LOFAR 150-MHz observations of SS 433 and W 50 [HEAP]


We present LOFAR high-band data over the frequency range 115-189 MHz for the X-ray binary SS 433, obtained in an observing campaign from 2013 February – 2014 May. Our results include a deep, wide-field map, allowing a detailed view of the surrounding supernova remnant W 50 at low radio frequencies, as well as a light curve for SS 433 determined from shorter monitoring runs. The complex morphology of W 50 is in excellent agreement with previously published higher-frequency maps; we find additional evidence for a spectral turnover in the eastern wing, potentially due to foreground free-free absorption. Furthermore, SS 433 is tentatively variable at 150 MHz, with both a debiased modulation index of 11 per cent and a $\chi^2$ probability of a flat light curve of $8.2 \times 10^{-3}$. By comparing the LOFAR flux densities with contemporaneous observations carried out at 4800 MHz with the RATAN-600 telescope, we suggest that an observed $\sim$0.5-1 Jy rise in the 150-MHz flux density may correspond to sustained flaring activity over a period of approximately six months at 4800 MHz. However, the increase is too large to be explained with a standard synchrotron bubble model. We also detect a wealth of structure along the nearby Galactic plane, including the most complete detection to date of the radio shell of the candidate supernova remnant G 38.7-1.4. This further demonstrates the potential of supernova remnant studies with the current generation of low-frequency radio telescopes.

Read this paper on arXiv…

J. Broderick, R. Fender, J. Miller-Jones, et. al.
Tue, 13 Feb 18

Comments: 19 pages, 8 figures, 4 tables, accepted for publication in MNRAS