IXPE shot a jet in a dual system SS 433
The Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) telescope has imaged a jet emanating from a black hole in the exotic binary system SS 433 (Stephenson and Sanduleak 433). The object is located approximately 18,000 light-years from Earth and is probably a microquasar — a pair of a black hole (or neutron star) and a star of spectral class A. All this is “enclosed” inside a “bubble” of gas and dust that formed as a result of the explosion of supernova W50.
A black hole in a binary system emits a two-sided jet that distorts the shape of the gas-dust bubble. At a distance of about 100 light years from the black hole, the jets become brighter – due to “shocks” or shock waves in the jets themselves, the particles are accelerated to high energies. Only one of the jets is visible in this composite image.
The jet source and the black hole can be seen in a separate X-ray image.
Such observations help researchers study the processes that lead to the acceleration of particles in similar environments, as well as how the environment affects the shape of the jets and vice versa.
The results of the observations are published in the article “X-ray Polarization of Eastern Lobe of SS 433» magazine The Astrophysical Journal.