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  1. The proposed next generation Event Horizon Telescope (ngEHT) concept envisions the imaging of various astronomical sources on scales of microarcseconds in unprecedented detail with at least two orders of magnitude improvement in the image dynamic ranges by extending the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). A key technical component of ngEHT is the utilization of large aperture telescopes to anchor the entire array, allowing the connection of less sensitive stations through highly sensitive fringe detections to form a dense network across the planet. Here, we introduce two projects for planned next generation large radio telescopes in the 2030s on the Chajnantor Plateau in the Atacama desert in northern Chile, the Large Submillimeter Telescope (LST) and the Atacama Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope (AtLAST). Both are designed to have a 50-meter diameter and operate at the planned ngEHT frequency bands of 86, 230 and 345 GHz. A large aperture of 50 m that is co-located with two existing EHT stations, the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) and the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) Telescope in the excellent observing site of the Chajnantor Plateau, will offer excellent capabilities for highly sensitive, multi-frequency, and time-agile millimeter very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) observations with accurate data calibration relevant to key science cases of ngEHT. In addition to ngEHT, its unique location in Chile will substantially improve angular resolutions of the planned Next Generation Very Large Array in North America or any future global millimeter VLBI arrays if combined. LST and AtLAST will be a key element enabling transformative science cases with next-generation millimeter/submillimeter VLBI arrays. 
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  2. The Haystack Telescope is an antenna with a diameter of 37 m and an elevation-dependent surface accuracy of ≤100μm that is capable of millimeter-wave observations. The radome-enclosed instrument serves as a radar sensor for space situational awareness, with about one-third of the time available for research by MIT Haystack Observatory. Ongoing testing with the K-band (18–26 GHz) and W-band receivers (currently 85–93 GHz) is preparing the inclusion of the telescope into the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) array and the use as a single-dish research telescope. Given its geographic location, the addition of the Haystack Telescope to current and future versions of the EHT array would substantially improve the image quality. 
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  3. Obtaining high-resolution images at centimeter-or-longer wavelengths is vital for understanding the physics of jets. We reconstructed images from the M87 22 GHz data observed with the East Asian VLBI Network (EAVN) by using the regularized maximum likelihood (RML) method, which is different from the conventional imaging method CLEAN. Consequently, a bright core and jet extending about 30 mas to the northwest were detected with a higher resolution than in the CLEAN image. The width of the jet was 0.5 mas at 0.3 mas from the core, consistent with the width measured in the 86 GHz image in the previous study. In addition, three ridges were able to be detected at around 8 mas from the core, even though the peak-to-peak separation was only 1.0 mas. This indicates that the RML image’s spatial resolution is at least 30% higher than that of the CLEAN image. This study is an important step for future multi-frequency and high-cadence observations of the EAVN to discuss the more detailed structure of the jet and its time variability. 
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  4. Here, we demonstrate that polarization properties show a wide diversity depending on viewing angles. To simulate images of a supermassive black hole and surrounding plasma, we performed a full-polarimetric general relativistic radiative transfer based on three-dimensional general relativistic magnetohydrodynamics models with moderate magnetic strengths. Under an assumption of a hot-jet and cold-disk in the electron temperature prescription, we confirmed a typical scenario where polarized synchrotron emissions from the funnel jet experience Faraday rotation and conversion in the equatorial disk. Further, we found that linear polarization vectors are inevitably depolarized for edge-on-like observers, whereas a portion of vectors survive and reach the observers in face-on-like cases. We also found that circular polarization components have persistent signs in the face-on cases, and changing signs in the edge-on cases. It is confirmed that these features are smoothly connected via intermediate viewing-angle cases. These results are due to Faraday rotation/conversion for different viewing angles, and suggest that a combination of linear and circular polarimetry can give a constraint on the inclination between the observer and black hole’s (and/or disk’s) rotating-axis and plasma properties in the jet–disk structure. These can also lead to a more statistical and unified interpretation for a diversity of emissions from active galactic nuclei. 
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  5. Abstract

