Infrared interferometry to spatially and spectrally resolve jets in X-ray binaries
ABSTRACT Infrared interferometry is a new frontier for precision ground-based observing, with new instrumentation achieving milliarcsecond (mas) spatial resolutions for faint sources, along with astrometry on the order of 10 microarcseconds (μas). This technique has already led to breakthroughs in the observations of the supermassive black hole at the Galactic centre and its orbiting stars, active galactic nucleus, and exo-planets, and can be employed for studying X-ray binaries (XRBs), microquasars in particular. Beyond constraining the orbital parameters of the system using the centroid wobble and spatially resolving jet discrete ejections on mas scales, we also propose a novel method to discern between the various components contributing to the infrared bands: accretion disc, jets, and companion star. We demonstrate that the GRAVITY instrument on the Very Large Telescope Interferometer should be able to detect a centroid shift in a number of sources, opening a new avenue of exploration for the myriad of transients expected to be discovered in the coming decade of radio all-sky surveys. We also present the first proof-of-concept GRAVITY observation of a low-mass XRB transient, MAXI J1820+070, to search for extended jets on mas scales. We place the tightest constraints yet via direct imaging on the size of more »
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Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10184512
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume:
495
Issue:
1
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
525 to 535
ISSN:
0035-8711
3. ABSTRACT Without additional heating, radiative cooling of the halo gas of massive galaxies (Milky Way-mass and above) produces cold gas or stars exceeding that observed. Heating from active galactic nucleus (AGN) jets is likely required, but the jet properties remain unclear. This is particularly challenging for galaxy simulations, where the resolution is orders-of-magnitude insufficient to resolve jet formation and evolution. On such scales, the uncertain parameters include the jet energy form [kinetic, thermal, cosmic ray (CR)]; energy, momentum, and mass flux; magnetic fields; opening angle; precession; and duty cycle. We investigate these parameters in a $10^{14}\, {\rm M}_{\odot }$ halo using high-resolution non-cosmological magnetohydrodynamic simulations with the FIRE-2 (Feedback In Realistic Environments) stellar feedback model, conduction, and viscosity. We explore which scenarios qualitatively meet observational constraints on the halo gas and show that CR-dominated jets most efficiently quench the galaxy by providing CR pressure support and modifying the thermal instability. Mildly relativistic (∼MeV or ∼1010K) thermal plasma jets work but require ∼10 times larger energy input. For fixed energy flux, jets with higher specific energy (longer cooling times) quench more effectively. For this halo mass, kinetic jets are inefficient at quenching unless they have wide opening or precession angles. Magnetic fieldsmore »