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Gamma-Rays from High-Mass X-Ray Binaries

In its first year, NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope discovered GeV (billions of electron volts) intensity variations revealing orbital motion in high-mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs). These are systems where a compact companion, such as a neutron star or a black hole, rapidly orbits a hot, young, massive star. The first examples include LSI +61 303, which sports a 26-day orbital period, and LS 5039 (3.9 days). This animation shows such a system. When the compact object lies far from its host star, TeV (trillions of electron volts) gamma-rays (white) are seen by ground-based gamma-ray observatories. But, as the object plunges closer to the star, the TeV emission is quenched and GeV emission turns on. Interactions by accelerated particles from the compact source with gas encircling the star -- or in some systems, the star's light itself - is thought to be responsible for this change.
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Animation showing the star's orbit.    Animation showing the star's orbit.
Duration: 16.0 seconds
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Short URL to This Page:http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?10507
Animation Number:10507
Completed:2009-10-26
Animator:Walt Feimer (HTSI) (Lead)
Writer:Francis Reddy (SPSYS)
Platforms/Sensors/Data Sets:Swift None
 Fermi
Series:Fermi
 Astrophysics Animations
Please give credit for this item to:
Walt Feimer, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
 
Keywords:
SVS >> Gamma Ray
SVS >> HDTV
SVS >> Neutron Star
DLESE >> Space science
SVS >> X-ray
SVS >> Gamma Ray Burst
SVS >> Astrophysics
SVS >> Universe
SVS >> GLAST
SVS >> Space
SVS >> Gamma Ray Observatory
SVS >> Fermi
SVS >> Binary Star
SVS >> Binary
 
 


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Many of our multimedia items use the GCMD keywords. These keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0

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