EDP Sciences
Free Access
Volume 414, Number 3, February II 2004
Page(s) 895 - 903
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20031683
Published online 27 January 2004

A&A 414, 895-903 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20031683

A scheme to unify low-power accreting black holes

Jet-dominated accretion flows and the radio/X-ray correlation
H. Falcke1, 2, 3, E. Körding3 and S. Markoff4

1  ASTRON, PO Box 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
2  Adjunct Professor, Astronomy Department, University of Nijmegen, Postbus 9010, 6500 GL Nijmegen, The Netherlands
3  Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
4  Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Space Research, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Rm. NE80-6035, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

(Received 20 May 2003 / Accepted 30 October 2003)

We explore the evolution in power of black holes of all masses, and their associated jets, within the scheme of an accretion rate-dependent state transition. Below a critical value of the accretion rate all systems are assumed to undergo a transition to a state where the dominant accretion mode is optically thin and radiatively inefficient. In these significantly sub-Eddington systems, the spectral energy distribution is predicted to be dominated by non-thermal emission from a relativistic jet whereas near-Eddington black holes will be dominated instead by emission from the accretion disk. Reasonable candidates for such a sub-Eddington state include X-ray binaries in the hard and quiescent states, the Galactic Center (Sgr A*), LINERs, FR I radio galaxies, and a large fraction of BL Lac objects. Standard jet physics predicts non-linear scaling between the optically thick (radio) and optically thin (optical or X-ray) emission of these systems, which has been confirmed recently in X-ray binaries. We show that this scaling relation is also a function of black hole mass and only slightly of the relativistic Doppler factor. Taking the scaling into account we show that indeed hard and quiescent state X-ray binaries, LINERs, FR I radio galaxies, and BL Lacs can be unified and fall on a common radio/X-ray correlation. This suggests that jet domination is an important stage in the luminosity evolution of accreting black hole systems.

Key words: X-rays: binaries -- radiation mechanisms: non-thermal -- stars: winds, outflows -- black hole physics -- accretion, accretion disks

Offprint request: H. Falcke, falcke@astron.nl

SIMBAD Objects

© ESO 2004

Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.

Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.

Initial download of the metrics may take a while.