Monitoring the Morphology of M87* in 2009-2017 with the Event Horizon Telescope
Journal article, 2020

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) has recently delivered the first resolved images of M87*, the supermassive black hole in the center of the M87 galaxy. These images were produced using 230 GHz observations performed in 2017 April. Additional observations are required to investigate the persistence of the primary image feature-a ring with azimuthal brightness asymmetry-and to quantify the image variability on event horizon scales. To address this need, we analyze M87* data collected with prototype EHT arrays in 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2013. While these observations do not contain enough information to produce images, they are sufficient to constrain simple geometric models. We develop a modeling approach based on the framework utilized for the 2017 EHT data analysis and validate our procedures using synthetic data. Applying the same approach to the observational data sets, we find the M87* morphology in 2009-2017 to be consistent with a persistent asymmetric ring of similar to 40 mu as diameter. The position angle of the peak intensity varies in time. In particular, we find a significant difference between the position angle measured in 2013 and 2017. These variations are in broad agreement with predictions of a subset of general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations. We show that quantifying the variability across multiple observational epochs has the potential to constrain the physical properties of the source, such as the accretion state or the black hole spin.

Very long baseline interferometry

Supermassive black holes

Astronomy data modeling

Active galactic nuclei

Black holes

Galaxy accretion disks

Radio interferometry

Low-luminosity active galactic nuclei

Galaxy accretion

Author

Maciek Wielgus

Harvard University

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Kazunori Akiyama

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Harvard University

National Radio Astronomy Observatory

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Lindy Blackburn

Harvard University

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Chi-kwan Chan

University of Arizona

Jason Dexter

University of Colorado at Boulder

Sheperd S. Doeleman

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Harvard University

Vincent L. Fish

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Sara Issaoun

Radboud University

Michael D. Johnson

Harvard University

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Thomas P. Krichbaum

Max Planck Society

Ru-Sen Lu

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Max Planck Society

Dominic W. Pesce

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Harvard University

George N. Wong

University of Illinois

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Geoffrey C. Bower

Academia Sinica

Avery E. Broderick

University of Waterloo

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Andrew Chael

Princeton University

Koushik Chatterjee

University of Amsterdam

Charles F. Gammie

University of Illinois

Boris Georgiev

University of Waterloo

Kazuhiro Hada

The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI)

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Laurent Loinard

Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

Sera Markoff

University of Amsterdam

Daniel P. Marrone

University of Arizona

Richard Plambeck

University of California at Berkeley

Jonathan Weintroub

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Harvard University

Matthew Dexter

University of California at Berkeley

David H. E. MacMahon

University of California at Berkeley

Melvyn Wright

University of California at Berkeley

Antxon Alberdi

Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA)

Walter Alef

Max Planck Society

Keiichi Asada

Academia Sinica

Rebecca Azulay

Universitat de Valencia

Max Planck Society

Anne-Kathrin Baczko

Max Planck Society

David Ball

University of Arizona

Mislav Balokovic

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Harvard University

Enrico Barausse

IFPU Inst Fundamental Phys Univers

INFN Sez Trieste

International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA

John Barrett

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Dan Bintley

East Asian Observatory

Wilfred Boland

Nederlandse Onderzoekschool voor Astronomie (NOVA)

Katherine L. Bouman

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Harvard University

Michael Bremer

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

Christiaan D. Brinkerink

Radboud University

Roger Brissenden

Harvard University

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Silke Britzen

Nederlandse Onderzoekschool voor Astronomie (NOVA)

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

National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Shami Chatterjee

Cornell University

Ming-Tang Chen

Academia Sinica

Yongjun Chen

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Ilje Cho

Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute

University of Science and Technology (UST)

Pierre Christian

University of Arizona

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

John Conway

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Onsala Space Observatory

James M. Cordes

Cornell University

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

Goethe University Frankfurt

National Institute for Nuclear Physics

Roger Deane

University of Pretoria

Rhodes University

Jessica Dempsey

East Asian Observatory

Gregory Desvignes

Paris Descartes University

Sergio A. Dzib

Max Planck Society

Ralph P. Eatough

Max Planck Society

Heino Falcke

Radboud University

Ed Fomalont

National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Raquel Fraga-Encinas

Radboud University

Per Friberg

East Asian Observatory

Christian M. Fromm

Goethe University Frankfurt

Peter Galison

Harvard University

Roberto Garcia

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

Olivier Gentaz

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

Ciriaco Goddi

Leiden University

Radboud University

Roman Gold

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

University of Southern Denmark

Jose L. Gomez

Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA)

