Time Domain Filtering of Resolved Images of Sgr A

Hotaka Shiokawa, Charles F. Gammie, Sheperd S. Doeleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The goal of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is to provide spatially resolved images of Sgr A∗, the source associated with the Galactic Center black hole. Because Sgr A∗ varies on timescales that are short compared to an EHT observing campaign, it is interesting to ask whether variability contains information about the structure and dynamics of the accretion flow. In this paper, we introduce "time-domain filtering," a technique to filter time fluctuating images with specific temporal frequency ranges and to demonstrate the power and usage of the technique by applying it to mock millimeter wavelength images of Sgr A∗. The mock image data is generated from the General Relativistic Magnetohydrodynamic (GRMHD) simulation and the general relativistic ray-tracing method. We show that the variability on each line of sight is tightly correlated with a typical radius of emission. This is because disk emissivity fluctuates on a timescale of the order of the local orbital period. Time-domain filtered images therefore reflect the model dependent emission radius distribution, which is not accessible in time-averaged images. We show that, in principle, filtered data have the power to distinguish between models with different black-hole spins, different disk viewing angles, and different disk orientations in the sky.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number29
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • accretion, accretion disks
  • gravitational lensing: strong
  • magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
  • radiative transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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