Melia SLAC

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Of The Milky Way At The Center Black Hole The (CDFN: Barger et al. 2002; See also Giacconi et al. 2002 for CDFS)


Ferrarese andamp; Merritt (2000) Gebhardt et al. (2000)




(Ghez, et al. 1998) Filled circles: high-proper motion stars within 0.1 pc Open circles: earlier study by Genzel andamp; Eckart Squares: radial velocity study Plummer model: r(r) = r(0) [1 + (r/r ) ] c 2 (-a / 2)


X-ray Flares from Sgr A* (Baganoff et al. 2001) During a flare, Sgr A*’s X-ray luminosity can increase by more than one order of magnitude. This X-ray flare lasted a few hours. Significant variation in flux was observed over 10 minutes.


Geometry of the Inner 20 Schwarzschild Radii


(From Zhao et al. 2004) (From Bower, Falcke et al. 2004)

Long-Term Radio Periodicity: 

Long-Term Radio Periodicity (Zhao et al. 2001) Folded light curve Power spectral distribution

Implications of the radio periodicity: 

Implications of the radio periodicity This 106-day period is much longer than the dynamical time scale where the emission is produced. Strong internal coupling would require the disk to precess as a rigid body. It may be the signature of a precessing disk about a spinning black hole. a/M ~ 0.1 (ri/3rS)0.5(ro/30rS)2.5 p ro2.5 ri0.5[1-(ri/ro)2.5] _________________ P = 5 a M [1-(ri/ro)0.5] Precession Period: Black Hole Spin:


Ghez et al. (2003)


Time (minutes) Dereddened K flux density (mJy) Star S1 Sgr A* Genzel et al. (2003)


(with Falcke andamp; Agol 2000) Toward mm-submm wavelengths, the thin hot gas radiates predominantly via thermal synchrotron processes. Although the event horizon itself is not visible, the black hole’s shadow appears as a depression in the line-of-sight emissivity. Light from the infalling gas behind Sgr A* does not make it directly to us because of strong gravitational bending, or absorption by the black hole. The shadow’s size depends weakly on the metric (though its shape can change) and has a diameter of about 5 Schwarzschild radii. This image assumes no scattering by the intervening medium, and an ideal telescope resolution. At the distance to the Galactic center, this diameter corresponds to about 30 microarcseconds across. Black-Hole Imaging Begelman, Blandford, Coker, Duschl, Falcke, Gruzinov, Igumenschev, Liu, Markoff, McKee, Melia, Narayan, Quataert, Ruffert, Yuan



Polarimetric Imaging with Sub-mm VLBI The predicted size (~30 microarcsecs) of the mm-emitting region approaches the resolution of current radio interferometers. However, there are still too few single-dish telescopes that can operate at mm and sub-mm wavelengths. In addition, there are two complications that really force the optimum imaging region to lie at or below ~0.7 mm: [1] scatter-broadening of the image by the ISM. This is incorporated by smoothing the image with an elliptical Gaussian with a FWHM of 24.2 mas x (l / 1.3 mm) along the major axis and 12.8 mas x (l / 1.3 mm) along the minor axis (Lo et al. 1998). [2] the finite achievable telescope resolution from the ground. This is added by convolving the smoothed image with a spherical Gaussian point-spread function of FWHM 33.5 mas x (l / 1.3 mm) (L / 8,000 km) for an idealized global interferometer (Krichbaum 1996). 2 2 -1


1.5 mm (With Bromley and Liu 2001; with Falcke and Agol 2000; with Hollywood 1995)


0.67 mm

Closing Thoughts: 

Closing Thoughts Sgr A*’s spectral and polarimetric properties suggest emission from a small, hot, magnetized disk below 3-7 mm, but from a larger outflow region at longer wavelengths. The strong X-ray flares are probably induced by an enhancement of the accretion rate through the disk. The infrared flares appear to require at least some nonthermal emission---possibly stochastic particle scattering with the turbulent magnetic field. The 106-day radio periodicity may be due to precession with a/M ~ 0.1. Within 3-5 years, mm imaging may produce the first direct (visual) evidence of a black hole’s shadow. An analogous experiment at X-ray energies should reveal the black hole’s shadow changing dynamically during the evolution of an X-ray burst.

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