The Polarized Image of a Synchrotron-emitting Ring of Gas Orbiting a Black Hole
Journal article, 2021

Synchrotron radiation from hot gas near a black hole results in a polarized image. The image polarization is determined by effects including the orientation of the magnetic field in the emitting region, relativistic motion of the gas, strong gravitational lensing by the black hole, and parallel transport in the curved spacetime. We explore these effects using a simple model of an axisymmetric, equatorial accretion disk around a Schwarzschild black hole. By using an approximate expression for the null geodesics derived by Beloborodov and conservation of the Walker-Penrose constant, we provide analytic estimates for the image polarization. We test this model using currently favored general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations of M87*, using ring parameters given by the simulations. For a subset of these with modest Faraday effects, we show that the ring model broadly reproduces the polarimetric image morphology. Our model also predicts the polarization evolution for compact flaring regions, such as those observed from Sgr A* with GRAVITY. With suitably chosen parameters, our simple model can reproduce the EVPA pattern and relative polarized intensity in Event Horizon Telescope images of M87*. Under the physically motivated assumption that the magnetic field trails the fluid velocity, this comparison is consistent with the clockwise rotation inferred from total intensity images.

Author

Ramesh Narayan

Harvard University

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Daniel C. M. Palumbo

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Harvard University

Michael D. Johnson

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Harvard University

Zachary Gelles

Harvard University

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Elizabeth Himwich

Harvard University

Dominic O. Chang

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Harvard University

Angelo Ricarte

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Harvard University

Jason Dexter

University of Colorado at Boulder

Charles F. Gammie

University of Illinois

Andrew A. Chael

Princeton University

Kazunori Akiyama

Harvard University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Antxon Alberdi

Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

Walter Alef

Max Planck Society

Juan Carlos Algaba

University of Malaya

Richard Anantua

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Harvard University

Keiichi Asada

Academia Sinica

Rebecca Azulay

Universitat de Valencia

Max Planck Society

Anne-Kathrin Baczko

Max Planck Society

David Ball

University of Arizona

John Barrett

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Bradford A. Benson

University of Chicago

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

Dan Bintley

East Asian Observatory

Lindy Blackburn

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Harvard University

Raymond Blundell

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Wilfred Boland

Nederlandse Onderzoekschool voor Astronomie (NOVA)

Katherine L. Bouman

Harvard University

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Geoffrey C. Bower

Acad Sinica, Inst Astron & Astrophys, 645 N Ohoku Pl

Hope Boyce

McGill University

Michael Bremer

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

Christiaan D. Brinkerink

Radboud University

Roger Brissenden

Harvard University

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Silke Britzen

Max Planck Society

Avery E. Broderick

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

University of Waterloo

Dominique Broguiere

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

Thomas Bronzwaer

Radboud University

Do-Young Byun

University of Science and Technology (UST)

Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute

John E. Carlstrom

University of Chicago

Chi-kwan Chan

University of Arizona

Shami Chatterjee

Cornell University

Koushik Chatterjee

University of Amsterdam

Ming-Tang Chen

Acad Sinica, Inst Astron & Astrophys, 645 N Ohoku Pl

Yongjun Chen

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Paul M. Chesler

Harvard University

Ilje Cho

Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute

University of Science and Technology (UST)

Pierre Christian

Fairfield University

John Conway

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Onsala Space Observatory

James M. Cordes

Cornell University

Thomas M. Crawford

University of Chicago

Geoffrey B. Crew

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Alejandro Cruz-Osorio

Goethe University Frankfurt

Yuzhu Cui

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI)

