 8 <3.7 - 1E 1740.7-2942 8 <4.2 - Pandey et al. (2007)
  15. ¨  Persistent sources detected below 1 GHz ¨  All unresolved

    Pandey et al. (2007) Pandey et al. (2006) Sco X-1 0.61 GHz Cyg X-1 0.61 GHz Cyg X-3 0.61 GHz
  16. ¨  Persistent sources detected below 1 GHz ¨  All unresolved

    LS 5039 330 MHz
  17. ¨  Cyg X-1, Cyg X-3, Sco X-1, LSI +61 303:

    α>0 ¨  SS 433, LS 5039: α<0 Cyg X-1 SS433 Pandey et al. (2007) α=-0.25, -0.1, 0.26 α=-0.69 to -1.05
  18. ¨  Soft X-ray transient ¨  2002 May flare ¨  GMRT/VLA

    monitoring ¨  Gradually becomes optically thin Ishwara-Chandra et al. (2006)
  19. ¨  Highly variable at 610 MHz

  20. ¨  Classical self- absorbed spectrum 13 . 0 G) mas)/(B/1

    /1 ( 1/4 ≈ θ ¨  Within 2d, turnover had decreased to <610 MHz
  21. ¨  Flare in 1998 April ¨  VLBI monitoring ¨  Smothered

    jet Mioduszewski & Rupen (2004)
  22. ¨  Delayed rise of the low frequency emission

  23. ¨  Most massive known stellar-mass black hole (14±4 MO )

    ¨  Archetypal microquasar: compact jet and occasional relativistic outbursts ¨  Two IRAS sources equidistant and aligned with the jet axis ¨  Proposed as the interactions of the jet with the ISM Rodriguez & Mirabel (1998) Kaiser et al. (2004)
  24. ¨  rms 5.5 and 60 mJy/bm ¨  GRS 1915+105 detected

    at ~4σ at 330 MHz (21.4 mJy)
  25. ¨  Steep spectrum from 244 to 610 MHz ¨  S

    ν α ν-1.57 ¨  Optically-thin synchrotron emission Ishwara-Chandra et al. (2005)
  26. None
  27. ¨  Extrapolate steep spectrum to 15GHz ¨  Implies flux density

    of 1- 2 mJy ¨  Spectrum must flatten Dhawan et al. (2000) Mirabel & Rodriguez (1994), Fender et al. (1999)
  28. Image courtesy G. Pooley

  29. ¨  High-mass X-ray binary with Wolf-Rayet companion ¨  Occasional very

    strong radio flares (to ~20 Jy) ¨  VLBA observations indicate a relativistic jet ¨  No evidence for proposed hotspot candidates Miller-Jones et al. (2004)
  30. ¨  Source not detected ¨  Constrains spectral index α>0.5 (Sν

    α να)
  31. ¨  Rose out of pre-flare quench state on 2006 May

    4 ¨  Peaked at ~14 Jy at 15 GHz on May 9 ¨  e-VLBI imaging detects jet-like structures ¨  GMRT 610-MHz monitoring shows flux density rising from May 10-12 Tudose et al. (2007)
  32. ¨  27 July 2005 ¨  rms 42 mJy bm-1 ¨ 

    Non-detection ¨  20 May 2006 ¨  rms 15 mJy bm-1 ¨  Detection at 1.02 Jy bm-1
  33. ¨  May 17,20: spectrum from 140MHz – 30GHz ¨  Still

    not optically thin at lowest frequencies ¨  Rise time > 16d
  34. ¨  Super-Eddington X-ray binary ¨  Precessing jets trace out corkscrew

    pattern ¨  Jets inflate W50 nebula Dubner et al. (1998) Blundell & Bowler (2004)
  35. ¨  Simultaneous dual- frequency observations ¨  Ionospheric imaging algorithm ¨ 

    11.9o primary beam ¨  B-D configuration ¨  rms 190 mJy/bm ¨  W50 nebula detected ¨  SS433 detected ¨  SNRs in Galactic Plane
  36. ¨  SS433 detected and variable at 74 MHz ¨  W50

    has unbroken integrated spectrum down to 74 MHz ¨  Eastern wing shows spectral turnover
  37. ¨  A-configuration observations just after a flare ¨  Spectrum turned

    over at 1 GHz ¨  B, C configurations show an unbroken steep spectrum
  38. ¨  Quasi-simultaneous observations at 310-380 and 115-170 MHz ¨  8

    simultaneous spectral windows ¨  SS433 also detected in both bands ¨  Inverted spectrum suggests new component ejected
  39. ¨  Plenty of XRBs will be bright enough to monitor

    in the hard state ¨  Several transient outbursts per year will be detected ¨  Primarily explosive synchrotron events ¨  Slow evolution and long timescales at low frequencies ¨  Bright for many weeks to months after outburst ¨  Good census of transient sources
  40. ¨  Persistent X-ray binaries are also radio loud at low

    frequencies ¨  X-ray binaries show low-frequency variability ¨  Wide fields of view available enable radio sky monitoring for the first time ¨  Delayed rise in synchrotron events ¨  Low surface brightness sensitivity key to probing environments ¨  Good prospects for LOFAR!