A search for very high-energy flares from the microquasars GRS 1915+105, Circinus X-1, and V4641 Sgr using contemporaneous H.E.S.S. and RXTE observations

H. Abdalla, A. Abramowski, F. Aharonian, F. Ait Benkhali, A. G. Akhperjanian, E. O. Angüner, M. Arrieta, P. Aubert, M. Backes, A. Balzer, M. Barnard, Y. Becherini, J. Becker Tjus, D. Berge, S. Bernhard, K. Bernlöhr, E. Birsin, R. Blackwell, M. Böttcher, C. BoissonJ. Bolmont, P. Bordas, J. Bregeon, F. Brun, P. Brun, M. Bryan, T. Bulik, M. Capasso, J. Carr, S. Casanova, P. M. Chadwick, N. Chakraborty, R. Chalme-Calvet, R. C.G. Chaves, A. Chen, J. Chevalier, M. Chrétien, S. Colafrancesco, G. Cologna, B. Condon, J. Conrad, C. Couturier, Y. Cui, I. D. Davids, B. Degrange, C. Deil, P. Dewilt, H. J. Dickinson, A. Djannati-Ataï, W. Domainko, A. Donath, G. Dubus, K. Dutson, J. Dyks, M. Dyrda, T. Edwards, K. Egberts, P. Eger, J. P. Ernenwein, S. Eschbach, C. Farnier, S. Fegan, M. V. Fernandes, A. Fiasson, G. Fontaine, A. Förster, S. Funk, M. Füling, S. Gabici, M. Gajdus, Y. A. Gallant, T. Garrigoux, G. Giavitto, B. Giebels, J. F. Glicenstein, D. Gottschall, A. Goyal, M. H. Grondin, M. Grudzińska, D. Hadasch, J. Hahn, J. Hawkes, G. Heinzelmann, G. Henri, G. Hermann, O. Hervet, A. Hillert, J. A. Hinton, W. Hofmann, C. Hoischen, M. Holler, D. Horns, A. Ivascenko, A. Jacholkowska, M. Jamrozy, M. Janiak, D. Jankowsky, F. Jankowsky, M. Jingo, T. Jogler, L. Jouvin, I. Jung-Richardt, M. A. Kastendieck, K. Katarzyński, U. Katz, D. Kerszberg, B. Khélifi, M. Kieffer, J. King, S. Klepser, D. Klochkov, W. Kluźniak, D. Kolitzus, Nu Komin, K. Kosack, S. Krakau, M. Kraus, F. Krayzel, P. P. Krüger, H. Laffon, G. Lamanna, J. Lau, J. P. Lees, J. Lefaucheur, V. Lefranc, A. Lemière, M. Lemoine-Goumard, J. P. Lenain, E. Leser, T. Lohse, M. Lorentz, R. Liu, I. Lypova, V. Marandon, A. Marcowith, C. Mariaud, R. Marx, G. Maurin, N. Maxted, M. Mayer, P. J. Meintjes, U. Menzler, M. Meyer, A. M.W. Mitchell, R. Moderski, M. Mohamed, K. Morå, E. Moulin, T. Murach, M. De Naurois, F. Niederwanger, J. Niemiec, L. Oakes, H. Odaka, S. Öttl, S. Ohm, M. Ostrowski, I. Oya, M. Padovani, M. Panter, R. D. Parsons, M. Paz Arribas, N. W. Pekeur, G. Pelletier, P. O. Petrucci, B. Peyaud, S. Pita, H. Poon, D. Prokhorov, H. Prokoph, G. Pühlhofer, M. Punch, A. Quirrenbach, S. Raab, A. Reimer, O. Reimer, M. Renaud, R. De Los Reyes, F. Rieger, C. Romoli, S. Rosier-Lees, G. Rowell, B. Rudak, C. B. Rulten, V. Sahakian, D. Salek, D. A. Sanchez, A. Santangelo, M. Sasaki, R. Schlickeiser, F. Schüssler, A. Schulz, U. Schwanke, S. Schwemmer, A. S. Seyffert, N. Shafi, I. Shilon, R. Simoni, H. Sol, F. Spanier, G. Spengler, F. Spies, Stawarz, R. Steenkamp, C. Stegmann, F. Stinzing, K. Stycz, I. Sushch, J. P. Tavernet, T. Tavernier, A. M. Taylor, R. Terrier, M. Tluczykont, C. Trichard, R. Tuffs, J. Van Der Walt, C. Van Eldik, B. Van