Journal Article

Revisiting the relativistic ejection event in XTE J1550−564 during the 1998 outburst

D. C. Hannikainen, R. W. Hunstead, K. Wu, V. McIntyre, J. E. J. Lovell, D. Campbell-Wilson, M. L. McCollough, J. Reynolds and A. K. Tzioumis

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 397, issue 1, pages 569-576
Published in print July 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Revisiting the relativistic ejection event in XTE J1550−564 during the 1998 outburst

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We revisit the discovery outburst of the X-ray transient XTE J1550−564 during which relativistic jets were observed in 1998 September, and review the radio images obtained with the Australian Long Baseline Array, and light curves obtained with the Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope and the Australia Telescope Compact Array. Based on Hi spectra, we constrain the source distance to between 3.3 and 4.9 kpc. The radio images, taken some 2 d apart, show the evolution of an ejection event. The apparent separation velocity of the two outermost ejecta is at least 1.3c and may be as large as 1.9c; when relativistic effects are taken into account, the inferred true velocity is ≥ 0.8c. The flux densities appear to peak simultaneously during the outburst, with a rather flat (although still optically thin) spectral index of −0.2.

Keywords: stars: individual: XTE J1550−564; radio continuum: stars; radio lines: stars; X-rays: binaries

Journal Article.  4750 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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