A ray-tracing algorithm for spinning compact object spacetimes with arbitrary quadrupole moments. I. Quasi-kerr black holes

Dimitrios Psaltis, Tim Johannsen

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46 Scopus citations


We describe a new numerical algorithm for ray tracing in the external spacetimes of spinning compact objects characterized by arbitrary quadrupole moments. Such spacetimes describe non-Kerr vacuum solutions that can be used to test the no-hair theorem in conjunction with observations of accreting black holes. They are also appropriate for neutron stars with spin frequencies in the ≃ 300-600 Hz range, which are typical of the bursting sources in low-mass X-ray binaries. We use our algorithm to show that allowing for the quadrupole moment of the spacetime to take arbitrary values leads to observable effects in the profiles of relativistic broadened fluorescent iron lines from geometrically thin accretion disks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 20 2012



  • black hole physics
  • radiative transfer
  • relativistic processes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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