Discovery of very high energy gamma rays associated with an x-ray binary


X-ray binaries are composed of a normal star in orbit around a neutron star or stellar-mass black hole. Radio and x-ray observations have led to the presumption that some x-ray binaries called microquasars behave as scaled-down active galactic nuclei. Microquasars have resolved radio emission that is thought to arise from a relativistic outflow akin to active galactic nuclei jets, in which particles can be accelerated to large energies. Very high energy gamma-rays produced by the interactions of these particles have been observed from several active galactic nuclei. Using the High Energy Stereoscopic System, we find evidence for gamma-ray emission of >100 gigaelectron volts from a candidate microquasar, LS 5039, showing that particles are also accelerated to very high energies in these systems.

Michael Aye
Michael Aye
Research Scientist in Planetary Science

My research interests include remote sensing of surfaces, related machine learning studies and open source software.