A close binary star in Aquila that is ejecting a pair of oppositely directed jets at very extreme speed. It lies at a distance of 5 kiloparsecs in the old supernova remnant W50. The star system appears faint optically but is characterized by strong hydrogen emission lines, which led to its inclusion in the Stephenson–Sanduleak (SS) catalog of such stars (1977); its optical variability has led to an alternative variable-star designation, V1343 Aquilae. It is an X-ray source, discovered by Ariel V in 1976. It is also a radio source and a gamma-ray source. The discovery that it has weak hydrogen emission lines that move considerably in wavelength led to intense investigation and analysis in 1978–81; the following picture has emerged.

SS433 comprises a fairly normal star that is transferring mass at a high rate to a compact companion; as in other X-ray binaries, the gas forms an accretion disk around the compact star. This hot accretion disk produces most of the system's light so that the nature of the normal star is not evident. It is probably a star of a few times the Sun's mass losing matter to a neutron star or black hole (see mass transfer). These two stars have an orbital period of 13 days, and the stars and the accretion disk form a partially eclipsing binary system.

Two jets of gas stream off the faces of the accretion disk, at a constant speed of 80 000 km s–1. The disk precesses in a period of 164 days, so that the jets trace out a cone on each side with an opening angle of 40°. The component of velocity along the line of sight thus varies periodically, and the changing Doppler effect causes the emission lines from the jets to move up and down the spectrum as the wavelength varies with the 164-day cycle. Radio observations show the precessing jets out to a distance of 0.05 parsecs; the Einstein Observatory recorded their X-ray emission in a broader band at distances up to 30 pc to each side, where they strike the surrounding supernova remnant W50. EXOSAT and Ginga observations showed that the innermost regions of each jet to be eclipsed by the normal star and to have a temperature of several million degrees.

SS433 may represent a transitory phase in the evolution of many X-ray binaries, and its apparent uniqueness may indicate that fast jets are only a short-lived phenomenon. The final outcome may be a Thorne–Żytkow object. Two other instances of stars located within supernova remnants resemble SS433 superficially, and a similar phenomenon is apparently occurring on a more moderate scale in the jet-emitting symbiotic star R Aquarii.

Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
Such a microquasar system is the SS433 X-ray binary consisted of a donor (companion) star and a compact stellar object which emits relativistic jets in various wavelength bands.
This mechanism explains the main part of the [gamma]-rays and neutrinos produced in the binary SS433 system.
In this work, we assume that this is the dominant mechanism generating high energy [gamma]-rays in the SS433 microquasar jets.
The latter emission mechanism is rather weak in SS433 [7].
The SS433 microquasar, an eclipsing X-ray binary system with a compact object most likely a black hole, comprises two oppositely directed precessing hadronic jets.
In Table 1, we tabulate the values of some model jet parameters (together with explanation of their symbols) relevant to [gamma]-ray emissions from the SS433 binary system (The scenarios C and D are described below).
The nature of SS433 and the ultraluminous X-ray sources.
"This must have been a significant factor in the early stages of galaxy evolution, 12 billion years ago, because we have evidence that powerful black holes like MQ1, which are rare today, were much more common at the time." "By studying microquasars such as MQ1, we get a glimpse of how the early universe evolved, how fast quasars grew and how much energy black holes provided to their environment."As a comparison, the most powerful microquasar in our galaxy, known as SS433, is about 10 times less powerful than MQ1.
Tzioumis said that heavy atoms have been seen in jets from one other system, SS433, but that's a very unusual system, an oddball, whereas this system is quite typical, much more likely to represent black holes in general.
Scientists already know of other supernova remnants that contain black holes, like SS433, a binary system composed of a black hole that is producing huge jets of gas, and a companion star that's 20 times the mass of our Sun.
Fabrika, "The jets and supercritical accretion disk in SS433," Astrophysics and Space Physics Reviews, vol.
This system of a black hole and its feeder star shines brightly in both radio waves and X-rays and is known collectively as the SS433 microquasar.