The black hole transient MAXI J1348-630: Evolution of the compact and transient jets during its 2019/2020 outburst

F. Carotenuto*, S. Corbel, E. Tremou, T. D. Russell, A. Tzioumis, R. P. Fender, P. A. Woudt, S. E. Motta, J. C.A. Miller-Jones, J. Chauhan, A. J. Tetarenko, G. R. Sivakoff, I. Heywood, A. Horesh, A. J. Van Der Horst, E. Koerding, K. P. Mooley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


We present the radio and X-ray monitoring campaign of the 2019/2020 outburst of MAXI J1348-630, a new black hole X-ray binary (BH XRB) discovered in 2019 January. We observed MAXI J1348-630 for ∼14 months in the radio band with MeerKAT and the Australia Telescope Compact Array, and in the X-rays with MAXI and Swift/XRT. Throughout the outburst, we detected and tracked the evolution of compact and transient jets. Following the main outburst, the system underwent at least four hard-state-only re-flares, during which compact jets were again detected. For the major outburst, we observed the rise, quenching and reactivation of compact jets, as well as two single-sided discrete ejecta travelling away from the BH, launched ∼2 months apart. These ejecta displayed the highest proper motion (≳100 mas d-1) ever measured for an accreting BH binary. From the jet motion, we constrain the ejecta inclination and speed to be ≤46° and ≥0.69 c, and the opening angle and transverse expansion speed of the first component to be ≤6° and ≤0.05 c. We also infer that the first ejection happened at the hard-to-soft state transition, before a strong radio flare, while the second ejection was launched during a short excursion from the soft to the intermediate state. After travelling with constant speed, the first component underwent a strong deceleration, which was covered with unprecedented detail and suggested that MAXI J1348-630 could be located inside a low-density cavity in the interstellar medium, as already proposed for XTE J1550-564 and H1743-322.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)444-468
Number of pages25
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society.


  • ISM: jets and outflows
  • X-rays: binaries
  • X-rays: individual: MAXI J1348-630
  • accretion, accretion discs
  • black hole physics
  • radio continuum: stars


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