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Astron. Astrophys. 348, 910-916 (1999)

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The inner radio jet region and the complex environment of SS433

Z. Paragi 1,2, R.C. Vermeulen 3, I. Fejes 1, R.T. Schilizzi 2,4, R.E. Spencer 5 and A.M. Stirling 5

1 FÖMI Satellite Geodetic Observatory, P.O. Box 546, H-1373 Budapest, Hungary
2 Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe, P.O. Box 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
3 Netherlands Foundation for Research in Astronomy, P.O. Box 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
4 Leiden Observatory, P.O. Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
5 Nuffield Radio Astronomy Laboratory, Jodrell Bank, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 9DL, UK

Received 15 April 1999 / Accepted 28 June 1999


We present multi-frequency VLBA+VLA observations of SS433 at 1.6, 5 and 15 GHz. These observations provide the highest angular resolution radio spectral index maps ever made for this object. Motion of the components of SS433 during the observation is detected. In addition to the usual VLBI jet structure, we detect two radio components in the system at an anomalous position angle. These newly discovered radio emitting regions might be related to a wind-like equatorial outflow or to an extension of the accretion disk. We show that the radio core component is bifurcated with a clear gap between the eastern and western wings of emission. Modelfitting of the precessing jets and the moving knots of SS433 shows that the kinematic centre - i.e. the binary - is in the gap between the western and eastern radio core components. Spectral properties and observed core position shifts suggest that we see a combined effect of synchrotron self-absorption and external free-free absorption in the innermost AU-scale region of the source. The spatial distribution of the ionized matter is probably not spherically symmetric around the binary, but could be disk-like.

Key words: stars: individual: SS433 – ISM: jets and outflows – radio continuum: stars

Send offprint requests to: Z. Paragi, 1st address (paragi@sgo.fomi.hu)

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: August 13, 199