First M87 Event Horizon Telescope Results. V. Physical Origin of the Asymmetric Ring
Journal article, 2019

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) has mapped the central compact radio source of the elliptical galaxy M87 at 1.3 mm with unprecedented angular resolution. Here we consider the physical implications of the asymmetric ring seen in the 2017 EHT data. To this end, we construct a large library of models based on general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic (GRMHD) simulations and synthetic images produced by general relativistic ray tracing. We compare the observed visibilities with this library and confirm that the asymmetric ring is consistent with earlier predictions of strong gravitational lensing of synchrotron emission from a hot plasma orbiting near the black hole event horizon. The ring radius and ring asymmetry depend on black hole mass and spin, respectively, and both are therefore expected to be stable when observed in future EHT campaigns. Overall, the observed image is consistent with expectations for the shadow of a spinning Kerr black hole as predicted by general relativity. If the black hole spin and M87's large scale jet are aligned, then the black hole spin vector is pointed away from Earth. Models in our library of non-spinning black holes are inconsistent with the observations as they do not produce sufficiently powerful jets. At the same time, in those models that produce a sufficiently powerful jet, the latter is powered by extraction of black hole spin energy through mechanisms akin to the Blandford-Znajek process. We briefly consider alternatives to a black hole for the central compact object. Analysis of existing EHT polarization data and data taken simultaneously at other wavelengths will soon enable new tests of the GRMHD models, as will future EHT campaigns at 230 and 345 GHz.

accretion, accretion disks

galaxies: individual (M87)

galaxies: jets magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)

black hole physics

techniques: high angular resolution

Author

Kazunori Akiyama

National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Harvard University

Antxon Alberdi

Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas

Walter Alef

Max Planck Institute

Keiichi Asada

Academia Sinica

Rebecca Azulay

Universitat de Valencia

Max Planck Institute

Anne-Kathrin Baczko

Max Planck Institute

David Ball

Univ Arizona, Steward Observ, 933 N Cherry Ave

Univ Arizona, Dept Astron, 933 N Cherry Ave

Mislav Balokovic

Harvard University

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

John Barrett

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Dan Bintley

East Asian Observ, 660 N Aohoku Pl

Lindy Blackburn

Harvard University

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Wilfred Boland

Nederlandse Onderzoekschool voor Astronomie (NOVA)

Katherine L. Bouman

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Harvard University

Geoffrey C. Bower

Academia Sinica

Michael Bremer

Institut de RadioAstronomie Millimetrique (IRAM)

Christiaan D. Brinkerink

Radboud University

Roger Brissenden

Harvard University

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Silke Britzen

Max Planck Institute

Avery E. Broderick

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

University of Waterloo

Dominique Broguiere

Institut de RadioAstronomie Millimetrique (IRAM)

Thomas Bronzwaer

Radboud University

Do-Young Byun

Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute

Univ Sci & Technol

John E. Carlstrom

Univ Chicago, Dept Astron & Astrophys, 5640 South Ellis Ave

Univ Chicago, Kavli Inst Cosmol Phys

Univ Chicago, Dept Phys, 5720 South Ellis Ave

Univ Chicago, Enrico Fermi Inst, 5640 South Ellis Ave

Andrew Chael

Harvard University

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Chi-kwan Chan

Univ Arizona, Dept Astron, 933 N Cherry Ave

Univ Arizona, Data Sci Inst, 1230 N Cherry Ave

Univ Arizona, Steward Observ, 933 N Cherry Ave

Shami Chatterjee

Cornell Univ, Cornell Ctr Astrophys & Planetary Sci

Koushik Chatterjee

University of Amsterdam

Ming-Tang Chen

Academia Sinica

Yongjun Chen

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Ilje Cho

Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute

Univ Sci & Technol

Pierre Christian

Univ Arizona, Dept Astron, 933 N Cherry Ave

Univ Arizona, Steward Observ, 933 N Cherry Ave

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

John Conway

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Onsala Space Observatory

James M. Cordes

Cornell Univ, Cornell Ctr Astrophys & Planetary Sci

Geoffrey B. Crew

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Yuzhu Cui

The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI)

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Jordy Davelaar

Radboud University

Mariafelicia De Laurentis

Ist Nazl Fis Nucl

Goethe University Frankfurt

Universita degli Studi di Napoli Federico II

Roger Deane

Rhodes Univ

Univ Pretoria

Jessica Dempsey

East Asian Observ, 660 N Aohoku Pl

Gregory Desvignes

Max Planck Institute

Jason Dexter

Max Planck Institute

Sheperd S. Doeleman

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Harvard University

Ralph P. Eatough

Max Planck Institute

Heino Falcke

Radboud University

Vincent L. Fish

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Ed Fomalont

National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Raquel Fraga-Encinas

Radboud University

Per Friberg

East Asian Observ, 660 N Aohoku Pl

Christian M. Fromm

Goethe University Frankfurt

Jose L. Gomez

Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas

Peter Galisonl

National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Harvard University

Charles F. Gammie

University of Illinois

Roberto Garcia

Institut de RadioAstronomie Millimetrique (IRAM)

