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Astron. Astrophys. 359, 251-268 (2000)

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Coupling of the X-ray and radio emission in the black hole candidate and compact jet source GX 339-4

S. Corbel *  1, R.P. Fender 2, A.K. Tzioumis 3, M. Nowak 4, V. McIntyre 5, P. Durouchoux 1 and R. Sood 6

1 CEA-Saclay, Service d'Astrophysique, 91191 Gif sur Yvette Cedex, France
2 Astronomical Institute `Anton Pannekoek', University of Amsterdam, and Center for High Energy Astrophysics, Kruislaan 403, 1098 SJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3 Australia Telescope National Facility, CSIRO, Paul Wild Observatory, Narrabri NSW 2390, Australia
4 JILA, University of Colorado, Campus Box 440, Boulder, CO 80309-0440, USA
5 Department of Astrophysics, School of Physics, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
6 School of Physics, Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Received 4 February 2000 / Accepted 20 March 2000

Abstract

We report the results of a long-term campaign of radio, soft- and hard- X-ray observations of the galactic black hole candidate GX 339-4. In the Low-Hard X-ray state the system displays a strong 3-way linear correlation between soft- and hard-X-rays and radio emission, implying a coupling between the Comptonising corona and a radio-emitting compact jet. In this state the radio emission is linearly polarised at a level of around 2%, with an almost constant polarisation angle, indicative of a favored axis in this system probably related to the compact jet and/or black hole spin axis. In the Off X-ray state the radio emission declines with the X-ray emission to below detectable levels, suggesting that it is simply a lower-luminosity version of the Low-Hard state. In the High-Soft state both the hard-X-ray and radio emission are suppressed. We also note that the transitions from the Low-Hard state to the High-Soft state (and the reverse) are possibly associated with discrete ejection(s) of expanding relativistic plasma.

Key words: stars: individual: GX 339 – 4 – gamma rays: observations – radio continuum: stars – X-rays: stars – accretion, accretion disks – black hole physics

* New address: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Send offprint requests to: corbel@discovery.saclay.cea.fr

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: June 30, 2000
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