8th HEAD Meeting, 8-11 September, 2004
Session 17 Neutron Stars and X-ray Binaries
Poster, Thursday, September 9, 2004, 9:00am-10:00pm

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[17.18] RXTE and Chandra Study of SS433/W50

A. Moldowan, S. Safi-Harb (University of Manitoba)

The X-ray binary system SS433/W50 has baffled astrophysicists since its discovery in 1979. W50 has been classified as a Galactic supernova remnant that harbors SS433, an X-ray binary consisting of a compact object accreting matter from a companion star at a super-Eddington rate. The nature of the compact object is still under debate, but it is expelling relativistic jets that interact with W50, causing it to elongate along the jets axis and forming two X-ray lobes. We have studied this system in depth using ROSAT and ASCA (Safi-Harb & Ögelman 1997), RXTE (Safi-Harb & Petre 1999, Safi-Harb & Kotani 2002, 2003), and at millimeter wavelengths (Durouchoux et al. 2000). Data will be presented from both the PCA and HEXTE instruments on board RXTE and will be used to complete the spectral and timing analysis of SS433 at high energies. This analysis is targeted to 1) studying the variations of the spectral parameters as a function of the orbital and precession phases of the binary system, 2) correlating its hard X-ray flux with the radio activity, and 3) probing the emission regions from within the binary system.

In addition a 75 ksec Chandra observation of the western lobe of W50 will be presented. This region is of particular interest because it is rich with knots resulting from the interaction of a relativistic jet with a dense medium. The Chandra data provide the highest resolution X-ray image obtained to date. This will be correlated with the high-resolution radio and infrared images. A spatially resolved spectroscopic study, targeted to probe the thermal and non-thermal emission associated with the shock-excited regions, will be presented. This study will be then compared to the previous ROSAT and ASCA analysis, and discussed in the light of a jet/cloud interaction.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: moldowan@physics.umanitoba.ca

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