Jul 5 – 10, 2021
Europe/Rome timezone

Images and photon rings of accretion disks surrounding compact objects

Jul 6, 2021, 9:30 AM
Invited talk in the parallel session Gravitational Lensing and Shadows Gravitational Lensing and Shadows


Dr Frederic Vincent (Paris Observatory / LESIA)


The planet-size network of millimeter antennas Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) has recently delivered images of the surroundings of the supermassive compact object M87* at the center of the galaxy Messier 87. Such images are crucial to better understand the physics at play in a strong gravitational field environment. They might also allow to probe the extreme relativistic effects on the radiation emitted close to the compact object.

In this talk, I will present a simple semi-analytic model of the accretion flow surrounding M87* and discuss images of this flow. In particular, I will focus on the highly-lensed part of the image generally refered to as the « photon ring ». After providing a definition of this feature, I will discuss the prospect of using it as a probe of the underlying spacetime. I will also discuss how the highly-lensed part of the image changes when the compact object is not a black hole but a more exotic alternative object.

The final goal of my talk is to discuss to what extent can EHT-like images help constrain the nature of the compact objects at the center of M87 or our Milky Way.

Primary author

Dr Frederic Vincent (Paris Observatory / LESIA)

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