Query : 2010A&A...516A..18D

2010A&A...516A..18D - Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 516, A18-18 (2010/6-2)

Relativistic doppler-boosted emission in gamma-ray binaries.


Abstract (from CDS):

Gamma-ray binaries could be compact pulsar wind nebulae formed when a young pulsar orbits a massive star. The pulsar wind is contained by the stellar wind of the O or Be companion, creating a relativistic comet-like structure accompanying the pulsar along its orbit. The X-ray and the very high energy (>100GeV, VHE) gamma-ray emission from the binary LS 5039 are modulated on the orbital period of the system. Maximum and minimum flux occur at the conjunctions of the orbit, suggesting that the explanation is linked to the orbital geometry. The VHE modulation has been proposed to be due to the combined effect of Compton scattering and pair production on stellar photons, both of which depend on orbital phase. The X-ray modulation could be due to relativistic Doppler boosting in the comet tail where both the X-ray and VHE photons would be emitted. Relativistic aberrations change the seed stellar photon flux in the comoving frame so Doppler boosting affects synchrotron and inverse Compton emission differently. The dependence with orbital phase of relativistic Doppler-boosted (isotropic) synchrotron and (anisotropic) inverse Compton emission is calculated, assuming that the flow is oriented radially away from the star (LS 5039) or tangentially to the orbit (LS I +61 303, PSR B1259-63). Doppler boosting of the synchrotron emission in LS 5039 produces a lightcurve whose shape corresponds to the X-ray modulation. The observations imply an outflow velocity of 0.15-0.33c consistent with the expected flow speed at the pulsar wind termination shock. In LS I +61303, the calculated Doppler boosted emission peaks in phase with the observed VHE and X-ray maximum. Doppler boosting is not negligible in gamma-ray binaries, even for mildly relativistic speeds. The boosted modulation reproduces the X-ray modulation in LS 5039 and could also provide an explanation for the puzzling phasing of the VHE peak in LS I +61 303.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): radiation mechanisms: non-thermal - gamma rays: stars - X-rays: binaries - astroparticle physics

Simbad objects: 5

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Number of rows : 5
N Identifier Otype ICRS (J2000)
ICRS (J2000)
Mag U Mag B Mag V Mag R Mag I Sp type #ref
1850 - 2023
1 LS I +61 303 HXB 02 40 31.6644419688 +61 13 45.593918580 11.27 11.61 10.75 10.19 9.55 B0Ve 817 2
2 HD 259440 HXB 06 32 59.2566076656 +05 48 01.160755848 9.17 9.63 9.15     B0pe 210 0
3 CPD-63 2495 HXB 13 02 47.6544015048 -63 50 08.626970292 10.34 10.72 9.98 10.03   O9.5Ve 748 0
4 V* V479 Sct HXB 18 26 15.0561548880 -14 50 54.247274304 12.02 12.23 11.27 11.04   ON6V((f))z 546 2
5 V* V1521 Cyg HXB 20 32 25.78 +40 57 27.9           WN4/5-6/7 1883 2

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