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Paper: Black Hole Shadows and VSOP-2
Volume: 402, Approaching Micro-Arcsecond Resolution with VSOP-2: Astrophysics and Technologies
Page: 321
Authors: Takahashi, R.
Abstract: The radio images in the galactic center with micro-arcsecond resolution will be obtained by the radio interferometer VSOP-2. The apparent sizes of the direct images of the black holes in the nearby massive galaxies such as M87 and Sgr A* also have micro-arcsecond scales, and such black holes will be seen as the shadows in the luminous accreting matter around the black holes. At 43 GHz where VSOP-2 has the highest spatial resolution (38 μarcseconds), the observed images of Sgr A* are smeared out by the interstellar scattering. Therefore, the shadow of Sgr A* will not be resolved at this frequency. In the case of M87, the observed values of the black hole mass and the distance are not precisely determined. The possible minimum angular size of the highest spatial resolution of VSOP-2 corresponds to 12.5 GMBH/c2 which is smaller than the shadow size of the slowly rotating black hole in the accretion flow with the inner edge of the marginally stable orbit. On the other hand, the possible maximum angular size of the highest spatial resolution of VSOP-2 corresponds to 38.1 GMBH/c2. In this case, for any value of the black hole spin and the observed inclination angle, the size of the black hole shadow is smaller than the highest spatial resolution of VSOP-2. On the other hand, the observed energy spectrum of the accretion flow in M87 is consistent with the radiatively inefficient accretion flow where the electron temperature is higher than the detection temperature of VSOP-2. This means that the photons from the accretion flow around the black hole in M87 can be detected by VSOP-2. Other related issues are also discussed.
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