Journal Article

The physical parameters of the microquasar S26 in the Sculptor Group galaxy NGC 7793

M. A. Dopita, J. L. Payne, M. D. Filipović and T. G. Pannuti

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 427, issue 2, pages 956-967
Published in print December 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online December 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
The physical parameters of the microquasar S26 in the Sculptor Group galaxy NGC 7793

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NGC 7793−S26 is an extended source (350 pc × 185 pc) previously studied in the radio, optical and X-ray domains. It has been identified as a microquasar which has inflated a superbubble. We used integral-field spectra from the Wide-Field Spectrograph on the ANU 2.3-m telescope to analyse spectra between 3600 and 7000 Å. This allowed us to derive fluxes and line ratios for selected nebular lines. Applying radiative shock model diagnostics, we estimate shock velocities, densities, radiative ages and pressures across the object. We show that S26 is just entering its radiative phase, and that the northern and western regions are dominated by partially radiative shocks due to a lower density interstellar medium in these directions. We determine a velocity of expansion along the jet of 330 km s−1, and a velocity of expansion of the bubble in the minor axis direction of 132 km s−1. We determine the age of the structure to be 4.1 × 105 yr, and the jet energy flux to be (4–10) × 1040 erg s−1. The jet appears to be collimated within ∼0.25°, and to undergo very little precession. If the relativistic β ∼ 1/3, then some 4 M of relativistic matter has already been processed through the jet. We conclude that the central object in S26 is probably a black hole with a mass typical of the ultraluminous X-ray source population which is currently consuming a fairly massive companion through Roche lobe accretion.

Keywords: stars: winds, outflows; ISM: abundances; ISM: bubbles; ISM: jets and outflows; galaxies: individual: NGC 7793; X-rays: binaries

Journal Article.  6030 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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