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Journal Articles Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Year : 2013

The `universal' radio/X-ray flux correlation: the case study of the black hole GX 339-4

C. Brocksopp
  • Function : Author
A. K. Tzioumis
  • Function : Author
R. P. Fender
  • Function : Author
J. A. Tomsick
  • Function : Author
M. M. Buxton
  • Function : Author
C. D. Bailyn
  • Function : Author


The existing radio and X-ray flux correlation for Galactic black holes in the hard and quiescent states relies on a sample which is mostly dominated by two sources (GX 339-4 and V404 Cyg) observed in a single outburst. In this paper, we report on a series of radio and X-ray observations of the recurrent black hole GX 339-4 with the Australia Telescope Compact Array, the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer and the Swift satellites. With our new long-term campaign, we now have a total of 88 quasi-simultaneous radio and X-ray observations of GX 339-4 during its hard state, covering a total of seven outbursts over a 15-yr period. Our new measurements represent the largest sample for a stellar mass black hole, without any bias from distance uncertainties, over the largest flux variations and down to a level that could be close to quiescence, making GX 339-4 the reference source for comparison with other accreting sources (black holes, neutrons stars, white dwarfs and active galactic nuclei). Our results demonstrate a very strong and stable coupling between radio and X-ray emission, despite several outbursts of different nature and separated by a period of quiescence. The radio and X-ray luminosity correlation of the form LX∝L0.62 ± 0.01Rad confirms the non-linear coupling between the jet and the inner accretion flow powers and better defines the standard correlation track in the radio-X-ray diagram for stellar mass black holes. We further note epochs of deviations from the fit that significantly exceed the measurement uncertainties, especially during the time of formation and destruction of the self-absorbed compact jets. The jet luminosity could appear brighter (up to a factor of 2) during the decay compared to the rise for a given X-ray luminosity, possibly related to the compact jets. We furthermore connect the radio/X-ray measurements to the near-infrared/X-ray empirical correlation in GX 339-4, further demonstrating a coupled correlation between these three frequency ranges. The level of radio emission would then be tied to the near-infrared emission, possibly by the evolution of the broad-band properties of the jets. We further incorporated our new data of GX 339-4 in a more global study of black hole candidates strongly supporting a scale invariance in the jet-accretion coupling of accreting black holes, and confirms the existence of two populations of sources in the radio/X-ray diagram.
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insu-03621070 , version 1 (27-03-2022)





S. Corbel, M. Coriat, C. Brocksopp, A. K. Tzioumis, R. P. Fender, et al.. The `universal' radio/X-ray flux correlation: the case study of the black hole GX 339-4. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2013, 428, pp.2500-2515. ⟨10.1093/mnras/sts215⟩. ⟨insu-03621070⟩
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