Radio and X-ray detections of GX 339-4 in quiescence using MeerKAT and Swift

E. Tremou*, S. Corbel, R. P. Fender, P. A. Woudt, J. C.A. Miller-Jones, S. E. Motta, I. Heywood, R. P. Armstrong, P. Groot, A. Horesh, A. J. Van Der Horst, E. Koerding, K. P. Mooley, A. Rowlinson, R. A.M.J. Wijers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The radio-X-ray correlation that characterizes accreting black holes at all mass scales - from stellar mass black holes in binary systems to supermassive black holes powering active galactic nuclei - is one of the most important pieces of observational evidence supporting the existence of a connection between the accretion process and the generation of collimated outflows - or jets - in accreting systems. Although recent studies suggest that the correlation extends down to low luminosities, only a handful of stellar mass black holes have been clearly detected, and in general only upper limits (especially at radio wavelengths) can be obtained during quiescence. We recently obtained detections of the black hole X-ray binary (XRB) GX 339-4 in quiescence using the Meer Karoo Array Telescope (MeerKAT) radio telescope and Swift X-ray Telescope instrument on board the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, probing the lower end of the radio-X-ray correlation. We present the properties of accretion and of the connected generation of jets in the poorly studied low-accretion rate regime for this canonical black hole XRB system.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)L132-L137
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - 28 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
ET and SC acknowledge financial support from the UnivEarthS Labex program of Sorbonne Paris Cité (ANR-10-LABX-0023 and ANR-11-IDEX-0005-02). JCAM-J is the recipient of an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (FT140101082), funded by the Australian Government. PG acknowledges support from the NRF SARChI program under grant number 111692. PAW acknowledges support from UCT and the NRF. We acknowledge the use of data obtained from the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), provided by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. We thank the staff at the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) for scheduling these observations. The MeerKAT telescope is operated by the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory, which is a facility of the National Research Foundation, an agency of the Department of Science and Innovation. This work was carried out in part using facilities and data processing pipelines developed at the InterUniversity Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy (IDIA). IDIA is a partnership of the Universities of Cape Town of the Western Cape and of Pretoria. We acknowledge the use of the Nanc¸ay Data Center, hosted by the Nanc¸ay Radio Observatory (Observatoire de Paris-PSL, CNRS, Université d’ Orléans), and also supported by Region Centre-Val de Loire.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.


  • X-rays: binaries
  • radio continuum: transients


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