The radio jets of SS 433 at millimetre wavelengths
1 Departamento de Física (EPSJ), Universidad de Jaén, Campus Las Lagunillas s/n Ed. A3 Jaén 23071, Spain
2 Departamento de Ingeniería Mecánica y Minera (EPSJ), Universidad de Jaén, Campus Las Lagunillas s/n Ed. A3 Jaén 23071, Spain
3 Departament de Física Quàntica i Astrofísica, Institut de Ciències del Cosmos, Universitat de Barcelona, IEEC-UB, Martí i Franquès 1, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Accepted: 17 August 2018
Context. SS 433 is historically a well-known microquasar in the Galaxy that has been deeply studied during the four decades elapsed since its discovery. However, observations at very high radio frequencies with good angular resolution are still very scarce in the literature. The present paper tries to partially fill this gap using archival data of the source obtained with the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA).
Aims. We aim to study the SS 433 jet properties at radio frequencies corresponding to millimetre wavelengths where the synchrotron emitting particles are expected to lose their energy much faster than at lower frequencies of centimetre wavelengths.
Methods. We applied the methods of connected radio interferometry adapted to the ALMA spectral domain for data calibration and reduction. Afterwards, the resulting map was corrected for relativistic and geometric effects. While a detailed theoretical modelling was beyond our scope, we assessed the broad evolutive properties of the jet brightness profile in the context of a semi-analytic model. Results. A resolved view of the SS 433 radio core and jets is presented. In addition to spectral index and magnetic field measurements, we are able to estimate the age of the oldest visible ejecta still radiating significantly at millimetre wavelengths. By combining our findings with those of previous authors at lower frequencies, we confirm that the energy loss of the radiating electrons is dominated by adiabatic expansion instead of synchrotron radiative losses. In addition, we find suggestive evidence for the previously proposed period of slowed expansion within the first months of the ejecta flow, needed to simultaneously match the radiative lifetime observed in the centimetre domain. Our results argue for the need for future coordinated millimetre and centimetre interferometric observations with good time sampling throughout the SS 433 precessional cycle to better understand energetic processes in stellar relativistic jets.
Key words: stars: jets / ISM: jets and outflows / X-rays: binaries / stars: individual: SS 433
© ESO 2018