Soelen, G. Vasileiadis, J. Veh, C. Venter, A. Viana, P. Vincent, J. Vink, F. Voisin, H. J. Völk, T. Vuillaume, Z. Wadiasingh, S. J. Wagner, P. Wagner, R. M. Wagner, R. White, A. Wierzcholska, P. Willmann, A. Wörnlein, D. Wouters, R. Yang, V. Zabalza, D. Zaborov, M. Zacharias, A. A. Zdziarski, A. Zech, F. Zefi, A. Ziegler, N. Żywucka, H. Abdalla, A. Abramowski, F. Aharonian, A. G. Akhperjanian, E. O. Angüner, M. Arrieta, P. Aubert, M. Backes, A. Balzer, M. Barnard, Y. Becherini, D. Berge, S. Bernhard, K. Bernlöhr, E. Birsin, R. Blackwell, M. Böttcher, C. Boisson, J. Bolmont, P. Bordas, J. Bregeon, F. Brun, P. Brun, M. Bryan, T. Bulik, M. Capasso, J. Carr, S. Casanova, P. M. Chadwick, N. Chakraborty, R. Chalme-Calvet, R. C.G. Chaves, A. Chen, J. Chevalier, M. Chrétien, S. Colafrancesco, G. Cologna, B. Condon, J. Conrad, C. Couturier, Y. Cui, I. D. Davids, B. Degrange, C. Deil, P. Dewilt, H. J. Dickinson, A. Djannati-Ataï, W. Domainko, A. Donath, L. O. Drury, G. Dubus, K. Dutson, J. Dyks, M. Dyrda, T. Edwards, K. Egberts, P. Eger, J. P. Ernenwein, S. Eschbach, C. Farnier, S. Fegan, M. V. Fernandes, A. Fiasson, G. Fontaine, A. Förster, S. Funk, M. Füling, S. Gabici, M. Gajdus, Y. A. Gallant, T. Garrigoux, G. Giavitto, B. Giebels, J. F. Glicenstein, D. Gottschall, A. Goyal, M. H. Grondin, M. Grudzińska, D. Hadasch, J. Hahn, J. Hawkes, G. Heinzelmann, G. Henri, G. Hermann, O. Hervet, A. Hillert, J. A. Hinton, W. Hofmann, C. Hoischen, M. Holler, D. Horns, A. Ivascenko, A. Jacholkowska, M. Jamrozy, M. Janiak, D. Jankowsky, F. Jankowsky, M. Jingo, T. Jogler, L. Jouvin, I. Jung-Richardt, M. A. Kastendieck, K. Katarzyński, U. Katz, D. Kerszberg, B. Khélifi, M. Kieffer, J. King, S. Klepser, D. Klochkov, W. Kluźniak, D. Kolitzus, K. Kosack, S. Krakau, M. Kraus, F. Krayzel, P. P. Krüger, H. Laffon, G. Lamanna, J. Lau, J. P. Lees, J. Lefaucheur, V. Lefranc, A. Lemière, M. Lemoine-Goumard, J. P. Lenain, E. Leser, T. Lohse, M. Lorentz, R. Liu, I. Lypova, V. Marandon, A. Marcowith, C. Mariaud, R. Marx, G. Maurin, N. Maxted, M. Mayer, P. J. Meintjes, U. Menzler, M. Meyer, A. M.W. Mitchell, R. Moderski, M. Mohamed, K. Morå, E. Moulin, T. Murach, F. Niederwanger, J. Niemiec, L. Oakes, H. Odaka, S. Öttl, S. Ohm, M. Ostrowski, I. Oya, M. Padovani, M. Panter, R. D. Parsons, N. W. Pekeur, G. Pelletier, P. O. Petrucci, B. Peyaud, S. Pita, H. Poon, D. Prokhorov, H. Prokoph, G. Pühlhofer, M. Punch, A. Quirrenbach, S. Raab, A. Reimer, O. Reimer, M. Renaud, F. Rieger, C. Romoli, S. Rosier-Lees, G. Rowell, B. Rudak, C. B. Rulten, V. Sahakian, D. Salek, D. A. Sanchez, A. Santangelo, M. Sasaki, R. Schlickeiser, F. Schüssler, A. Schulz, U. Schwanke, S. Schwemmer, A. S. Seyffert, N. Shafi, I. Shilon, R. Simoni, H. Sol, F. Spanier, G. Spengler, F. Spies, Stawarz, R. Steenkamp, C. Stegmann, F. Stinzing, K. Stycz, I. Sushch, J. P. Tavernet, T. Tavernier, A. M. Taylor, R. Terrier, M. Tluczykont, C. Trichard, R. Tuffs, J. Van Der Walt, G. Vasileiadis, J. Veh, C. Venter, A. Viana, P. Vincent, J. Vink, F. Voisin, H. J. Völk, T. Vuillaume, Z. Wadiasingh, S. J. Wagner, P. Wagner, R. M. Wagner, R. White, A. Wierzcholska, P. Willmann, A. Wörnlein, D. Wouters, R. Yang, V. Zabalza, D. Zaborov, M. Zacharias, A. A. Zdziarski, A. Zech, F. Zefi, A. Ziegler, N. Żywucka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Context. Microquasars are potential γ-ray