Optical Interferometry of a Microquasar : Resolving Super-Eddington Outflows in SS 433

Séminaire IPAG de Idel Waisberg (MPE Garching), jeudi 14 mars 2019 à 11h00, salle Manuel Forestini

GRAVITY@VLTI has allowed to spatially resolve outflow structures in X-ray binaries at sub-milliarcsecond resolution for the first time. The unique microquasar SS 433 harbors a hypercritical accretion disk that behaves as an accretion-powered massive star, converting its X-ray luminosity to longer wavelengths and turning it into a primarily "optical" object, making it the ideal X-ray binary target for optical interferometry. I will present GRAVITY spectro-interferometric observations of SS 433, which have spatially resolved its optical super-Eddington outflows in the form of relativistic baryonic jets, accretion disk winds and circumbinary equatorial outflows at scales comparable to the binary orbit, and discuss the insights that these unprecedented spatial information provide about the accretion-ejection and binary evolution processes in this remarkable astrophysical object.