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A magnetized torus for modeling Sagittarius A* millimeter images and spectra

Journal article
Authors F. H. Vincent
W. Yan
O. Straub
A. A. Zdziarski
Marek A Abramowicz
Published in Astronomy & Astrophysics
Volume 574
Pages Article Number: A48
ISSN 0004-6361
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Physics (GU)
Pages Article Number: A48
Language en
Keywords Galaxy: center, accretion, accretion disks, black hole physics, relativistic processes, SUPERMASSIVE BLACK-HOLE, HOT ACCRETION FLOWS, GALACTIC-CENTER, SYNCHROTRON-RADIATION, MHD SIMULATIONS, STELLAR ORBITS, SCALE JET, POLARIZATION, TELESCOPE, EMISSION, Astronomy & Astrophysics
Subject categories Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology


Context. The supermassive black hole, Sagittarius (Sgr) A*, in the centre of our Galaxy has the largest angular size in the sky among all astrophysical black holes. Its shadow, assuming no rotation, spans similar to 50 mu as. Resolving such dimensions has long been out of reach for astronomical instruments until a new generation of interferometers being operational during this decade. Of particular interest is the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) with resolution similar to 20 mu as in the millimeter- wavelength range 0.87 mm- 1.3 mm. Aims. We investigate the ability of the fully general relativistic Komissarov (2006, MNRAS, 368, 993) analytical magnetized torus model to account for observable constraints at Sgr A* in the centimeter and millimeter domains. The impact of the magnetic field geometry on the observables is also studied. Methods. We calculate ray-traced centimeter- and millimeter-wavelength synchrotron spectra and images of a magnetized accretion torus surrounding the central black hole in Sgr A*. We assume stationarity, axial symmetry, constant specific angular momentum and polytropic equation of state. A hybrid population of thermal and non-thermal electrons is considered. Results. We show that the torus model is capable of reproducing spectral constraints in the millimeter domain, and in particular in the observable domain of the EHT. However, the torus model is not yet able to fit the centimeter spectrum. 1.3 mm images at high inclinations are in agreement with observable constraints. Conclusions. The ability of the torus model to account for observations of Sgr A* in the millimeter domain is interesting in the perspective of the future EHT. Such an analytical model allows very fast computations. It will thus be a suitable test bed for investigating large domains of physical parameters, as well as non-black-hole compact object candidates and alternative theories of gravity.

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