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Interstellar Scattering Towards Cyg X-3

  • P. N. Wilkinson (a1), R. E. Spencer (a1) and R. F. Nelson (a1)

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MERLIN observations at 0.408 GHz of the December 1985 outburst of Cyg X-3 have enabled us to characterise the angular broadening, caused by interstellar scattering, very accurately. The scattering along the line of sight towards Cyg X-3 is exceeded by only two other lines of sight through the Galaxy: towards the Galactic centre (see e.g. Lo et al. 1985. Nature, 315, 124) and towards NGC 6334 (Rodriguez et al. 1982. Astrophys. J., 225, 103); as a result quite short baselines are needed to study the scattering disk at 73 cm wavelength (0.408 GHz). The projected MERLIN baselines for our observations cover the range from a few km (on which the source was unresolved and had a correlated flux density ∼3.6 Jy) to ∼130 km (on which the source was totally resolved i.e. a correlated flux density <0.030 Jy). The basic result from these observations is that over this range of baselines the scattering appears to be purely diffractive in character. The scattering disk is, to quite a good approximation, a circular gaussian and shows no evidence of fine scale substructure. Model fitting to the visibility amplitudes, assuming circular symmetry, yields θ0.408GHz = 2.85±0.05 arcsec (FWHM).

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Interstellar Scattering Towards Cyg X-3

  • P. N. Wilkinson (a1), R. E. Spencer (a1) and R. F. Nelson (a1)

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