Chasing the break: Tracing the full evolution of a black hole X-ray binary jet with multi-wavelength spectral modeling

Constanza Echiburú-Trujillo, Alexandra J. Tetarenko, Daryl Haggard, Thomas D. Russell, Karri I. I. Koljonen, Arash Bahramian, Jingyi Wang, Michael Bremer, Joe Bright, Piergiorgio Casella, David M. Russell, Diego Altamirano, M. Cristina Baglio, Tomaso Belloni, Chiara Ceccobello, Stephane Corbel, Maria Diaz Trigo, Dipankar Maitra, Aldrin Gabuya, Elena GalloSebastian Heinz, Jeroen Homan, Erin Kara, Elmar Körding, Fraser Lewis, Matteo Lucchini, Sera Markoff, Simone Migliari, James C. A. Miller-Jones, Jerome Rodriguez, Payaswini Saikia, Craig L. Sarazin, Tariq Shahbaz, Gregory Sivakoff, Roberto Soria, Vincenzo Testa, Bailey E. Tetarenko, Valeriu Tudose

Research output: Working paperPreprint


Black hole X-ray binaries (BH XRBs) are ideal targets to study the connection between accretion inflow and jet outflow. Here we present quasi-simultaneous, multi-wavelength observations of the Galactic black hole system MAXI J1820+070, throughout its 2018-2019 outburst. Our data set includes coverage from the radio through X-ray bands from 17 different instruments/telescopes, and encompasses 19 epochs over a 7 month time period, resulting in one of the most well-sampled multi-wavelength data sets of a BH XRB outburst to date. With our data, we compile and model the broad-band spectra of this source using a phenomenological model that includes emission from the jet, companion star, and accretion flow. This modeling allows us to track the evolution of the spectral break in the jet spectrum, a key observable that samples the jet launching region. We find that the spectral break location changes over at least $\approx3$ orders of magnitude in electromagnetic frequency over this period. Using these spectral break measurements, we link the full cycle of jet behavior, including the rising, quenching, and re-ignition, to the changing accretion flow properties as the source evolves through its different accretion states. Our analyses show a consistent jet behavior with other sources in similar phases of their outbursts, reinforcing that the jet quenching and recovery may be a global feature of BH XRB systems in outburst. Our results also provide valuable evidence supporting a close connection between the geometry of the inner accretion flow and the base of the jet.
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherThe Astrophysical Journal
StatePublished - Nov 20 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • astro-ph.HE


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