EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 476, Number 1, December II 2007
Page(s) 9 - 15
Section Astrophysical processes
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20078495

A&A 476, 9-15 (2007)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20078495

Leptonic secondary emission in a hadronic microquasar model

M. Orellana1, 2, P. Bordas3, V. Bosch-Ramon4, G. E. Romero1, 2, and J. M. Paredes3

1  Facultad de Ciencias Astronómicas y Geofísicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Paseo del Bosque, 1900 La Plata, Argentina
    e-mail: morellana@carina.fcaglp.unlp.edu.ar
2  Instituto Argentino de Radioastronomía, C.C.5, (1894) Villa Elisa, Buenos Aires, Argentina
3  Departament d'Astronomia i Meteorologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Martí i Franquès 1, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
4  Max Planck Institut für Kernphysik, Saupfercheckweg 1, Heidelberg 69117, Germany

(Received 16 August 2007 / Accepted 4 September 2007)

Context.It has been proposed that the origin of the very high-energy photons emitted from high-mass X-ray binaries with jet-like features, so-called microquasars (MQs), is related to hadronic interactions between relativistic protons in the jet and cold protons of the stellar wind. Leptonic secondary emission should be calculated in a complete hadronic model that includes the effects of pairs from charged pion decays inside the jets and the emission from pairs generated by gamma-ray absorption in the photosphere of the system.
Aims.We aim at predicting the broadband spectrum from a general hadronic microquasar model, taking into account the emission from secondaries created by charged pion decay inside the jet.
Methods.The particle energy distribution for secondary leptons injected along the jets is consistently derived taking the energy losses into account. The spectral energy distribution resulting from these leptons is calculated after assuming different values of the magnetic field inside the jets. We also compute the spectrum of the gamma-rays produced by neutral pion-decay and processed by electromagnetic cascades under the stellar photon field.
Results.We show that the secondary emission can dominate the spectral energy distribution at low energies (~1 MeV). At high energies, the production spectrum can be significantly distorted by the effect of electromagnetic cascades. These effects are phase-dependent, and some variability modulated by the orbital period is predicted.

Key words: radiation mechanisms: non-thermal -- gamma rays: theory -- stars: binaries

© ESO 2007