Large-scale, decelerating, relativistic x-ray jets from the microquasar XTE J1550-564.

Université Paris VII and Service d'Astrophysique, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique CE-Saclay, 91191 Gif sur Yvette, France.
Science (Impact Factor: 31.48). 11/2002; 298(5591):196-9. DOI: 10.1126/science.1075857
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We have detected, at x-ray and radio wavelengths, large-scale moving jets from the microquasar XTE J1550-564. Plasma ejected from near the black hole traveled at relativistic velocities for at least 4 years. We present direct evidence for gradual deceleration in a relativistic jet. The broadband spectrum of the jets is consistent with synchrotron emission from high-energy (up to 10 tera-electron volts) particles that were accelerated in the shock waves formed within the relativistic ejecta or by the interaction of the jets with the interstellar medium. XTE J1550-564 offers a rare opportunity to study the dynamical evolution of relativistic jets on time scales inaccessible for active galactic nuclei jets, with implications for our understanding of relativistic jets from Galactic x-ray binaries and active galactic nuclei.

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