High Mass X-ray Binary LS 5039

https://www.nrao.edu/archives/plugins/Dropbox/files/ls5039.jpg

Description

LS 5039 is a high mass X-ray binary (HMXB) in our Galaxy, at a distance of 10000 light years from the Sun. It is located in the constellation of Scutum. This radio image of LS 5039 shows the presence of radio jets emanating from a central core in this HMXB, revealing its microquasar nature. Astronomers think that microquasars behave as scaled down versions of the distant quasars not only in the morphology of the source (jets) but also in the physics involved. Only around 10 microquasars have been discovered up to now and, of course, statistical studies are not yet possible. Hence, it is important to increase the number of sources of this kind. On the other hand, most of the previous discoveries were possible because the sources experienced X-ray bursts that were detected with satellites orbiting around the Earth. On the contrary, LS 5039 was proposed to be a microquasar candidate after comparing source catalogs at different wavelengths (radio, optical, X-rays). Confirmation of its nature came from the VLBA+VLA image shown here. The success of this approach for systematic identification opens the possibility of new findings which may confirm that the microquasar phenomenon is not as rare as it seems. Finally, LS 5039 may also be associated with the gamma-ray source 3EG J1824-1514, discovered by the Energetic Gamma Ray Experiment Telescope on board the COMPTON-Gamma Ray Observatory satellite.

Creator

Legacy Astronomical Images

Rights

NRAO/AUI/NSF does not hold full copyright for this image. Contact the archivist for details.

Type

Legacy Astronomical Image

Object Name

LS5039

Photo Credit

J.M. Paredes, J. Marti, M. Ribe, M. Massi

Investigators

J.M. Paredes, J. Marto, M. Ribe, M. Massi

Telescope

Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA)

Observation Date

1999-05-08

Type of Observation

continuum

Band

C

Wavelength

6 cm

Frequency

5.0 GHz

Center of Image

RA 18:26:15.056, Dec: -14:50:54.240 (J2000)

Series

Galactic Sources Series

Unit

Black Holes Unit

Citation

Legacy Astronomical Images, “High Mass X-ray Binary LS 5039,” NRAO Archives, accessed December 3, 2021, https://www.nrao.edu/archives/items/show/33419.