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Title: EHT constraint on the ultralight scalar hair of the M87 supermassive black hole
Author: Cunha, Pedro V. P.
Herdeiro, Carlos
Radu, Eugen
Keywords: Ultralight particles
Black hole shadow
Event horizon telescope
Issue Date: 27-Nov-2019
Publisher: MDPI
Abstract: Hypothetical ultralight bosonic fields will spontaneously form macroscopic bosonic halos around Kerr black holes, via superradiance, transferring part of the mass and angular momentum of the black hole into the halo. Such a process, however, is only efficient if resonant—when the Compton wavelength of the field approximately matches the gravitational scale of the black hole. For a complex-valued field, the process can form a stationary, bosonic field black hole equilibrium state—a black hole with synchronised hair. For sufficiently massive black holes, such as the one at the centre of the M87 supergiant elliptic galaxy, the hairy black hole can be robust against its own superradiant instabilities, within a Hubble time. Studying the shadows of such scalar hairy black holes, we constrain the amount of hair which is compatible with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) observations of the M87 supermassive black hole, assuming the hair is a condensate of ultralight scalar particles of mass μ∼10−20 eV, as to be dynamically viable. We show the EHT observations set a weak constraint, in the sense that typical hairy black holes that could develop their hair dynamically, are compatible with the observations, when taking into account the EHT error bars and the black hole mass/distance uncertainty.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.3390/universe5120220
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