Nonthermal emission from high-mass microquasar jets affected by orbital motion
Departament de Física Quàntica i Astrofísica, Institut de Ciències del Cosmos (ICCUB), Universitat de Barcelona (IEEC-UB), Martí i Franquès 1, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Accepted: 26 July 2018
Context. The stellar wind in high-mass microquasars should interact with the jet. This interaction, coupled with orbital motion, is expected to make the jet follow a helical, nonballistic trajectory. The jet energy dissipated by this interaction, through shocks for example, could lead to nonthermal activity on scales significantly larger than the system size.
Aims. We calculate the broadband emission from a jet affected by the impact of the stellar wind and orbital motion in a high-mass microquasar.
Methods. We employ a prescription for the helical trajectory of a jet in a system with a circular orbit. Subsequently, assuming electron acceleration at the onset of the helical jet region, we compute the spatial and energy distribution of these electrons, and their synchrotron and inverse Compton emission including gamma-ray absorption effects.
Results. For typical source parameters, significant radio, X- and gamma-ray luminosities are predicted. The scales on which the emission is produced may reduce, but not erase, orbital variability of the inverse Compton emission. The wind and orbital effects on the radio emission morphology could be studied using very long baseline interferometric techniques.
Conclusions. We predict significant broadband emission, modulated by orbital motion, from a helical jet in a high-mass microquasar. This emission may be hard to disentangle from radiation of the binary itself, although the light curve features, extended radio emission, and a moderate opacity to very high-energy gamma rays, could help to identify the contribution from an extended (helical) jet region.
Key words: X-rays: binaries / radiation mechanisms: non-thermal / stars: winds, outflows / stars: massive
© ESO 2018