Arturo I. 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

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

The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI)

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Chih-Wei L. Huang

Academia Sinica

Lei Huang

Chinese Academy of Sciences

David H. Hughes

National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics

Makoto Inoue

Academia Sinica

David J. James

ASTRAVEO

Buell T. Jannuzi

University of Arizona

Michael Janssen

Radboud University

Britton Jeter

University of Waterloo

Wu Jiang

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Alejandra Jimenez-Rosales

Max Planck Society

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

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 Society

Junhan Kim

University of Arizona

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

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 Society

Carsten Kramer

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

Cheng-Yu Kuo

National Sun Yat-Sen University

Tod R. Lauer

National Optical Astronomy Observatory

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, Observation Support

Rocco Lico

Max Planck Society

Kuo Liu

Max Planck Society

Elisabetta Liuzzo

Istituto nazionale di astrofisica (INAF)

Wen-Ping Lo

University of Amsterdam

National Taiwan University

Andrei P. Lobanov

Max Planck Society

Colin Lonsdale

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Nicholas R. MacDonald

Max Planck Society

Jirong Mao

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Nicola Marchili

Istituto nazionale di astrofisica (INAF)

Max Planck Society

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

Institute for Advanced Study

Karl M. Menten

Max Planck Society

Yosuke Mizuno

Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Goethe University Frankfurt

Izumi Mizuno

East Asian Observatory

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 Mueller

Radboud University

Max Planck Society

Gibwa Musoke

University of Amsterdam

Radboud University

Hiroshi Nagai

The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI)

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Neil M. Nagar

University of Concepcion

Masanori Nakamura

Academia Sinica

Ramesh Narayan

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Harvard University

Gopal Narayanan

University of Massachusetts

Iniyan Natarajan

Rhodes University

Antonios Nathanail

Goethe University Frankfurt

Roberto Neri

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

Chunchong Ni

University of Amsterdam

University of Waterloo

Aristeidis Noutsos

Max Planck Society

Hiroki Okino

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

University of Tokyo

Hector Olivares

Goethe University Frankfurt

Gisela N. Ortiz-Leon

Max Planck Society

Tomoaki Oyama

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Feryal Ozel

University of Arizona

Daniel C. M. Palumbo

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Harvard University

Jongho Park

Academia Sinica

Nimesh Patel

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Ue-Li Pen

Canadian Institute for Advanced Research

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

University of Toronto

Vincent Pietu

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

Aleksandar PopStefanija

University of Massachusetts

Oliver Porth

Goethe University Frankfurt

University of Amsterdam

Ben Prather

University of Illinois

Jorge A. Preciado-Lopez

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Dimitrios Psaltis

University of Arizona

Hung-Yi Pu

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

National Taiwan Normal University

Academia Sinica

Venkatessh Ramakrishnan

University of Concepcion

Ramprasad Rao

Academia Sinica

Mark G. Rawlings

East Asian Observatory

Alexander W. Raymond

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Harvard University

Luciano Rezzolla

Trinity College Dublin

Goethe University Frankfurt

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)

Benjamin R. Ryan

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Kazi L. J. Rygl

Istituto nazionale di astrofisica (INAF)

Salvador Sanchez

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

David Sanchez-Arguelles

National Council for Science and Technology Mexico

National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics

Mahito Sasada

Hiroshima University

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Tuomas Savolainen

Aalto University

F. Peter Schloerb

University of Massachusetts

Karl-Friedrich Schuster

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

Lijing Shao

Beijing University of Technology

Max Planck Society

Zhiqiang Shen

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Des Small

Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE)

Bong Won Sohn

Yonsei University

University of Science and Technology (UST)

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

University of Arizona

Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)

Michael Titus

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Kenji Toma

Tohoku University

Pablo Torne

Max Planck Society

Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM)

Tyler Trent

University of Arizona

Efthalia Traianou

Max Planck Society

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 Society

John Wardle

Brandeis University

Derek Ward-Thompson

University of Central Lancashire

Norbert Wex

Max Planck Society

Robert Wharton

Max Planck Society

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

Guangyao Zhao

Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute

Shan-Shan Zhao

Radboud University

Nanjing University

Ziyan Zhu

Harvard University

Astrophysical Journal

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

Vol. 901 1 67

RadioNet 4

European Commission (EC), 2017-01-01 -- 2020-12-31.

Subject Categories

Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology

Computer Vision and Robotics (Autonomous Systems)

Medical Image Processing

Infrastructure

Onsala Space Observatory

DOI

10.3847/1538-4357/abac0d

More information

Latest update

4/13/2021