Multiple relativistic outbursts of GRS1915+105: radio emission and internal shocks

J C A Miller-Jones, D G McCormick, R P Fender, R E Spencer, T W B Muxlow, G G Pooley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    We present5-GHz Multi-Element Radio-Linked Interferometer Network (MERLIN) radio images of the microquasar GRS1915+105 during two separate outbursts in 2001 March and July, following the evolution of the jet components as they move outwards from the core of the system. Proper motions constrain the intrinsic jet speed to be >0.57c, but the uncertainty in the source distance prevents an accurate determination of the jet speed. No deceleration is observed in the jet components out to an angular separation of ~300 mas. Linear polarization is observed in the approaching jet component, with a gradual rotation in position angle and a decreasing fractional polarization with time. Our data lend support to the internal shock model whereby the jet velocity increases leading to internal shocks in the pre-existing outflow before the jet switches off. The compact nuclear jet is seen to reestablish itself within 2d, and is visible as core emission at all epochs. The energetics of the source are calculated for the possible range of distances; a minimum power of 1-10 per cent of the Eddington luminosity (LEdd) is required to launch the jet.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)867-881
    Number of pages15
    JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
    Volume363
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

    Keywords

    • accretion
    • accretion discs
    • stars: individual: GRS1915+105
    • stars: variables
    • ISM: jets and outflows
    • radio continuum: stars
    • X-rays: stars

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