First M87 Event Horizon Telescope Results. V. Physical Origin of the Asymmetric Ring
Jannuzi, Buell T.
Marrone, Daniel P.
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Steward Observ
Univ Arizona, Dept Astron
Keywordsaccretion, accretion disks
black hole physics
galaxies: individual (M87)
galaxies: jets magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
techniques: high angular resolution
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherIOP PUBLISHING LTD
CitationThe Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration et al 2019 ApJL 875 L5
JournalASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL LETTERS
Rights© 2019. The American Astronomical Society. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.
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AbstractThe Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) has mapped the central compact radio source of the elliptical galaxy M87 at 1.3 mm with unprecedented angular resolution. Here we consider the physical implications of the asymmetric ring seen in the 2017 EHT data. To this end, we construct a large library of models based on general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic (GRMHD) simulations and synthetic images produced by general relativistic ray tracing. We compare the observed visibilities with this library and confirm that the asymmetric ring is consistent with earlier predictions of strong gravitational lensing of synchrotron emission from a hot plasma orbiting near the black hole event horizon. The ring radius and ring asymmetry depend on black hole mass and spin, respectively, and both are therefore expected to be stable when observed in future EHT campaigns. Overall, the observed image is consistent with expectations for the shadow of a spinning Kerr black hole as predicted by general relativity. If the black hole spin and M87's large scale jet are aligned, then the black hole spin vector is pointed away from Earth. Models in our library of non-spinning black holes are inconsistent with the observations as they do not produce sufficiently powerful jets. At the same time, in those models that produce a sufficiently powerful jet, the latter is powered by extraction of black hole spin energy through mechanisms akin to the Blandford-Znajek process. We briefly consider alternatives to a black hole for the central compact object. Analysis of existing EHT polarization data and data taken simultaneously at other wavelengths will soon enable new tests of the GRMHD models, as will future EHT campaigns at 230 and 345 GHz.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsAcademy of Finland [274477, 284495, 312496]; European Commission Framework Programme Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation action ; Black Hole Initiative at Harvard University through John Templeton Foundation ; Comision Nacional de Investigacion Cientifica y Tecnologica (CONICYT, Chile) [PIA ACT172033, Fondecyt 1171506, BASAL AFB-170002, ALMA-conicyt 31140007]; Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologica (CONACYT, Mexico) [104497, 275201, 279006, 281692]; Direccion General de Asuntos del Personal Academico-Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (DGAPA-UNAM) [IN112417]; European Research Council Synergy Grant "BlackHoleCam: Imaging the Event Horizon of Black Holes" ; Generalitat Valenciana postdoctoral grant [APOSTD/2018/177]; Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation [GBMF-947, GBMF-3561, GBMF-5278]; Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho: MEXT) Scholarship; Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) [JP17J08829]; JSPS Overseas Research Fellowships; Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) [QYZDJ-SSW-SLH057, QYZDJ-SSW-SYS008]; Leverhulme Trust Early Career Research Fellowship; MEXT/JSPS KAKENHI [18KK0090, JP18K13594, JP18K03656, JP18H03721, 18K03709, 18H01245, 25120007]; MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) Funds; Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of Taiwan [105-2112-M-001-025-MY3, 106-2112-M-001-011, 106-2119-M-001-027, 107-2119-M-0 01-017, 107-2119-M-001-020, 107-2119-M-110-005]; National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) [80NSSC17K0649]; National Key Research and Development Program of China [2016YFA0400704, 2016YFA0400702]; National Science Foundation (NSF) [AST-0096454, AST-0352953, AST-0521233, AST-0705062, AST-0905844, AST-0922984, AST-1126433, AST-1140030, DGE-1144085, AST-1207704, AST-1207730, AST-1207752, MRI-1228509, OPP-1248097]; Natural Science Foundation of China [11573051, 11633006, 11650110427, 10625314, 11721303, 11725312, 11873028, 11873073, U1531245, 11473010]; Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC); National Research Foundation of Korea [NRF-2015H1A2A1033752, 2015-R1D1A1A01056807, NRF-2015H1D3A1066561]; Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) VICI award [639.043.513]; Spinoza Prize [SPI 78-409]; Swedish Research Council [2017-00648]; Government of Canada through the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada; Province of Ontario through the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade; Russian Science Foundation [17-12-01029]; Spanish Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad [AYA2015-63939-C2-1-P, AYA2016-80889-P]; US Department of Energy (USDOE) through the Los Alamos National Laboratory [89233218CNA000001]; Italian Ministero dell'Istruzione Universita e Ricerca through the grant Progetti Premiali 2012-iALMA [CUP C52I13000140001]; ALMA North America Development Fund; Sprows Family VURF Fellowship; NSERC Discovery Grant; NINS program of Promoting Research by Networking among Institutions ; NSF [ACI-1548562, DBI-0735191, DBI-1265383, DBI-1743442]; Compute Ontario; Calcul Quebec; Compute Canada; Smithsonian Institution; Academia Sinica; National Key R&D Program of China [2017YFA0402700]; Science and Technologies Facility Council (UK); CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France); MPG (Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Germany); IGN (Instituto Geografico Nacional, Spain); State of Arizona; NSF; NSF Physics Frontier Center award [PHY-0114422]; Kavli Foundation; GBMF [GBMF-947]; National Science Foundation [PLR-1248097]; NSF Physics Frontier Center grant [PHY-1125897]; South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO), which is a facility of the National Research Foundation (NRF), an agency of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) of South Africa; CyVerse; [Chandra TM6-17006X]; [DD7-18089X]; [AST-1310896]; [AST-1312651]; [AST-1337663]; [AST-1440254]; [AST-1555365]; [AST-1715061]; [AST-1615796]; [AST-1716327]; [OISE-1743747]; [AST-1816420]; [AST-1614868]