EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 400, Number 3, March IV 2003
Page(s) 1007 - 1012
Section Stellar atmospheres
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20030090

A&A 400, 1007-1012 (2003)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20030090

Radio/X-ray correlation in the low/hard state of GX 339-4

S. Corbel1, M. A. Nowak2, R. P. Fender3, A. K. Tzioumis4 and S. Markoff5

1  Université Paris VII and Service d'Astrophysique (Fédération APC), CEA Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
2  Chandra X-ray Science Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, NE80-6077, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge MA 02139, USA
3  Astronomical Institute "Anton Pannekoek", University of Amsterdam and Center for High Energy Astrophysics, Kruislaan 403, 1098 SJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
4  Australia Telescope National Facility, CSIRO, PO Box 76, Epping NSW 1710, Australia
5  Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Space Research, NE80-6035, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge MA 02139, USA

(Received 6 November 2002 / Accepted 6 January 2003 )

We present the results of a long-term study of the black hole candidate GX 339-4 using simultaneous radio (from the Australia Telescope Compact Array) and X-ray (from the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer and BeppoSAX) observations performed between 1997 and 2000. We find strong evidence for a correlation between these two emission regimes that extends over more than three decades in X-ray flux, down to the quiescence level of GX 339-4. This is the strongest evidence to date for such strong coupling between radio and X-ray emission. We discuss these results in light of a jet model that can explain the radio/X-ray correlation. This could indicate that a significant fraction of the X-ray flux that is observed in the low-hard state of black hole candidates may be due to optically thin synchrotron emission from the compact jet.

Key words: black hole physics -- radiation mechanisms: non-thermal -- ISM: jets and outflows -- radio continuum: stars -- X-rays: stars -- stars: individual: GX 339-4

Offprint request: S. Corbel, corbel@discovery.saclay.cea.fr

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