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Title: Observations of a radio-bright, X-ray obscured GRS 1915+105
Authors: Motta, Sara E.
Kajava, J. J. E.
Giustini, M.
Williams, D. R. A.
Del Santo, M.
Fender, R.
Green, D. A.
Heywood, I.
Rhodes, L.
Segreto, A.
Sivakoff, G.
Woudt, P. A.
Keywords: Accretion;Accretion Discs;Black Hole Physics;Stars: jets;X rays: binaries
Issue Date: 24-Feb-2021
Publisher: Oxford Academics: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stab511
Published version:
Citation: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 503(1): 152-161(2021)
Abstract: The Galactic black hole transient GRS 1915+105 is famous for its markedly variable X-ray and radio behaviour, and for being the archetypal galactic source of relativistic jets. It entered an X-ray outburst in 1992 and has been active ever since. Since 2018 GRS 1915+105 has declined into an extended low-flux X-ray plateau, occasionally interrupted by multiwavelength flares. Here, we report the radio and X-ray properties of GRS 1915+105 collected in this new phase, and compare the recent data to historic observations. We find that while the X-ray emission remained unprecedentedly low for most of the time following the decline in 2018, the radio emission shows a clear mode change half way through the extended X-ray plateau in 2019 June: from low flux (∼3 mJy) and limited variability, to marked flaring with fluxes two orders of magnitude larger. GRS 1915+105 appears to have entered a low-luminosity canonical hard state, and then transitioned to an unusual accretion phase, characterized by heavy X-ray absorption/obscuration. Hence, we argue that a local absorber hides from the observer the accretion processes feeding the variable jet responsible for the radio flaring. The radio–X-ray correlation suggests that the current low X-ray flux state may be a signature of a super-Eddington state akin to the X-ray binaries SS433 or V404 Cyg.
E-ISSN: 1365-2966
ISSN: 0035-8711
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