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Jets and environment of microquasars

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Two relativistic X-ray jets have been detected with the Chandra X-ray observatory from the black hole X-ray transient XTE J1550-564. We report a full analysis of the evolution of the two jets with a gamma-ray burst external shock model. A plausible scenario suggests a cavity outside the central source and the jets first travelled with constant velocity and then are slowed down by the interactions between the jets and the interstellar medium (ISM). The best fitted radius of the cavity is $\sim$0.36 pc on the eastern side and $\sim$0.46 pc on the western side, and the densities also show asymmetry, of $\sim$0.015 cm$^{-3}$ on the east to $\sim$0.21 cm$^{-3}$ on the west. A large scale low density region is also found in another microquasar system, H 1743-322. These results are consistent with previous suggestions that the environment of microquasars should be rather vacuous, compared to the normal Galactic environment. A generic scenario for microquasar jets is proposed, classifying the observed jets into three main categories, with different jet morphologies (and sizes) corresponding to different scales of vacuous environments surrounding them.

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