SS433: The microquasar link with ULXS?

Charles, P. A; Barnes, A. D; Casares, J.; Clark, J. S.; Clarkson, W. I; Harlaftis, E. T; Hynes, R. I; Marsh, T. R and Steeghs, D. (2004). SS433: The microquasar link with ULXS? In: IAU Colloquium 194: Compact binaries in the galaxy and beyond, 17-22 Nov 2003, La Paz, Baja California Sur.



SS433 is the prototype microquasar in the Galaxy and may even be analogous to the ULX sources if the jets’ kinetic energy is taken into account. However, in spite of 20 years of study, our constraints on the nature of the binary system are extremely limited as a result of the difficulty of locating spectral features that can reveal the nature and motion of the mass donor. Newly acquired, high resolution blue spectra taken when the (precessing) disc is edge-on suggest that the binary is close to a common-envelope phase, and hence providing kinematic constraints is extremely difficult. Nevertheless, we do find evidence for a massive donor, as expected for the inferred very high mass transfer rate, and we compare SS433’s properties with those of Cyg X-3.

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