Jordy Davelaar

Flatiron Institute

Radboud University

Columbia University

Mariafelicia De Laurentis

Goethe University Frankfurt

National Institute for Nuclear Physics

University of Naples Federico II

Roger Deane

Rhodes University

University of Witwatersrand

University of Pretoria

Jessica Dempsey

East Asian Observatory

Gregory Desvignes

Paris Descartes University

Sheperd S. Doeleman

Harvard University

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Ralph P. Eatough

Max Planck Society

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Heino Falcke

Radboud University

Joseph Farah

Harvard University

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

University of Massachusetts Boston

Vincent L. Fish

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Ed Fomalont

University of Arizona

National Radio Astronomy Observatory

H. Alyson Ford

Harvard University

Raquel Fraga-Encinas

Radboud University

Per Friberg

East Asian Observatory

Christian M. Fromm

Harvard University

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Goethe University Frankfurt

Antonio Fuentes

Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

Peter Galison

Harvard University

Roberto Garcia

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

Olivier Gentaz

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

Boris Georgiev

University of Waterloo

Ciriaco Goddi

Leiden University

Radboud University

Roman Gold

University of Southern Denmark

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Jose L. Gomez

Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

Gomez-Ruiz

National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics

National Council for Science and Technology Mexico

Minfeng Gu

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Mark Gurwell

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Kazuhiro Hada

The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI)

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Daryl Haggard

McGill University

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

University of Tokyo

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

National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics

Shiro Ikeda

The Institute of Statistical Mathematics

The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI)

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

University of Tokyo

Makoto Inoue

Academia Sinica

Sara Issaoun

Radboud University

David J. James

Harvard University

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Buell T. Jannuzi

University of Arizona

Michael Janssen

Max Planck Society

Britton Jeter

University of Waterloo

Wu Jiang

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Alejandra Jimenez-Rosales

Radboud University

Svetlana Jorstad

Saint Petersburg State University - Spsu

Boston University

Taehyun Jung

University of Science and Technology (UST)

Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute

Mansour Karami

University of Waterloo

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Ramesh Karuppusamy

Max Planck Society

Tomohisa Kawashima

University of Tokyo

Garrett K. Keating

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Mark Kettenis

Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE)

Dong-Jin Kim

Max Planck Society

Jae-Young Kim

Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute

Max Planck Society

Jongsoo Kim

Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute

Junhan Kim

University of Arizona

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Motoki Kino

Kogakuin University of Technology and Engineering

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Jun Yi Koay

Academia Sinica

Yutaro Kofuji

University of Tokyo

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Patrick M. Koch

Academia Sinica

Shoko Koyama

Academia Sinica

Michael Kramer

Max Planck Society

Carsten Kramer

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

Thomas P. Krichbaum

Max Planck Society

Cheng-Yu Kuo

Academia Sinica

National Sun Yat-Sen University

Tod R. Lauer

National Optical Astronomy Observatory

Sang-Sung Lee

Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute

Aviad Levis

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Yan-Rong Li

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Zhiyuan Li

Nanjing University

Michael Lindqvist

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

Rocco Lico

Max Planck Society

Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

Greg Lindahl

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Jun Liu

Max Planck Society

Kuo Liu

Max Planck Society

Elisabetta Liuzzo

Italian ALMA Reg Ctr

Wen-Ping Lo

Academia Sinica

National Taiwan University

Andrei P. Lobanov

Max Planck Society

Laurent Loinard

Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

Colin Lonsdale

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Ru-Sen Lu

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Max Planck Society

Nicholas R. MacDonald

Max Planck Society

Jirong Mao

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Nicola Marchili

Max Planck Society

Italian ALMA Reg Ctr

Sera Markoff

University of Amsterdam

Daniel P. Marrone

University of Arizona

Alan P. Marscher

Boston University

Ivan Marti-Vidal

Universitat de Valencia

Satoki Matsushita

Academia Sinica

Lynn D. Matthews

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Lia Medeiros

University of Arizona

Princeton University

Karl M. Menten

Max Planck Society

Izumi Mizuno

East Asian Observatory

Yosuke Mizuno

Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Goethe University Frankfurt

James M. Moran

Harvard University

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Kotaro Moriyama

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Monika Moscibrodzka

Radboud University

Cornelia Muller

Radboud University

Max Planck Society

Gibwa Musoke

University of Amsterdam

Radboud University

Alejandro Mus Mejias

Universitat de Valencia

Hiroshi Nagai

The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI)

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Neil M. Nagar

University of Concepcion

Masanori Nakamura

Academia Sinica

National Institute of Technology, Hachinohe College

Gopal Narayanan

University of Massachusetts

Iniyan Natarajan

Rhodes University

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO)

