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Keywords:

  • binaries: close;
  • stars: individual: GRS 1915+105;
  • ISM: jets and outflows;
  • infrared: stars;
  • radio continuum: stars

We report simultaneous millimetre and infrared observations of a sequence of very large amplitude quasi-periodic oscillations from the black hole X-ray binary GRS 1915+105. These oscillations are near the end of a sequence of over 700 repeated events as observed at 15 GHz, and are simultaneous at the mm and infrared wavelengths to within our time resolution (leqslant R: less-than-or-eq, slant4 min), consistent with the respective emitting regions being physically close near the base of the outflow. One infrared event appears to have no mm counterpart, perhaps owing to highly variable absorption. The overall radio–mm–infrared spectrum around the time of the observations does suggest some absorption at lower frequencies. We calculate the energy and mass-flow into the outflow for a number of different assumptions, and find that the time-averaged power required to produce the observed synchrotron emission cannot be much lower than 3×1038 erg s−1, and is likely to be much larger. This minimum power requirement is found regardless of whether the observed emission arises in discrete ejections or in an internal shock in a quasi-continuous flow. Depending on the similarity of the physical conditions in the two types of ejection, GRS 1915+105 may be supplying more power (and mass, if both have the same baryonic component) to the jet during periods of repeated oscillations than during the more obvious larger events.