Volume 588, April 2016
|Number of page(s)||13|
|Published online||17 March 2016|
Probing spacetime around Sagittarius A* using modeled VLBI closure phases
1 Department of Astrophysics/IMAPP, Radboud University, PO Box 9010 6500 GL Nijmegen, The Netherlands
2 ASTRON, Oude Hoogeveensedijk 4, 7991 PD Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
Received: 19 October 2015
Accepted: 27 December 2015
Context. The emission region and black hole shadow of Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Center, can be probed with millimeter Very Long Baseline Interferometry.
Aims. Our goal is to probe the geometry of the emitting plasma around Sgr A* by using modeled mm-VLBI closure phase calculations at 1.3 mm and to constrain the observer’s inclination angle and position angle of the black hole spin axis.
Methods. We have simulated images for three different models of the emission of Sgr A*: an orbiting spot, a disk model, and a jet model. The orbiting spot model was used as a test case scenario, while the disk and jet models are physically driven scenarios based on standard three-dimensional general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations of hot accretion flows. Our results are compared to currently available closure phase observational limits.
Results. Our results indicate that more models with closer to edge-on viewing angles are consistent with observational limits. In general, jet and disk geometries can reproduce similar closure phases for different sets of viewing and position angles. Consequently, the favored black hole spin orientation and its magnitude are strongly model dependent.
Conclusions. We find that both the jet and the disk models can explain current VLBI limits. We conclude that new observations at 1.3 mm and possibly at longer wavelengths including other triangles of VLBI baselines are necessary to interpret Sgr A* emission and the putative black hole spin parameters.
Key words: Galaxy: center / galaxies: individual: Sagittarius / accretion, accretion disks / techniques: interferometric / submillimeter: general
© ESO, 2016
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