Parsec-scale Bipolar X-ray Shocks Produced by Powerful Jets from the Neutron Star Circinus X-1

Type Journal Article
Names P. H. Sell, S. Heinz, D. E. Calvelo, V. Tudose, P. Soleri, R. P. Fender, P. G. Jonker, N. S. Schulz, W. N. Brandt, M. A. Nowak, R. Wijnands, M. van der Klis, P. Casella
Publication The Astrophysical Journal Letters
Volume 719
Issue 2
Pages L194-L198
Date August 1, 2010
Library Catalog NASA ADS
Abstract We report the discovery of multi-scale X-ray jets from the accreting neutron star X-ray binary, Circinus X-1. The bipolar outflows show wide opening angles and are spatially coincident with the radio jets seen in new high-resolution radio images of the region. The morphology of the emission regions suggests that the jets from Circinus X-1 are running into a terminal shock with the interstellar medium, as is seen in powerful radio galaxies. This and other observations indicate that the jets have a wide opening angle, suggesting that the jets are either not very well collimated or precessing. We interpret the spectra from the shocks as cooled synchrotron emission and derive a cooling age of ~1600 yr. This allows us to constrain the jet power to be 3 × 1035 erg s-1 <~ P jet <~ 2 × 1037 erg s-1, making this one of a few microquasars with a direct measurement of its jet power and the only known microquasar that exhibits stationary large-scale X-ray emission.
Tags ISM: jets and outflows, X-Rays: Binaries, X-rays: individual: Circinus X-1
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