The Shell-Shocked Interstellar Medium Near Cygnus X-1

Paul Sell, S. Heinz, E. E. Richards, D. Russell, E. Gallo, S. Markoff, R. Fender, M. Nowak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We present observations of the outflowing shockwave north of the microquasar (X-ray binary with jets), Cygnus X-1. We use Westerbork Synthesis Radio, Chandra X-ray, and WIYN Hydra optical spectroscopic observations to probe the limb-brightened shell where the jet of the microquasar seems to be driving a parsec-scale shock into a nearby HII region. In particular, the unique ability of WIYN-Hydra to place fibers in specified positions in between stars in a relatively crowded, large field on the sky makes it a powerful instrument for carrying out these observations. We then compare our multiwavelength observations to the detailed MAPPINGSIII shock models to place the most robust constraints to date on the density and velocity of the outflow and the power needed to drive it. Our analysis of the jet driven outflow from this microquasar leads us to revisit our understanding of dominant physical mechanisms involved in jet-driven, parsec-scale shocks in the ISM.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #222
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013


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