emitters. Indications of transient episodes of γ-ray emission were recently reported in at least two systems: Cyg X-1 and Cyg X-3. The identification of additional γ-ray-emitting microquasars is required to better understand how γ-ray emission can be produced in these systems.Aim. Theoretical models have predicted very high-energy (VHE) γ-ray emission from microquasars during periods of transient outburst. Observations reported herein were undertaken with the objective of observing a broadband flaring event in the γ-ray and X-ray bands.Methods. Contemporaneous observations of three microquasars, GRS 1915+105, Circinus X-1, and V4641 Sgr, were obtained using the High Energy Spectroscopic System (H.E.S.S.) telescope array and the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite. X-ray analyses for each microquasar were performed and VHE γ-ray upper limits from contemporaneous H.E.S.S. observations were derived.Results. No significant γ-ray signal has been detected in any of the three systems. The integral γ-ray photon flux at the observational epochs is constrained to be I(>560 GeV) < 7.3 × 10-13 cm-2 s-1, I(>560 GeV) < 1.2 × 10-12 cm-2 s-1, and I(>240Â GeV) < 4.5 × 10-12 cm-2 s-1 for GRS 1915+105, Circinus X-1, and V4641 Sgr, respectively.Conclusions. The γ-ray upper limits obtained using H.E.S.S. are examined in the context of previous Cherenkov telescope observations of microquasars. The effect of intrinsic absorption is modelled for each target and found to have negligible impact on the flux of escaping γ-rays. When combined with the X-ray behaviour observed using RXTE, the derived results indicate that if detectable VHE γ-ray emission from microquasars is commonplace, then it is likely to be highly transient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA10
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Volume612
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements. The support of the Namibian authorities and of the University of Namibia in facilitating the construction and operation of H.E.S.S. is gratefully acknowledged, as is the support by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), the Max Planck Society, the German Research Foundation (DFG), the French Ministry for Research, the CNRS-IN2P3 and the Astropar-ticle Interdisciplinary Programme of the CNRS, the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), the IPNP of the Charles University, the Czech Science Foundation, the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the South African Department of Science and Technology and National Research Foundation, and by the University of Namibia. We appreciate the excellent work of the technical support staff in Berlin, Durham, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Palaiseau, Paris, Saclay, and in Namibia in the construction and operation of the equipment.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 ESO.

Keywords

  • Binaries-X-Rays
  • Circinus X-1-x-Rays
  • Gamma Rays
  • General-X-Rays
  • Grs 1915+105-X-Rays
  • Individuals
  • V4641 Sgr

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