University of Witwatersrand

Antonios Nathanail

Goethe University Frankfurt

Joey Neilsen

Villanova University

Roberto Neri

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

Chunchong Ni

University of Waterloo

Aristeidis Noutsos

Max Planck Society

Michael A. Nowak

Washington University in St. Louis

Hiroki Okino

University of Tokyo

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Hector Olivares

Radboud University

Gisela N. Ortiz-Leon

Max Planck Society

Tomoaki Oyama

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Feryal Ozel

University of Arizona

Jongho Park

Academia Sinica

Nimesh Patel

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Ue-Li Pen

University of Toronto

Canadian Institute for Advanced Research

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Dominic W. Pesce

Harvard University

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Vincent Pietu

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

Richard Plambeck

University of California at Berkeley

Aleksandar PopStefanija

University of Massachusetts

Oliver Porth

Goethe University Frankfurt

University of Amsterdam

Felix M. Potzl

Max Planck Society

Ben Prather

Washington University in St. Louis

Jorge A. Preciado-Lopez

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Dimitrios Psaltis

University of Arizona

Hung-Yi Pu

Academia Sinica

National Taiwan Normal University

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Venkatessh Ramakrishnan

University of Concepcion

Ramprasad Rao

Acad Sinica, Inst Astron & Astrophys, 645 N Ohoku Pl

Mark G. Rawlings

East Asian Observatory

Alexander W. Raymond

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Harvard University

Luciano Rezzolla

Goethe University Frankfurt

Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies

Trinity College Dublin

University of Illinois

Bart Ripperda

Flatiron Institute

Princeton University

Freek Roelofs

Radboud University

Alan Rogers

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Eduardo Ros

Max Planck Society

Mel Rose

University of Arizona

Arash Roshanineshat

University of Arizona

Helge Rottmann

Max Planck Society

Alan L. Roy

Max Planck Society

Chet Ruszczyk

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Kazi L. J. Rygl

Italian ALMA Reg Ctr

Salvador Sanchez

Inst Radioastronom Milim Etr

David Sanchez-Arguelles

National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics

National Council for Science and Technology Mexico

Mahito Sasada

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Hiroshima University

Tuomas Savolainen

Max Planck Society

Aalto University

F. Peter Schloerb

University of Massachusetts

Karl-Friedrich Schuster

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

Lijing Shao

Max Planck Society

Beijing University of Technology

Zhiqiang Shen

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Des Small

Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE)

Bong Won Sohn

Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute

University of Science and Technology (UST)

Yonsei University

Jason SooHoo

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

He Sun

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Fumie Tazaki

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Alexandra J. Tetarenko

East Asian Observatory

Paul Tiede

University of Waterloo

Remo P. J. Tilanus

Radboud University

University of Arizona

Leiden University

Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)

Michael Titus

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Kenji Toma

Tohoku University

Pablo Torne

Inst Radioastronom Milim Etr

Max Planck Society

Tyler Trent

University of Arizona

Efthalia Traianou

Max Planck Society

Sascha Trippe

Seoul National University

Ilse van Bemmel

Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE)

Huib Jan van Langevelde

Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE)

Leiden University

Daniel R. van Rossum

Radboud University

Jan Wagner

Max Planck Society

Derek Ward-Thompson

University of Central Lancashire

John Wardle

Brandeis University

Jonathan Weintroub

Harvard University

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Norbert Wex

Max Planck Society

Robert Wharton

Max Planck Society

Maciek Wielgus

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Harvard University

George N. Wong

Washington University in St. Louis

Qingwen Wu

Huazhong University of Science and Technology

Doosoo Yoon

University of Amsterdam

Andre Young

Radboud University

Ken Young

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Ziri Younsi

Goethe University Frankfurt

University College London (UCL)

Feng Yuan

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Ye-Fei Yuan

University of Science and Technology of China

J. Anton Zensus

Max Planck Society

Guang-Yao Zhao

Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

Shan-Shan Zhao

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Astrophysical Journal

0004-637X (ISSN) 1538-4357 (eISSN)

Vol. 912 1 35

Subject Categories

Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology

Geophysics

Medical Image Processing

DOI

10.3847/1538-4357/abf117

More information

Latest update

5/28/2021