Department of Astronomy & Physics

The Launching and Evolution of the Relativistic Jets of SS 433

Speaker: Dr. Herman L. Marshall (MIT Kavli Institute)
Time: October 25, 2019 - 3:00 PM
Location: Burke 221


In the binary system SS 433, oppositely directed, precessing jets emit line emission from highly ionized plasma moving at 0.26c from the compact object.  In high resolution spectra of SS 433 taken with the Chandra X-ray Observatory, we found a large Doppler shift change on a time scale of 20 ks, a time much shorter than the known dynamical times. The rapid change could be related to the formation and ejection of a jet knot, as observed in VLBI observations, perhaps as a leptonic jet impinges on a disk wind and shock heats it.  During eclipses of the jets by the companion star, we can estimate the length of the jet during its hot phase, cooling via expansion and X-ray line emission. Chandra imaging also shows X-ray emission well beyond the scale of the binary, after the jet has cooled to produce optical emission.  We address a model in which this emission results from reheating due to jet velocity variations.


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