[1008.1061] Testing GR with Galactic-centre Stars

Authors: Raymond Angelil, Prasenjit Saha

Date: 5 Aug 2010

Abstract: The Galactic Centre S-stars orbiting the central supermassive black hole reach velocities of a few percent of the speed of light. The GR-induced perturbations to the redshift enter the dynamics via two distinct channels. The post-Newtonian regime perturbs the orbit from the Keplerian (Zucker et al., 2006, Kannan & Saha 2009), and the photons from the Minkowski (Angelil & Saha 2010). The inclusion of gravitational time dilation at order vˆ2 marks the first departure of the redshift from the line-of-sight velocities. The leading-order Schwarzschild terms curve space, and enter at order vˆ3. The classical Keplerian phenomenology dominates the total redshift. Spectral measurements of sufficient resolution will allow for the detection of these post-Newtonian effects. We estimate the spectral resolution required to detect each of these effects by fitting the redshift curve via the five keplerian elements plus black hole mass to mock data. We play with an exaggerated S2 orbit - one with a semi-major axis a fraction of that of the real S2. This amplifies the relativistic effects, and allows clear visual distinctions between the relativistic terms. We argue that spectral data of S2 with a dispersion of about 10km/s would allow for a clear detection of gravitational redshift, and about 1 km/s would suffice for leading-order space curvature detection.

abs pdf

Aug 09, 2010

1008.1061 (/preprints)
2010-08-09, 18:21 [edit]

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