Olivier Gentaz

Institut de RadioAstronomie Millimetrique (IRAM)

Boris Georgiev

University of Waterloo

Ciriaco Goddi

Leiden University

Radboud University

Roman Gold

Goethe University Frankfurt

Minfeng Gu

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Mark Gurwell

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Kazuhiro Hada

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI)

Michael H. Hecht

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Ronald Hesper

University of Groningen

Luis C. Ho

Beijing University of Technology

Paul Ho

Academia Sinica

Mareki Honma

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI)

Chih-Wei L. Huang

Academia Sinica

Lei Huang

Chinese Academy of Sciences

David H. Hughes

Inst Nacl Astrofis Opt & Electr

Shiro Ikeda

The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI)

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

University of Tokyo

The Institute of Statistical Mathematics

Makoto Inoue

Academia Sinica

Sara Issaoun

Radboud University

David J. James

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Harvard University

Buell T. Jannuzi

Univ Arizona, Steward Observ, 933 N Cherry Ave

Univ Arizona, Dept Astron, 933 N Cherry Ave

Michael Janssen

Radboud University

Britton Jeter

University of Waterloo

Wu Jiang

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Michael D. Johnson

Harvard University

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Svetlana Jorstad

St Petersburg Univ

Boston University

Taehyun Jung

Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute

Univ Sci & Technol

Mansour Karami

University of Waterloo

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Ramesh Karuppusamy

Max Planck Institute

Tomohisa Kawashima

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Garrett K. Keating

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Mark Kettenis

Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE)

Jae-Young Kim

Max Planck Institute

Junhan Kim

Univ Arizona, Steward Observ, 933 N Cherry Ave

Univ Arizona, Dept Astron, 933 N Cherry Ave

Jongsoo Kim

Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute

Motoki Kino

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Kogakuin University of Technology and Engineering

Jun Yi Koay

Academia Sinica

Patrick M. Koch

Academia Sinica

Shoko Koyama

Academia Sinica

Michael Kramer

Max Planck Institute

Carsten Kramer

Institut de RadioAstronomie Millimetrique (IRAM)

Thomas P. Krichbaum

Max Planck Institute

Cheng-Yu Kuo

Natl Sun Yat Sen Univ

Tod R. Lauer

Natl Opt Astron Observ, 950 North Cherry Ave

Sang-Sung Lee

Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute

Yan-Rong Li

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Zhiyuan Li

Nanjing University

Michael Lindqvist

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Onsala Space Observatory, Onsala Space Observatory, Observation Support

Kuo Liu

Max Planck Institute

Elisabetta Liuzzo

INAF Ist Radioastron

Wen-Ping Lo

Academia Sinica

Natl Taiwan Univ

Andrei P. Lobanov

Max Planck Institute

Laurent Loinard

Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

Colin Lonsdale

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Ru-Sen Lu

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Max Planck Institute

Nicholas R. MacDonald

Max Planck Institute

Jirong Mao

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Sera Markoff

University of Amsterdam

Daniel P. Marrone

Univ Arizona, Steward Observ, 933 N Cherry Ave

Univ Arizona, Dept Astron, 933 N Cherry Ave

Alan P. Marscher

Boston University

Ivan Marti-Vidal

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Onsala Space Observatory

Satoki Matsushita

Academia Sinica

Lynn D. Matthews

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Lia Medeiros

University of California at Santa Barbara

Univ Arizona, Dept Astron, 933 N Cherry Ave

Univ Arizona, Steward Observ, 933 N Cherry Ave

Karl M. Menten

Max Planck Institute

Yosuke Mizuno

Goethe University Frankfurt

Izumi Mizuno

East Asian Observ, 660 N Aohoku Pl

James M. Moran

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Harvard University

Kotaro Moriyama

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Monika Moscibrodzka

Radboud University

Cornelia Muller

Radboud University

Max Planck Institute

Hiroshi Nagai

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI)

Neil M. Nagar

University of Concepcion

Masanori Nakamura

Academia Sinica

Ramesh Narayan

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Harvard University

Gopal Narayanan

Univ Massachusetts, Dept Astron

Iniyan Natarajan

Rhodes Univ

Roberto Neri

Institut de RadioAstronomie Millimetrique (IRAM)

Chunchong Ni

University of Waterloo

Aristeidis Noutsos

Max Planck Institute

Hiroki Okino

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

University of Tokyo

Hector Olivares

Goethe University Frankfurt

Tomoaki Oyama

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Feryal Ozel

Univ Arizona, Dept Astron, 933 N Cherry Ave

Univ Arizona, Steward Observ, 933 N Cherry Ave

Daniel C. M. Palumbo

Harvard University

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Nimesh Patel

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Ue-Li Pen

Canadian Inst Adv Res

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

University of Toronto

Dominic W. Pesce

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Harvard University

Vincent Pietu

Institut de RadioAstronomie Millimetrique (IRAM)

