For testing different electron temperature (
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- Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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For testing different electron temperature (
Te) prescriptions in general relativistic magnetohydrodynamics (GRMHD) simulations through observations, we propose to utilize linear polarization (LP) and circular polarization (CP) images. We calculate the polarization images based on a semi-magnetically arrested disk GRMHD model for various Teparameters, bearing M87 in mind. We find an LP–CP separation in the images of the low- Tedisk cases at 230GHz; namely, the LP flux mainly originates from downstream of the jet, and the CP flux comes from the counter-side jet, while the total intensity is maximum at the jet base. This can be understood as follows: although the LP flux is generated through synchrotron emission widely around the black hole, most of the LP flux from the jet base does not reach the observer, since it undergoes Faraday rotation ( ) when passing through the outer cold disk and is thus depolarized. Hence, only the LP flux from the downstream (not passing the cold dense plasmas) can survive. Meanwhile, the CP flux is generated from the LP flux by Faraday conversion ( ∝ Te) in the inner hot region. Stronger CP flux is thus observed from the counter-side jet. Moreover, the LP–CP separation is more enhanced at a lower frequency, such as 86 GHz, but is rather weak at 43 GHz, since the media in the latter case is optically thick for synchrotron self-absorption so that all of the fluxes should come from the photosphere. The same is true for cases with higher mass accretion rates and/or larger inclination angles.
The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) recently released the first linearly polarized images of the accretion flow around the supermassive black hole Messier 87*, hereafter M87*. The spiraling polarization pattern found in the EHT images favored magnetically arrested disks as the explanation for the EHT image. With next-generation improvements to very long baseline interferometry on the horizon, understanding similar polarized features in the highly lensed structure known as the “photon ring,” where photons make multiple half orbits about the black hole before reaching the observer, will be critical to the analysis of future images. Recent work has indicated that this image region may be depolarized relative to more direct emission. We expand this observation by decomposing photon half orbits in the EHT library of simulated images of the M 87* accretion system and find that images of magnetically arrested disk simulations show a relative depolarization of the photon ring attributable to destructive interference of oppositely spiraling electric field vectors; this antisymmetry, which arises purely from strong gravitational lensing, can produce up to ∼50% depolarization in the photon ring region with respect to the direct image. In systems that are not magnetically arrested and with the exception of systems with high spin and ions and electrons of equal temperature, we find that highly lensed indirect subimages are almost completely depolarized, causing a modest depolarization of the photon ring region in the complete image. We predict that next-generation EHT observations of M 87* polarization should jointly constrain the black hole spin and the underlying emission and magnetic field geometry.
Horizon-scale observations of the jetted active galactic nucleus M87 are compared with simulations spanning a broad range of dissipation mechanisms and plasma content in three-dimensional general relativistic flows around spinning black holes. Observations of synchrotron radiation from radio to X-ray frequencies can be compared with simulations by adding prescriptions specifying the relativistic electron-plus-positron distribution function and associated radiative transfer coefficients. A suite of time-varying simulations with various spins, plasma magnetizations and turbulent heating and equipartition-based emission prescriptions (and piecewise combinations thereof) is chosen to represent distinct possibilities for the M87 jet/accretion flow/black hole system. Simulation jet morphology, polarization, and variation are then ‘observed’ and compared with real observations to infer the rules that govern the polarized emissivity. Our models support several possible spin/emission model/plasma composition combinations supplying the jet in M87, whose black hole shadow has been observed down to the photon ring at 230 GHz by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). Net linear polarization and circular polarization constraints favour magnetically arrested disc (MAD) models whereas resolved linear polarization favours standard and normal evolution (SANE) in our parameter space. We also show that some MAD cases dominated by intrinsic circular polarization have near-linear V/I dependence on un-paired electron or positron content while SANE polarization exhibits markedly greater positron-dependent Faraday effects – future probes of the SANE/MAD dichotomy and plasma content with the EHT. This is the second work in a series also applying the ‘observing’ simulations methodology to near-horizon regions of supermassive black holes in Sgr A* and 3C 279.
Abstract We report on the observations of the quasar NRAO 530 with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) on 2017 April 5−7, when NRAO 530 was used as a calibrator for the EHT observations of Sagittarius A*. At z = 0.902, this is the most distant object imaged by the EHT so far. We reconstruct the first images of the source at 230 GHz, at an unprecedented angular resolution of ∼20 μ as, both in total intensity and in linear polarization (LP). We do not detect source variability, allowing us to represent the whole data set with static images. The images reveal a bright feature located on the southern end of the jet, which we associate with the core. The feature is linearly polarized, with a fractional polarization of ∼5%–8%, and it has a substructure consisting of two components. Their observed brightness temperature suggests that the energy density of the jet is dominated by the magnetic field. The jet extends over 60 μ as along a position angle ∼ −28°. It includes two features with orthogonal directions of polarization (electric vector position angle), parallel and perpendicular to the jet axis, consistent with a helical structure of the magnetic field in the jet. The outermost feature has a particularly high degree of LP, suggestive of a nearly uniform magnetic field. Future EHT observations will probe the variability of the jet structure on microarcsecond scales, while simultaneous multiwavelength monitoring will provide insight into the high-energy emission origin.more » « less
We study the observational signatures of magnetically arrested black hole accretion with non-rotating inflow on to a rotating black hole; we consider a range of angles between the black hole spin and the initial magnetic field orientation. We compare the results of our general relativistic magneto-hydrodynamic simulations to more commonly used rotating initial conditions and to the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) observations of M87. We find that the mm intensity images, polarization images, and synchrotron emission spectra are very similar among the different simulations when post-processed with the same electron temperature model; observational differences due to different electron temperature models are significantly larger than those due to the different realizations of magnetically arrested accretion. The orientation of the mm synchrotron polarization is particularly insensitive to the initial magnetic field orientation, the electron temperature model, and the rotation of the inflowing plasma. The largest difference among the simulations with different initial rotation and magnetic tilt is in the strength and stability of the jet; spherical inflow leads to kink-unstable jets. We discuss the implications of our results for current and future EHT observations and for theoretical models of event-horizon-scale black hole accretion.