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Title: On the comparison of AGN with GRMHD simulations – II. M87

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.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Medium: X Size: p. 735-756
["p. 735-756"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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