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Astrophysical imaging of Kerr black holes with scalar hair

By F. H. Vincent, E. Gourgoulhon, C. Herdeiro and E. Radu

Abstract

International audienceWe address the astrophysical imaging of a family of deformed Kerr black holes (BHs). These are stationary, asymptotically flat BH spacetimes that are solutions of general relativity minimally coupled to a massive, complex scalar field: Kerr BHs with scalar hair (KBHsSH). Such BHs bifurcate from the vacuum Kerr solution and can be regarded as a horizon within a rotating boson star. In a recent letter [P. V. P. Cunha, C. A. R. Herdeiro, E. Radu, and H. F. Rúnarsson, Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 211102 (2015).], it was shown that KBHsSH can exhibit very distinct shadows from the ones of their vacuum counterparts. The setup therein, however, considers the light source to be a celestial sphere sufficiently far away from the BH. Here, we analyze KBHsSH surrounded by an emitting torus of matter simulating a more realistic astrophysical environment, and study the corresponding lensing of light as seen by a very faraway observer, to appropriately model ground-based observations of Sgr A∗. We find that the differences in imaging between KBHsSH and comparable vacuum Kerr BHs remain, albeit less dramatic than those observed for the corresponding shadows in the previous setup. In particular, we highlight two observables that might allow differentiating KBHsSH and Kerr BHs. The first is the angular size of the photon ring (in a Kerr spacetime) or lensing ring (in a KBHSH spacetime), the latter being significantly smaller for sufficiently non-Kerr-like spacetimes. The second is the existence of an edge in the intensity distribution (the photon ring in Kerr spacetime). This edge can disappear for very non-Kerr-like KBHsSH. It is plausible, therefore, that sufficiently precise very long baseline interferometric observations of BH candidates can constrain this model

Topics: [ PHYS ] Physics [physics]
Publisher: American Physical Society
Year: 2016
DOI identifier: 10.1103/PhysRevD.94.084045
OAI identifier: oai:HAL:hal-01409108v1
Provided by: Hal-Diderot
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