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NuSTAR reveals the hidden nature of SS433

NuSTAR reveals the hidden nature of SS433
NuSTAR reveals the hidden nature of SS433
SS433 is the only Galactic binary system known to persistently accrete at highly super-critical (or hyper-critical) rates, similar to those in tidal disruption events, and likely needed to explain the rapid growth of those very high redshift quasars containing massive SMBHs. Probing the inner regions of SS433 in the X-rays is crucial to understanding this system, and super-critical accretion in general, but is highly challenging due to obscuration by the surrounding wind, driven from the accretion flow. NuSTAR observed SS433 in the hard X-ray band across multiple phases of its 162 day super-orbital precession period. Spectraltiming tools allow us to infer that the hard X-ray emission from the inner regions is likely being scattered towards us by the walls of the wind-cone. By comparing to numerical models, we determine an intrinsic X-ray luminosity of ≥ 2×1037 erg/s and that, if viewed face on, we would infer an apparent luminosity of > 1×1039 erg/s, confirming SS433’s long-suspected nature as an ultraluminous X-ray source (ULX). We present the discovery of a narrow, ∼ 100 s lag due to atomic processes occurring in outflowing material travelling at least 0.14-0.29c, which matches absorption lines seen in ULXs and – in the future – will allow us to map a super-critical outflow for the first time.
0035-8711
Middleton, M.J.
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Walton, D.J.
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Alston, W.
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Dauser, T.
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Eikenberry, S.
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Jiang, Y-F.
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Fabian, A.C.
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Fuerst, F.
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Brightman, M.
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Marshall, H.
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Harrison, F.A.
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Bachetti, M.
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Altamirano, Diego
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Bird, Antony
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Perez, Gilad
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Miller-Jones, J.
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Charles, P.
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Boggs, S.
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Christensen, Finn
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Craig, W.
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Forster, K.
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Grefenstette, B.
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Hailey, C.
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Madsen, K.
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Middleton, M.J.
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Walton, D.J.
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Alston, W.
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Dauser, T.
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Eikenberry, S.
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Jiang, Y-F.
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Fabian, A.C.
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Fuerst, F.
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Brightman, M.
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Marshall, H.
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Parker, M.
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Pinto, C.
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Harrison, F.A.
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Bachetti, M.
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Altamirano, Diego
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Bird, Antony
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Perez, Gilad
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Miller-Jones, J.
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Charles, P.
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Boggs, S.
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Christensen, Finn
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Craig, W.
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Forster, K.
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Grefenstette, B.
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Hailey, C.
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Madsen, K.
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Stern, D.
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Zhang, W.
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Middleton, M.J., Walton, D.J., Alston, W., Dauser, T., Eikenberry, S., Jiang, Y-F., Fabian, A.C., Fuerst, F., Brightman, M., Marshall, H., Parker, M., Pinto, C., Harrison, F.A., Bachetti, M., Altamirano, Diego, Bird, Antony, Perez, Gilad, Miller-Jones, J., Charles, P., Boggs, S., Christensen, Finn, Craig, W., Forster, K., Grefenstette, B., Hailey, C., Madsen, K., Stern, D. and Zhang, W. (2021) NuSTAR reveals the hidden nature of SS433. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. (In Press)

Record type: Article

Abstract

SS433 is the only Galactic binary system known to persistently accrete at highly super-critical (or hyper-critical) rates, similar to those in tidal disruption events, and likely needed to explain the rapid growth of those very high redshift quasars containing massive SMBHs. Probing the inner regions of SS433 in the X-rays is crucial to understanding this system, and super-critical accretion in general, but is highly challenging due to obscuration by the surrounding wind, driven from the accretion flow. NuSTAR observed SS433 in the hard X-ray band across multiple phases of its 162 day super-orbital precession period. Spectraltiming tools allow us to infer that the hard X-ray emission from the inner regions is likely being scattered towards us by the walls of the wind-cone. By comparing to numerical models, we determine an intrinsic X-ray luminosity of ≥ 2×1037 erg/s and that, if viewed face on, we would infer an apparent luminosity of > 1×1039 erg/s, confirming SS433’s long-suspected nature as an ultraluminous X-ray source (ULX). We present the discovery of a narrow, ∼ 100 s lag due to atomic processes occurring in outflowing material travelling at least 0.14-0.29c, which matches absorption lines seen in ULXs and – in the future – will allow us to map a super-critical outflow for the first time.

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NuSTAR reveals the hidden nature of SS433 - Version of Record
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Accepted/In Press date: 27 April 2021
Additional Information: ARXIV IS AM

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 449374
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/449374
ISSN: 0035-8711
PURE UUID: 3d63a2ff-2b9c-44fa-bf9d-f16c297e1204
ORCID for Diego Altamirano: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3422-0074
ORCID for Antony Bird: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6888-8937

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 26 May 2021 16:32
Last modified: 22 Nov 2021 03:06

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Contributors

Author: M.J. Middleton
Author: D.J. Walton
Author: W. Alston
Author: T. Dauser
Author: S. Eikenberry
Author: Y-F. Jiang
Author: A.C. Fabian
Author: F. Fuerst
Author: M. Brightman
Author: H. Marshall
Author: M. Parker
Author: C. Pinto
Author: F.A. Harrison
Author: M. Bachetti
Author: Antony Bird ORCID iD
Author: Gilad Perez
Author: J. Miller-Jones
Author: P. Charles
Author: S. Boggs
Author: Finn Christensen
Author: W. Craig
Author: K. Forster
Author: B. Grefenstette
Author: C. Hailey
Author: K. Madsen
Author: D. Stern
Author: W. Zhang

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