Recent X-ray and radio observations by Muno et al. and Bower et al. have identified a transient low-mass X-ray binary (LMXB) located only 0.1 pc in projection from the Galactic center, CXOGC J174540.0-290031. In this paper, we report the detailed analysis of X-ray and infrared observations of the transient and its surroundings. Chandra observations detect the source at a flux of FX = 2 × 10-12 ergs cm-2 s-1 (2-8 keV). After accounting for absorption both in the interstellar medium (ISM) and in material local to the source, the implied luminosity of the source is only LX = 4 × 1034 ergs s-1 (2-8 keV; D = 8 kpc). However, the diffuse X-ray emission near the source also brightened by a factor of 2. The enhanced diffuse X-ray emission lies on top of a known ridge of dust and ionized gas that is visible in infrared images. We interpret the X-ray emission as scattered flux from the outburst and determine that the peak luminosity of CXOGC J174540.0-290031 was LX ≳ 2 × 10 36 ergs s-1. We suggest that the relatively small observed flux results from the fact that the system is observed nearly edge-on, so that the accretion disk intercepts most of the flux emitted along our line of sight. We compare the inferred peak X-ray luminosity to that of the radio jet. The ratio of the X-ray to radio luminosities, LX/LR ≲ 104, is considerably smaller than in other known LMXBs (≳10 5). This is probably because the jets are radiating with unusually high efficiency at the point where they impact the surrounding ISM. This hypothesis is supported by a comparison with mid-infrared images of the surrounding dust. Finally, we find that the minimum power required to produce the jet, Ljet ∼ 1037 ergs s-1, is comparable to the inferred peak X-ray luminosity. This is the most direct evidence yet obtained that LMXBs accreting at low rates release about half of their energy as jets.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science