Rapid compact jet quenching in the Galactic black hole candidate X-ray binary MAXI J1535-571
Journal article, 2020

We present results from six epochs of quasi-simultaneous radio, (sub-)millimetre, infrared, optical, and X-ray observations of the black hole X-ray binary MAXI J1535-571. These observations show that as the source transitioned through the hard-intermediate X-ray state towards the soft-intermediate X-ray state, the jet underwent dramatic and rapid changes. We observed the frequency of the jet spectral break, which corresponds to the most compact region in the jet where particle acceleration begins (higher frequencies indicate closer to the black hole), evolves from the infrared band into the radio band (decreasing by approximate to 3 orders of magnitude) in less than a day. During one observational epoch, we found evidence of the jet spectral break evolving in frequency through the radio band. Estimating the magnetic field and size of the particle acceleration region shows that the rapid fading of the high-energy jet emission was not consistent with radiative cooling; instead, the particle acceleration region seems to be moving away from the black hole on approximately dynamical time-scales. This result suggests that the compact jet quenching is not caused by local changes to the particle acceleration, rather we are observing the acceleration region of the jet travelling away from the black hole with the jet flow. Spectral analysis of the X-ray emission shows a gradual softening in the few days before the dramatic jet changes, followed by a more rapid softening similar to 1-2 d after the onset of the jet quenching.

accretion, accretion discs

X-rays: binaries

acceleration of particles

submillimetre: general

X-rays: individual (MAXI J1535-571)

ISM: jets and outflows


T. D. Russell

University of Amsterdam

M. Lucchini

University of Amsterdam

A. J. Tetarenko

East Asian Observatory

University of Alberta

J. C. A. Miller-Jones

Curtin University

G. R. Sivakoff

University of Alberta

F. Krau

Pennsylvania State University

University of Amsterdam

W. Mulaudzi

University of Cape Town

M. C. Baglio

Istituto nazionale di astrofisica (INAF)

New York University Abu Dhabi

D. M. Russell

New York University Abu Dhabi

D. Altamirano

University of Southampton

Chiara Ceccobello

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Astronomy and Plasmaphysics, Galactic Astrophysics

S. Corbel

Paris Diderot University

Université Paris PSL

N. Degenaar

University of Amsterdam

J. van den Eijnden

University of Amsterdam

R. Fender

University of Oxford

S. Heinz

University of Wisconsin Madison

K. I. I. Koljonen

University of Turku

Aalto University

D. Maitra

Wheaton College

S. Markoff

University of Amsterdam

S. Migliari

European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC)

University of Barcelona

A. S. Parikh

University of Amsterdam

R. M. Plotkin

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

M. Rupen

National Research Council Canada

C. Sarazin

University of Virginia

R. Soria

The University of Sydney

Chinese Academy of Sciences

R. Wijnands

University of Amsterdam

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

0035-8711 (ISSN) 1365-2966 (eISSN)

Vol. 498 4 5772-5785

Subject Categories

Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences

Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology

Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics



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