- The evolving polarized jet of black hole candidate Swift J1745-26
- Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
- Volume | Issue number
- 437 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API)
Swift J1745−26 is an X-ray binary towards the Galactic Centre that was detected when it went into outburst in 2012 September. This source is thought to be one of a growing number of sources that display ‘failed outbursts’, in which the self-absorbed radio jets of the transient source are never fully quenched and the thermal emission from the geometrically thin inner accretion disc never fully dominates the X-ray flux. We present multifrequency data from the Very Large Array, Australia Telescope Compact Array and Karoo Array Telescope (KAT-7) radio arrays, spanning the entire period of the outburst. Our rich data set exposes radio emission that displays a high level of large-scale variability compared to the X-ray emission and deviations from the standard radio-X-ray correlation that are indicative of an unstable jet and confirm the outburst's transition from the canonical hard state to an intermediate state. We also observe steepening of the spectral index and an increase of the linear polarization to a large fraction (≈50 per cent) of the total flux, as well as a rotation of the electric vector position angle. These are consistent with a transformation from a self-absorbed compact jet to optically thin ejecta - the first time such a discrete ejection has been observed in a failed outburst - and may imply a complex magnetic field geometry.
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