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Durham University

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Publication details for Dr Kieran O'Brien

Cristina Baglio, Maria, Russell, David M., Casella, Piergiorgio, Al Noori, Hind, Al Yazeedi, Aisha, Belloni, Tomaso, Buckley, David A. H., Cadolle Bel, Marion, Ceccobello, Chiara, Corbel, Stephane, Coti Zelati, Francesco, Díaz Trigo, Maria, Fender, Rob P., Gallo, Elena, Gandhi, Poshak, Homan, Jeroen, Koljonen, Karri I. I., Lewis, Fraser, Maccarone, Thomas J., Malzac, Julien, Markoff, Sera, Miller-Jones, James C. A., O’Brien, Kieran, Russell, Thomas D., Saikia, Payaswini, Shahbaz, Tariq, Sivakoff, Greg R., Soria, Roberto, Testa, Vincenzo, Tetarenko, Alexandra J., van den Ancker, Mario E. & Vincentelli, Federico M. (2018). A Wildly Flickering Jet in the Black Hole X-Ray Binary MAXI J1535–571. The Astrophysical Journal 867(2): 114.

Author(s) from Durham


We report on the results of optical, near-infrared (NIR), and mid-infrared observations of the black hole X-ray binary candidate (BHB) MAXI J1535–571 during its 2017/2018 outburst. During the first part of the outburst (MJD 58004–58012), the source shows an optical–NIR spectrum that is consistent with an optically thin synchrotron power law from a jet. After MJD 58015, however, the source faded considerably, the drop in flux being much more evident at lower frequencies. Before the fading, we measure a dereddened flux density of gsim100 mJy in the mid-infrared, making MAXI J1535–571 one of the brightest mid-infrared BHBs known so far. A significant softening of the X-ray spectrum is evident contemporaneous with the infrared fade. We interpret it as being due to the suppression of the jet emission, similar to the accretion–ejection coupling seen in other BHBs. However, MAXI J1535–571 did not transition smoothly to the soft state, instead showing X-ray hardness deviations associated with infrared flaring. We also present the first mid-IR variability study of a BHB on minute timescales, with a fractional rms variability of the light curves of ~15%–22%, which is similar to that expected from the internal shock jet model, and much higher than the optical fractional rms (lesssim7%). These results represent an excellent case of multiwavelength jet spectral timing and demonstrate how rich, multiwavelength time-resolved data of X-ray binaries over accretion state transitions can help in refining models of the disk–jet connection and jet launching in these systems.