CfA Colloquium: April 3, 2003

Speaker: Stephane Corbel (Saclay)

Title: Relativistic Jets from X-ray Binaries (Microquasars)

Abstract: In this talk, I will summarize the observational connections between accretion flows and relativistic outflows in X-ray binaries. I will show that jets are now believed to be a fairly ubiquitous property of accreting compact object. I discuss broad patterns that are emerging from these studies, such as a correlation between hard X-ray states and the presence of radio emission, and the related anti-correlation between jet strength and mass-accretion rate. The recent discovery of large scale moving relativistic X-ray jets from the microquasar XTE J1550-564 (Corbel et al. 2002, Sci., 298, 196) has highlighted the fact that jets can accelerate particles up to very high energies (up to 10~TeV), possibly during the interaction of the jets with the interstellar medium. XTE J1550-564 (and other similar systems) offers a unique opportunity to study the dynamical evolution of relativistic jets on time scales inaccessible for active galactic nuclei jets, with implications for our understanding of relativistic jets from Galactic x-ray binaries and active galactic nuclei. New results from the continuing multiwavelength campaign, as well as a comparison with other jet producing system, will be shown during this review.

Reference for students:
Corbel et al. 2002, Science, 298, 196
Corbel et al. 2003, AA, in press, astro-ph/0301436
Fender, Corbel et al. ApJ, 519, L165