The Galactic Supermassive Black Hole

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Princeton University Press, 2007 - Science - 296 pages
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Here, one of the world's leading astrophysicists provides the first comprehensive and logically structured overview of the many ideas and discoveries pertaining to the supermassive black hole at the galactic center known as Sagittarius A*. By far the closest galactic nucleus in the universe, Sagittarius A* alone can provide us with a realistic expectation of learning about the physics of strong gravitational fields, and the impact of such fields on the behavior of matter and radiation under severe physical conditions. Its proximity may even provide the opportunity to directly test one of general relativity's most enigmatic predictions--the existence of closed pockets of space-time hidden behind an event horizon.


The plethora of research on Sagittarius A* since its discovery in 1974 has long seemed an interwoven pattern of loose threads. No one has successfully synthesized this growing body of work into a manageable, coherent book both for professional researchers and for students taking courses focusing on black holes and galactic nuclei--until now. With Fulvio Melia's The Galactic Supermassive Black Hole, readers finally have at their disposal a one-volume crucible of essential ideas, logically streamlined but with thorough references for those wishing to explore the various topics in greater depth.

 

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Contents

The Galactic Center
1
11 Discovery of Sagittarius A
2
12 Radio Morphology of the Central Region
5
13 XRay Morphology of the Central Region
10
14 Sagittarius A East
17
The Radio Source Sagittarius A
25
21 Position of Sagittarius A
27
22 Proper Motion
32
63 Accelerated Frames
132
64 General Relativity
137
65 Particle Orbits and Trajectories
140
66 The Kerr Metric
149
Mass Accretion and Expulsion
156
71 Sagittarius As Gaseous Environment
158
72 BondiHoyle Capture from Distributed Sources
162
73 Accretion Close to Sagittarius A
165

23 Structure as a Function of Frequency
37
Sagittarius As Spectrum
42
32 Linear and Circular Polarization
46
33 Infrared Observations
55
34 Xray Observations
58
35 Observed HighEnergy Characteristics
65
Variability
71
42 LongTerm Variability in the Radio
81
The Central Star Cluster
86
51 The Stellar Cusp Surrounding the Black Hole
87
52 Stellar Constituents and Dynamics
101
53 Stellar Orbits and the Enclosed Mass
109
The FourDimensional Spacetime
114
62 Relativistic Transformation of Physical Laws
126
74 Magnetic Field Dissipation
167
75 A Compact Magnetized Disk
176
76 Expulsion of Matter
204
Flares
226
82 Periodicity
234
83 General Relativistic Flux Modulations
240
Strong Field Physics
245
91 SpinInduced Disk Precession
246
92 Microlensing
251
93 Imaging the Shadow of the Black Hole
259
References
265
Index
287
Copyright

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Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 273 - The accelerations of stars orbiting the Milky Way's central black hole ,
Page 283 - THE POSSIBLE RELATION OF THE 3-KILOPARSEC ARM TO EXPLOSIONS IN THE GALACTIC NUCLEUS.
Page 272 - FAME- Full-sky Astrometric Mapping Explorer". Amer. Astron. Society, DDA meeting n.31, n. 14.01, Washington DC, 1999; 5. Bastian, S. Roser. RD Scholz, "DIVA, the Next Global Astrometry and Photometry Mission", in Dynamics of Star Clusters and the Milky Way, ASP Conference Series.
Page 266 - The star distribution around a massive black hole in a globular cluster. II. Unequal star masses.
Page 268 - Jets in Sagittarius A: Gas Dynamics in the Central Parsec of the Galaxy," The Astrophysical Journal 262 (1982), pp.
Page 279 - Models for High-Frequency Radio Outbursts in Extragalactic Sources, with Application to the Early 1983 Millimeter-toInfrared Flare of 3C 273," The Astrophysicd journal 298 (1985), pp.

About the author (2007)

Fulvio Melia is Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Arizona and Associate Editor of the Astrophysical Journal Letters. His books include The Black Hole at the Center of Our Galaxy (Princeton), The Edge of Infinity: Supermassive Black Holes in the Universe, and Electrodynamics.

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