Extended emission from Cygnus X-3 detected with Chandra

W A Heindl, J A Tomsick, R Wijnands, D M Smith

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We have discovered extended X-ray emission from the microquasar Cygnus X-3 in archival Chandra X-Ray Observatory observations. A 5" wide structure lies approximately 16" to the northeast from the core point source and may be extended in that direction. This angular scale corresponds to a physical extent of roughly 0.8 lt-yr, at a distance of 2.5 lt-yr from Cyg X-3 ( assuming a 10 kpc distance). The flux varied by a factor of 2.5 during the 4 months separating two of the observations, indicating significant substructure. The peak 2 - 10 keV luminosity was similar to5 x 10(34) ergs s(-1). There may also be weaker, extended emission of similar scale oppositely directed from the core, suggesting a bipolar outflow. This structure is not part of the dust-scattering halo, nor is it caused by the Chandra point-spread function. In this Letter, we describe the observations and discuss possible origins of the extension.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2003


  • stars : individual (Cygnus X-3)
  • X-rays : binaries
  • X-rays : stars
  • WIND


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