Disc-jet coupling in low-luminosity accreting neutron stars

V. Tudor, J. C.A. Miller-Jones, A. Patruno, C. R. D'Angelo, P. G. Jonker, D. M. Russell, T. D. Russell, F. Bernardini, F. Lewis, A. T. Deller, J. W.T. Hessels, S. Migliari, R. M. Plotkin, R. Soria, R. Wijnands

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In outburst, neutron star X-ray binaries produce less powerful jets than black holes at a given X-ray luminosity. This has made them more difficult to study as they fade towards quiescence. To explore whether neutron stars power jets at low accretion rates (LX ≲ 1036 erg s-1), we investigate the radio and X-ray properties of three accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars (IGR J17511-3057, SAX J1808.4-3658 and IGR J00291+5934) during their outbursts in 2015, and of the non-pulsing neutron starCenX-4 in quiescence (2015) and in outburst (1979). We did not detect the radio counterpart of IGR J17511-3057 in outburst or of Cen X-4 in quiescence, but did detect IGR J00291+5934 and SAX J1808.4-3658, showing that at least some neutron stars launch jets at low accretion rates. While the radio and X-ray emission in IGR J00291+5934 seem to be tightly correlated, the relationship in SAX J1808.4-3658 is more complicated.We find that SAX J1808.4-3658 produces jets during the reflaring tail, and we explore a toy model to ascertain whether the radio emission could be attributed to the onset of a strong propeller. The lack of a universal radio/X-ray correlation, with different behaviours in different neutron star systems (with various radio/X-ray correlations; some being radio faint and others not), points at distinct disc-jet interactions in individual sources, while always being fainter in the radio band than black holes at the same X-ray luminosity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-339
Number of pages16
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Accretion
  • Accretion discs
  • ISM: jets and outflows
  • Radio continuum: transients
  • Stars: neutron
  • X-rays: binaries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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