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The radio luminosity of persistent X-ray binaries

Fender, R.P., and Hendry, M.A. (2000) The radio luminosity of persistent X-ray binaries. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 317 (1). 1 -8. ISSN 0035-8711 (doi:10.1046/j.1365-8711.2000.03443.x)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-8711.2000.03443.x

Abstract

Summarizes all the reported detections of, and upper limits to, the radio emission from persistent (i.e. non-transient) X-ray binaries. A striking result is a common mean observed radio luminosity from the black hole candidates (BHCs) in the low/hard X-ray state and the neutron star Z sources on the horizontal X-ray branch. This implies a common mean intrinsic radio luminosity to within a factor of 25 (or less, if there is significant Doppler boosting of the radio emission). Unless coincidental, these results imply a physical mechanism for jet formation that requires neither a black hole event horizon nor a neutron star surface. As a whole the populations of atoll and X-ray pulsar systems are less luminous by factors of gt or approximately=5 and gt or approximately=10 at radio wavelengths than the BHCs and Z sources (while some atoll sources have been detected, no high-field X-ray pulsar has ever been reliably detected as a radio source). The authors suggest that all of the persistent BHCs and the Z sources generate, at least sporadically, an outflow with physical dimensions gt or=10/sup 12/ cm; that is, significantly larger than the binary separations of most of the systems. The authors compare the physical conditions of accretion in each of the types of persistent X-ray binary and conclude that a relatively low ( lt or=10/sup 10/ G) magnetic field associated with the accreting object, and a high ( gt or=0.1 Eddington) accretion rate and/or dramatic physical change in the accretion flow, are required for formation of a radio-emitting outflow or jet.

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hendry, Prof Martin
Authors: Fender, R.P., and Hendry, M.A.
Subjects:Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
ISSN:0035-8711
ISSN (Online):1365-2966

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