Short time-scale evolution of the polarized radio jet during V404 Cygni’s 2015 outburst

A. K. Hughes, G. R. Sivakoff, C. E. Macpherson, J. C.A. Miller-Jones, A. J. Tetarenko, D. Altamirano, G. E. Anderson, T. M. Belloni, S. Heinz, P. G. Jonker, E. G. Körding, D. Maitra, S. B. Markoff, S. Migliari, K. P. Mooley, M. P. Rupen, D. M. Russell, T. D. Russell, C. L. Sarazin, R. SoriaV. Tudose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a high time resolution, multifrequency linear polarization analysis of very large array (VLA) radio observations during some of the brightest radio flaring (∼1 Jy) activity of the 2015 outburst of V404 Cygni. The VLA simultaneously captured the radio evolution in two bands (each with two 1 GHz base-bands), recorded at 5/7 GHz and 21/26 GHz, allowing for a broadband polarimetric analysis. Given the source’s high flux densities, we were able to measure polarization on time-scales of ∼13 min, constituting one of the highest temporal resolution radio polarimetric studies of a black hole X-ray binary outburst to date. Across all base-bands, we detect variable, weakly linearly polarized emission (<1per cent) with a single, bright peak in the time-resolved polarization fraction, consistent with an origin in an evolving, dynamic jet component. We applied two independent polarimetric methods to extract the intrinsic electric vector position angles and rotation measures from the 5 and 7 GHz base-band data and detected a variable intrinsic polarization angle, indicative of a rapidly evolving local environment or a complex magnetic field geometry. Comparisons to the simultaneous, spatially-resolved observations taken with the Very Long Baseline Array at 15.6 GHz, do not show a significant connection between the jet ejections and the polarization state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-207
Number of pages23
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2023


  • ISM: jets and outflows
  • X-rays: binaries
  • black hole physics
  • polarization
  • radio continuum: stars
  • stars: individual: V404 Cygni, GS 2023 + 338

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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