Infrared photometry of the black hole candidate Sagittarius A

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Abstract

An infrared source has been imaged within 0″.2 ± 0″.3 of the unique Galactic center radio source Sgr A*. High angular resolution (〈FWHM〉 ∼ 0″.55) was achieved by rapid (∼50 Hz) real-time image motion compensation. The source's near-infrared magnitudes (K = 12.1 ± 0.3, H = 13.7 ± 0.3, and J = 16.6 ± 0.4) are consistent with a hot object reddened by the local extinction (Av ∼ 27). At the 3 σ level of confidence, a time series of 80 images limits the source variability to less than 50% on timescales from 3 to 30 minutes. The photometry is consistent with the emission from a simple accretion disk model for a ∼1 × 106 M black hole. However, the fluxes are also consistent with a hot luminous (L ∼ 103.5-4.6 L) central cluster star positionally coincident with Sgr A*.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)682-686
Number of pages5
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume439
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 1995

Keywords

  • Black hole physics
  • Galaxy: center
  • ISM: individual (Sagittarius A)
  • Infrared: stars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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