Extreme jet ejections from the black hole X-ray binary V404 Cygni

A. J. Tetarenko, G. R. Sivakoff, J. C.A. Miller-Jones, E. W. Rosolowsky, G. Petitpas, M. Gurwell, J. Wouterloot, R. Fender, S. Heinz, D. Maitra, S. B. Markoff, S. Migliari, M. P. Rupen, A. P. Rushton, D. M. Russell, T. D. Russell, C. L. Sarazin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present simultaneous radio through sub-mm observations of the black hole X-ray binary (BHXB) V404 Cygni during the most active phase of its June 2015 outburst. Our 4 h long set of overlapping observations with the Very Large Array, the Sub-millimeter Array and the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (SCUBA-2) covers eight different frequency bands (including the first detection of aBHXBjet at 666 GHz/450 μm), providing an unprecedented multifrequency view of the extraordinary flaring activity seen during this period of the outburst. In particular, we detect multiple rapidly evolving flares, which reach Jy-level fluxes across all of our frequency bands. With this rich data set, we performed detailed MCMC modelling of the repeated flaring events. Our custom model adapts the van der Laan synchrotron bubble model to include twin bi-polar ejections, propagating away from the black hole at bulk relativistic velocities, along a jet axis that is inclined to the line of sight. The emission predicted by our model accounts for projection effects, relativistic beaming and the geometric time delay between the approaching and receding ejecta in each ejection event. We find that a total of eight bi-polar, discrete jet ejection events can reproduce the emission that we observe in all of our frequency bands remarkably well. With our best-fitting model, we provide detailed probes of jet speed, structure, energetics and geometry. Our analysis demonstrates the paramount importance of the mm/sub-mm bands, which offer a unique, more detailed view of the jet than can be provided by radio frequencies alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3141-3162
Number of pages22
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 11 2017


  • Black hole physics
  • GS 2023+338
  • ISM: jets and outflows
  • Radio continuum: stars
  • Stars: individual: V404 Cygni
  • Submillimetre: stars -X-rays: binaries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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