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Title: Fundamental photon orbits: Black hole shadows and spacetime instabilities
Author: Cunha, P. V. P.
Herdeiro, C. A. R.
Radu, E.
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: American Physical Society
Abstract: The standard black holes (BHs) in general relativity, as well as other ultracompact objects (with or without an event horizon) admit planar circular photon orbits. These light rings (LRs) determine several spacetime properties. For instance, stable LRs trigger instabilities and, in spherical symmetry, (unstable) LRs completely determine BH shadows. In generic stationary, axisymmetric spacetimes, nonplanar bound photon orbits may also exist, regardless of the integrability properties of the photon motion. We suggest a classification of these fundamental photon orbits (FPOs) and, using Poincare maps, determine a criterion for their stability. For the Kerr BH, all FPOs are unstable (similar to its LRs) and completely determine the Kerr shadow. But in non-Kerr spacetimes, stable FPOs may also exist, even when all LRs are unstable, triggering new instabilities. We illustrate this for the case of Kerr BHs with Proca hair, wherein, moreover, qualitatively novel shadows with a cuspy edge exist, a feature that can be understood from the interplay between stable and unstable FPOs. FPOs are the natural generalization of LRs beyond spherical symmetry and should generalize the LRs key role in different spacetime properties.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.96.024039
ISSN: 2470-0010
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