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Fast infrared variability from a relativistic jet in GX 339--4

Fast infrared variability from a relativistic jet in GX 339--4
Fast infrared variability from a relativistic jet in GX 339--4
We present the discovery of fast infrared/X-ray correlated variability in the black-hole transient GX 339-4. The source was observed with sub-second time resolution simultaneously with VLT/ISAAC and RXTE/PCA in August 2008, during its persistent low-flux highly variable hard state. The data show a strong correlated variability, with the infrared emission lagging the X-ray emission by 100 ms. The short time delay and the nearly symmetric cross-correlation function, together with the measured brightness temperature of 2.5 106 K, indicate that the bright and highly variable infrared emission most likely comes from a jet near the black hole. Under standard assumptions about jet physics, the measured time delay can provide us a lower limit of Γ > 2 for the Lorentz factor of the jet. This suggests that jets from stellar-mass black holes are at least mildly relativistic near their launching region. We discuss implications for future applications of this technique.
0035-8711
1-5
Casella, P.
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Maccarone, T. .J.
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O'Brien, K.
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Fender, R.P.
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Russell, D.M.
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van der Klis, M.
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Pe'er, A.
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Maitra, M.
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Altamirano, D.
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Belloni, T.
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Kanbach, G.
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Klien-Wolt, M.
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Mason, E.
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Soleri, P.
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Stefanescu, A.
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Wiersema, K.
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Wijnands, R.
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Casella, P.
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Maccarone, T. .J.
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O'Brien, K.
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Fender, R.P.
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Russell, D.M.
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van der Klis, M.
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Pe'er, A.
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Maitra, M.
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Altamirano, D.
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Belloni, T.
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Kanbach, G.
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Klien-Wolt, M.
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Mason, E.
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Soleri, P.
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Stefanescu, A.
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Wiersema, K.
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Wijnands, R.
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Casella, P., Maccarone, T. .J., O'Brien, K., Fender, R.P., Russell, D.M., van der Klis, M., Pe'er, A., Maitra, M., Altamirano, D., Belloni, T., Kanbach, G., Klien-Wolt, M., Mason, E., Soleri, P., Stefanescu, A., Wiersema, K. and Wijnands, R. (2009) Fast infrared variability from a relativistic jet in GX 339--4. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 1-5.

Record type: Article

Abstract

We present the discovery of fast infrared/X-ray correlated variability in the black-hole transient GX 339-4. The source was observed with sub-second time resolution simultaneously with VLT/ISAAC and RXTE/PCA in August 2008, during its persistent low-flux highly variable hard state. The data show a strong correlated variability, with the infrared emission lagging the X-ray emission by 100 ms. The short time delay and the nearly symmetric cross-correlation function, together with the measured brightness temperature of 2.5 106 K, indicate that the bright and highly variable infrared emission most likely comes from a jet near the black hole. Under standard assumptions about jet physics, the measured time delay can provide us a lower limit of Γ > 2 for the Lorentz factor of the jet. This suggests that jets from stellar-mass black holes are at least mildly relativistic near their launching region. We discuss implications for future applications of this technique.

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Published date: 8 December 2009

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Local EPrints ID: 69884
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/69884
ISSN: 0035-8711
PURE UUID: 44f09063-1cb5-405e-9cf5-3dcba2dacfe1

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Date deposited: 04 Jan 2010
Last modified: 19 Jun 2018 16:32

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Contributors

Author: P. Casella
Author: T. .J. Maccarone
Author: K. O'Brien
Author: R.P. Fender
Author: D.M. Russell
Author: M. van der Klis
Author: A. Pe'er
Author: M. Maitra
Author: D. Altamirano
Author: T. Belloni
Author: G. Kanbach
Author: M. Klien-Wolt
Author: E. Mason
Author: P. Soleri
Author: A. Stefanescu
Author: K. Wiersema
Author: R. Wijnands

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