Richard Plambeck

University of California at Berkeley

Aleksandar PopStefanija

Univ Massachusetts, Dept Astron

Oliver Porth

Goethe University Frankfurt

University of Amsterdam

Ben Prather

University of Illinois

Jorge A. Preciado-Lopez

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Dimitrios Psaltis

Univ Arizona, Steward Observ, 933 N Cherry Ave

Univ Arizona, Dept Astron, 933 N Cherry Ave

Hung-Yi Pu

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Venkatessh Ramakrishnan

University of Concepcion

Ramprasad Rao

Academia Sinica

Mark G. Rawlings

East Asian Observ, 660 N Aohoku Pl

Alexander W. Raymond

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Harvard University

Luciano Rezzolla

Goethe University Frankfurt

Bart Ripperda

Goethe University Frankfurt

Freek Roelofs

Radboud University

Alan Rogers

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Eduardo Ros

Max Planck Institute

Mel Rose

Univ Arizona, Steward Observ, 933 N Cherry Ave

Univ Arizona, Dept Astron, 933 N Cherry Ave

Arash Roshanineshat

Univ Arizona, Dept Astron, 933 N Cherry Ave

Univ Arizona, Steward Observ, 933 N Cherry Ave

Helge Rottmann

Max Planck Institute

Alan L. Roy

Max Planck Institute

Chet Ruszczyk

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Benjamin R. Ryan

Los Alamos Natl Lab, Ctr Theoret Astrophys

Los Alamos Natl Lab, CCS-2, POB 1663

Kazi L. J. Rygl

INAF Ist Radioastron

Salvador Sanchez

Institut de RadioAstronomie Millimetrique (IRAM)

David Sanchez-Arguelles

Inst Nacl Astrofis Opt & Electr

Consejo Nacl Ciencia & Technol

Mahito Sasada

Hiroshima Univ

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Tuomas Savolainen

Aalto University

Max Planck Institute

F. Peter Schloerb

Univ Massachusetts, Dept Astron

Karl-Friedrich Schuster

Institut de RadioAstronomie Millimetrique (IRAM)

Lijing Shao

Max Planck Institute

Beijing University of Technology

Zhiqiang Shen

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Des Small

Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE)

Bong Won Sohn

Univ Sci & Technol

Yonsei Univ

Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute

Jason SooHoo

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Fumie Tazaki

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Paul Tiede

University of Waterloo

Remo P. J. Tilanus

Radboud University

Leiden University

Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)

Michael Titus

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Kenji Toma

Tohoku University

Pablo Torne

Institut de RadioAstronomie Millimetrique (IRAM)

Max Planck Institute

Tyler Trent

Univ Arizona, Steward Observ, 933 N Cherry Ave

Univ Arizona, Dept Astron, 933 N Cherry Ave

Sascha Trippe

Seoul National University

Shuichiro Tsuda

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Ilse van Bemmel

Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE)

Huib Jan van Langevelde

Leiden University

Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE)

Daniel R. van Rossum

Radboud University

Jan Wagner

Max Planck Institute

John Wardle

Brandeis Univ, Dept Phys, 415 South St

Jonathan Weintroub

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Harvard University

Norbert Wex

Max Planck Institute

Robert Wharton

Max Planck Institute

Maciek Wielgus

Harvard University

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

George N. Wong

University of Illinois

Qingwen Wu

Huazhong University of Science and Technology

Andre Young

Radboud University

Ken Young

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Ziri Younsi

University College London (UCL)

Goethe University Frankfurt

Feng Yuan

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Ye-Fei Yuan

University of Science and Technology of China

J. Anton Zensus

Max Planck Institute

Guangyao Zhao

Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute

Shan-Shan Zhao

Radboud University

Nanjing University

Ziyan Zhu

Harvard University

Jadyn Anczarski

Villanova Univ, Dept Phys, 800 E Lancaster Ave

Frederick K. Baganoff

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Andreas Eckart

University of Cologne

Max Planck Institute

Joseph R. Farah

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Harvard University

Univ Massachusetts, 100 William T, Morrissey Blvd

Daryl Haggard

McGill University

Canadian Inst Adv Res

Zheng Meyer-Zhao

Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON)

Academia Sinica

Daniel Michalik

European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESA ESTEC)

Univ Chicago, 5640 South Ellis Ave

Andrew Nadolski

University of Illinois

Joseph Neilsen

Villanova Univ, Dept Phys, 800 E Lancaster Ave

Hiroaki Nishioka

Academia Sinica

Michael A. Nowak

Washington University in St. Louis

Nicolas Pradel

Academia Sinica

Rurik A. Primiani

Systems & Technology Research

Kamal Souccar

Univ Massachusetts, Dept Astron

Laura Vertatschitsch

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Systems & Technology Research

Paul Yamaguchi

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Shuo Zhang

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Astrophysical Journal Letters

2041-8205 (ISSN) 2041-8213 (eISSN)

Vol. 875 1 L5

Subject Categories

Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology

DOI

10.3847/2041-8213/ab0f43

More information

Latest update

7/12/2019