    We investigate general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations to determine the physical origin of the twisty patterns of linear polarization seen in spatially resolved black hole images and explain their morphological dependence on black hole spin. By characterizing the observed emission with a simple analytic ring model, we find that the twisty morphology is determined by the magnetic field structure in the emitting region. Moreover, the dependence of this twisty pattern on spin can be attributed to changes in the magnetic field geometry that occur due to the frame dragging. By studying an analytic ring model, we find that the roles of Doppler boosting and lensing are subdominant. Faraday rotation may cause a systematic shift in the linear polarization pattern, but we find that its impact is subdominant for models with strong magnetic fields and modest ion-to-electron temperature ratios. Models with weaker magnetic fields are much more strongly affected by Faraday rotation and have more complicated emission geometries than can be captured by a ring model. However, these models are currently disfavoured by the recent EHT observations of M87*. Our results suggest that linear polarization maps can provide a probe of the underlying magnetic field structure around a black hole, which may then be usable to indirectly infer black hole spins. The generality of these results should be tested with alternative codes, initial conditions, and plasma physics prescriptions.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  6. We present a case for significantly enhancing the utility and efficiency of the ngEHT by incorporating an additional 86 GHz observing band. In contrast to 230 or 345 GHz, weather conditions at the ngEHT sites are reliably good enough for 86 GHz to enable year-round observations. Multi-frequency imaging that incorporates 86 GHz observations would sufficiently augment the (u,v) coverage at 230 and 345 GHz to permit detection of the M87 jet structure without requiring EHT stations to join the array. The general calibration and sensitivity of the ngEHT would also be enhanced by leveraging frequency phase transfer techniques, whereby simultaneous observations at 86 GHz and higher-frequency bands have the potential to increase the effective coherence times from a few seconds to tens of minutes. When observation at the higher frequencies is not possible, there are opportunities for standalone 86 GHz science, such as studies of black hole jets and spectral lines. Finally, the addition of 86 GHz capabilities to the ngEHT would enable it to integrate into a community of other VLBI facilities—such as the GMVA and ngVLA—that are expected to operate at 86 GHz but not at the higher ngEHT observing frequencies. 
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  7. Abstract

    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 variousTeparameters, 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 (Te2) 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.

     
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  8. null (Ed.)
  9. Abstract With unprecedented angular resolution, the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) has opened a new era of black hole studies. We have previously calculated the expected polarization images of M 87* with EHT observations in mind. There, we demonstrated that circular polarization (CP) images, as well as linear polarization (LP) maps, can convey quite useful information, such as the flow structure and magnetic field configuration around the black hole. In this paper, we make new predictions for the cases in which disk emission dominates over jet emission, bearing Sgr A* in mind. Here we set the proton-to-electron temperature ratio of the disk component to be Tp/Te ∼ 2 so as to suppress jet emission relative to emission from accretion flow. As a result, we obtain ring-like images and triple-forked images around the black hole for face-on and edge-on cases, respectively. We also find significant CP components in the images (≳10% in fraction), with both positive and negative signs, amplified through the Faraday conversion, not depending sensitively on the inclination angles. Furthermore, we find a “separatrix” in the CP images, across which the sign of CP is reversed and on which the LP flux is brightest, that can be attributed to the helical magnetic field structure in the disk. These results indicate that future full polarization EHT images are a quite useful tracer of the magnetic field structure. We also discuss to what extent we will be able to extract information regarding magnetic field configurations under the scattering in the interstellar plasma, in future EHT polarimetric observations of Sgr A*. 
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  10. The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) has led to the first images of a supermassive black hole, revealing the central compact objects in the elliptical galaxy M87 and the Milky Way. Proposed upgrades to this array through the next-generation EHT (ngEHT) program would sharply improve the angular resolution, dynamic range, and temporal coverage of the existing EHT observations. These improvements will uniquely enable a wealth of transformative new discoveries related to black hole science, extending from event-horizon-scale studies of strong gravity to studies of explosive transients to the cosmological growth and influence of supermassive black holes. Here, we present the key science goals for the ngEHT and their associated instrument requirements, both of which have been formulated through a multi-year international effort involving hundreds of scientists worldwide. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024