Volume 396, Number 3, December IV 2002
|Page(s)||L31 - L34|
|Published online||05 December 2002|
Letter to the Editor
No observational proof of the black-hole event-horizon
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Chalmers University, 412-96 Göteborg, Sweden e-mail: email@example.com
2 Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, 98bis boulevard Arago, 75014 Paris, France e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
3 Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris 6
4 Institute of Astronomy , University of Zielona Góra, Poland e-mail: email@example.com
5 Centre d'Étude Spatiale des Rayonnements, 9 Av. Colonel-Roche, 31028 Toulouse, Cedex 4, France
Corresponding author: J.-P. Lasota, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 8 November 2002
Recently, several ways of verifying the existence of black-hole horizons have been proposed. We show here that most of these suggestions are irrelevant to the problem of the horizon, at best they can rule out the presence of conventional baryonic matter in the outer layers of black-hole candidates. More generally, we argue that it is fundamentally impossible to detect in electromagnetic radiation direct evidence for the presence of a black-hole horizon. This applies also to future observations, which would trace very accurately the details of the space-time metric of a body suspected of being a black hole. Specific solutions of Einsteins's equations lack an event horizon, and yet are indistinguishable in their electromagnetic signature from Schwarzschild black holes.
© ESO, 2002
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