Polarimetric observations of the innermost regions of relativistic jets in X-ray binaries
1 Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), E-38200 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
2 Departamento de Astrofísica, Universidad de La Laguna (ULL), E-38206 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
a e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Published online: 9 December 2013
Synchrotron emission from the relativistic jets launched close to black holes and neutron stars can be highly linearly polarized, depending on the configuration of the magnetic field. In X-ray binaries, optically thin synchrotron emission from the compact jets resides at infrared–optical wavelengths. The polarimetric signature of the jets is detected in the infrared and is highly variable in some X-ray binaries. This reveals the magnetic geometry in the compact jet, in a region close enough to the black hole that it is influenced by its strong gravity. In some cases the magnetic field is turbulent and variable near the jet base. In Cyg X–1, the origin of the γ-ray, X-ray and some of the infrared polarization is likely the optically thin synchrotron power law from the inner regions of the jet. In order to reproduce the polarization properties, the magnetic field in this region must be highly ordered, in contrast to other sources.
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