EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 497, Number 2, April II 2009
Page(s) 325 - 334
Section Astrophysical processes
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/200810781
Published online 24 February 2009
A&A 497, 325-334 (2009)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/200810781

Non-thermal emission from microquasar/ISM interaction

P. Bordas1, V. Bosch-Ramon2, J. M. Paredes1, and M. Perucho3

1  Departament d'Astronomia i Meteorologia and Institut de Ciències del Cosmos (ICC), Universitat de Barcelona (UB/IEEC), Martí i Franquès 1, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
    e-mail: pbordas@am.ub.es
2  Max Planck Institut für Kernphysik, Saupfercheckweg 1, Heidelberg 69117, Germany
3  Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany

Received 11 August 2008 / Accepted 11 December 2008

Context. The interaction of microquasar jets with their environment can produce non-thermal radiation as in the case of extragalactic outflows impacting on their surroundings. Significant observational evidence of jet/medium interaction in galactic microquasars has been collected in the past few years, although little theoretical work has been done regarding the resulting non-thermal emission.
Aims. In this work, we investigate the non-thermal emission produced in the interaction between microquasar jets and their environment, and the physical conditions for its production.
Methods. We developed an analytical model based on those successfully applied to extragalactic sources. The jet is taken to be a supersonic and mildly relativistic hydrodynamical outflow. We focus on the jet/shocked medium structure in its adiabatic phase, and assume that it grows in a self-similar way. We calculate the fluxes and spectra of the radiation produced via synchrotron, inverse Compton, and relativistic bremsstrahlung processes by electrons accelerated in strong shocks. A hydrodynamical simulation is also performed to investigate further the jet interaction with the environment and check the physical parameters used in the analytical model.
Results. For reasonable values of the magnetic field, and using typical values of the external matter density, the non-thermal particles could produce significant amounts of radiation at different wavelengths, although they do not cool primarily radiatively, but by adiabatic losses. The physical conditions of the analytical jet/medium interaction model are consistent with those found in the hydrodynamical simulation.
Conclusions. Microquasar jet termination regions could be detectable at radio wavelengths for current instruments sensitive to ~arcminute scales. At X-ray energies, the expected luminosities are moderate, although the emitter is more compact than the radio one. The source may be detectable by XMM-Newton or Chandra, with 1–10 arcsec of angular resolution. The radiation at gamma-ray energies may be within the detection limits of the next generation of satellite and ground-based instruments.

Key words: ISM: jets and outflows -- X-rays: binaries -- radiation mechanisms: non-thermal

© ESO 2009