EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 466, Number 3, May II 2007
Page(s) 1053 - 1057
Section Stellar structure and evolution
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20066791

A&A 466, 1053-1057 (2007)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20066791

On the radio/X-ray correlation in microquasars

Y. Q. Xue and W. Cui

Department of Physics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
    e-mail: [xuey;cui]@physics.purdue.edu

(Received 22 November 2006 / Accepted 4 February 2007 )

Context.The broadband spectral energy distribution of microquasars has proven to be a valuable tool for assessing the roles of jets and accretion flows in microquasars, as well as the coupling between the two. The coupling might manifest itself observationally in the correlated radio and X-ray variabilities of a source. Such a radio/X-ray correlation has indeed been seen in several microquasars during the low-hard state and subsequently been claimed to be universal for all. If proven, the universal correlation would have profound implications on theoretical models. However, there is already observational evidence that suggests otherwise.
Aims.In this paper, we critically examine the radio/X-ray correlation in a sample of microquasars, in the low-hard state as well as during state transitions, with a goal of testing the claimed universality of the correlation on observational grounds.
Methods.We have assembled a comprehensive data set from the simultaneous/contemporaneous radio and X-ray observations of representative microquasars. The data have allowed us to quantify the radio/X-ray correlation on a source by source basis.
Results.We find that the radio/X-ray correlation of microquasars exhibits diverse behaviors, both in the low-hard and transitional states, ranging from being very week (or none at all) to very strong. There is even a hint of spectral dependence of the correlation in some cases.
Conclusions.Our results rule out the claimed universality of the radio/X-ray correlation of microquasars, even for the low-hard state. On the other hand, we do find that the radio and X-ray variabilities are, to varying degrees, correlated in most cases.

Key words: accretion, accretion disks -- black hole physics -- stars: general -- X-rays: binaries

© ESO 2007