MAXI J1848-015: The First Detection of Relativistically Moving Outflows from a Globular Cluster X-Ray Binary


Over the past decade, observations of relativistic outflows from outbursting X-ray binaries in the Galactic field have grown significantly. In this work, we present the first detection of moving and decelerating radio-emitting outflows from an X-ray binary in a globular cluster. MAXI J1848−015 is a recently discovered transient X-ray binary in the direction of the globular cluster GLIMPSE-C01. Using observations from the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, and a monitoring campaign with the MeerKAT observatory for 500 days, we model the motion of the outflows. This represents some of the most intensive, long-term coverage of relativistically moving X-ray binary outflows to date. We use the proper motions of the outflows from MAXI J1848−015 to constrain the component of the intrinsic jet speed along the line of sight, β int cos θ ejection , to be =0.19 ± 0.02. Assuming it is located in GLIMPSE-C01, at 3.4 kpc, we determine the intrinsic jet speed, β int = 0.79 ± 0.07, and the inclination angle to the line of sight, θ ejection = 76° ± 2°. This makes the outflows from MAXI J1848−015 somewhat slower than those seen from many other known X-ray binaries. We also constrain the maximum distance to MAXI J1848−015 to be 4.3 kpc. Finally, we discuss the implications of our findings for the nature of the compact object in this system, finding that a black hole primary is a viable (but as-of-yet unconfirmed) explanation for the observed properties of MAXI J1848−015. If future data and/or analysis provide more conclusive evidence that MAXI J1848−015 indeed hosts a black hole, it would be the first black hole X-ray binary in outburst identified in a Galactic globular cluster.

© 2023. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society. cc-by
Bahramian, A., Tremou, E., Tetarenko, A.J., Miller-Jones, J.C.A., Fender, R.P., Corbel, S., Williams, D.R.A., Strader, J., Carotenuto, F., Salinas, R., Kennea, J.A., Motta, S.E., Woudt, P.A., Matthews, J.H., & Russell, T.D.. 2023. MAXI J1848-015: The First Detection of Relativistically Moving Outflows from a Globular Cluster X-Ray Binary. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 948(1).