Constraining the distribution of dark matter at the Galactic centre using the high-resolution Event Horizon Telescope
UMR7095, Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, 98 bis boulevard Arago, 75014 Paris, France
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Received: 16 November 2012
Accepted: 18 March 2013
We investigate constraints on the distribution of dark matter in the neighbourhood of the Galactic centre that may eventually be attained with the high-resolution Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). The shadow of a black hole in vacuum is used to generate a toy model describing how dark matter affects the size of the shadow of the supermassive black hole located at the Galactic centre. Observations by the EHT may constrain the properties of the dark matter distribution in a possible density spike around the black hole. Current uncertainties due to both the resolution of the telescope and the analysis of stellar orbits prevent one from discerning the effect of dark matter on the measured size of the shadow. The change in the size of the shadow induced by dark matter can be seen as an additional uncertainty in any test of general relativity that relies on using the angular size of the shadow to estimate the Schwarzschild radius of the black hole.
Key words: dark matter / Galaxy: center / black hole physics
© ESO, 2013