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A giant radio flare from Cygnus X-3 with associated γ-ray emission

Authors

  • S. Corbel,

    Corresponding author
    1. Université Paris 7 Denis Diderot and Service d’Astrophysique, UMR AIM, CEA Saclay, F-91191 Gif sur Yvette, France
    2. Institut Universitaire de France, 75005 Paris, France
      E-mail: stephane.corbel@cea.fr
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  • G. Dubus,

    1. UJF-Grenoble 1 /CNRS-INSU, Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble (IPAG) UMR 5274, Grenoble F-38041, France
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  • J. A. Tomsick,

    1. Space Sciences Laboratory, 7 Gauss Way, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-7450, USA
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  • A. Szostek,

    1. Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Department of Physics and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
    2. Astronomical Observatory, Jagiellonian University, Orla 171, 30-244 Kraków, Poland
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  • R. H. D. Corbet,

    1. CRESST and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Astrophysics Science Division, Code 662, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
    2. Center for Space Science and Technology, University of Maryland Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250, USA
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  • J. C. A. Miller-Jones,

    1. International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research - Curtin University, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845, Australia
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  • J. L. Richards,

    1. Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
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  • G. Pooley,

    1. Cavendish Laboratory, J. J. Thomson Avenue, Cambridge CB3 0HE
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  • S. Trushkin,

    1. Special Astrophysical Observatory RAS, Karachaevo-Cherkassian Republic, Nizhnij Arkhyz 369167, Russia
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  • R. Dubois,

    1. Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Department of Physics and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
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  • A. B. Hill,

    1. School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ
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  • M. Kerr,

    1. Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Department of Physics and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
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  • W. Max-Moerbeck,

    1. Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
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  • A. C. S. Readhead,

    1. Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
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  • A. Bodaghee,

    1. Space Sciences Laboratory, 7 Gauss Way, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-7450, USA
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  • V. Tudose,

    1. Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, Postbus 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo, the Netherlands
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  • D. Parent,

    1. Center for Earth Observing and Space Research, College of Science, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, resident at Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375, USA
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  • J. Wilms,

    1. Erlangen Centre for Astroparticle Physics, D-91058 Erlangen, Germany
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  • K. Pottschmidt

    1. CRESST and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Astrophysics Science Division, Code 662, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
    2. CRESST and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Astrophysics Science Division, Code 661, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
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E-mail: stephane.corbel@cea.fr

ABSTRACT

With frequent flaring activity of its relativistic jets, Cygnus X-3 (Cyg X-3) is one of the most active microquasars and is the only Galactic black hole candidate with confirmed high-energy γ-ray emission, thanks to detections by Fermi Large Area Telescope (Fermi/LAT) and AGILE. In 2011, Cyg X-3 was observed to transit to a soft X-ray state, which is known to be associated with high-energy γ-ray emission. We present the results of a multiwavelength campaign covering a quenched state, when radio emission from Cyg X-3 is at its weakest and the X-ray spectrum is very soft. A giant (∼20 Jy) optically thin radio flare marks the end of the quenched state, accompanied by rising non-thermal hard X-rays. Fermi/LAT observations (E≥ 100 MeV) reveal renewed γ-ray activity associated with this giant radio flare, suggesting a common origin for all non-thermal components. In addition, current observations unambiguously show that the γ-ray emission is not exclusively related to the rare giant radio flares. A three-week period of γ-ray emission is also detected when Cyg X-3 was weakly flaring in radio, right before transition to the radio quenched state. No γ-rays are observed during the ∼1-month long quenched state, when the radio flux is weakest. Our results suggest transitions into and out of the ultrasoft X-ray (radio-quenched) state trigger γ-ray emission, implying a connection to the accretion process, and also that the γ-ray activity is related to the level of radio flux (and possibly shock formation), strengthening the connection to the relativistic jets.

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