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Modeling the orbital motion of Sgr A*’s near-infrared flares

MPS-Authors
/persons/resource/persons216131

Bauböck,  M.
Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons225865

de Zeeuw,  P. T.
Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons4766

Eisenhauer,  F.
Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons4923

Förster Schreiber,  N. M.
Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons214427

Gao,  F.
Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons4590

Genzel,  R.
Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons4692

Gerhard,  O.
Optical and Interpretative Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons4768

Gillessen,  S.
Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons181377

Habibi,  M.
Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons216133

Jiménez-Rosales,  A.
Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Lacour,  S.
Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons16190

Ott,  T.
Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons4782

Pfuhl,  O.
Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons4786

Rabien,  S.
Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons25791

Sternberg,  A.
Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons232635

Straub,  O.
Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Sturm,  E.
Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons4582

Tacconi,  L. J.
Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons206120

Fellenberg,  S. von
Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Widmann,  F.
Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons16329

Wieprecht,  E.
Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Wiezorrek,  E.
Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons203013

Yazici,  S.
Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Bauböck, M., Dexter, J., Abuter, R., Amorim, A., Berger, J. P., Bonnet, H., et al. (2020). Modeling the orbital motion of Sgr A*’s near-infrared flares. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 635: A143. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201937233.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-8DAC-A
Abstract
Infrared observations of Sgr A* probe the region close to the event horizon of the black hole at the Galactic center. These observations can constrain the properties of low-luminosity accretion as well as that of the black hole itself. The GRAVITY instrument at the ESO VLTI has recently detected continuous circular relativistic motion during infrared flares which has been interpreted as orbital motion near the event horizon. Here we analyze the astrometric data from these flares, taking into account the effects of out-of-plane motion and orbital shear of material near the event horizon of the black hole. We have developed a new code to predict astrometric motion and flux variability from compact emission regions following particle orbits. Our code combines semi-analytic calculations of timelike geodesics that allow for out-of-plane or elliptical motions with ray tracing of photon trajectories to compute time-dependent images and light curves. We apply our code to the three flares observed with GRAVITY in 2018. We show that all flares are consistent with a hotspot orbiting at R ∼ 9 gravitational radii with an inclination of i ∼ 140°. The emitting region must be compact and less than ∼5 gravitational radii in diameter. We place a further limit on the out-of-plane motion during the flare.