Observing gravitational lensing effects by Sgr A* with GRAVITY.
BOZZA V. and MANCINI L.
Abstract (from CDS):
The massive black hole Sgr A* at the Galactic center is surrounded by a cluster of stars orbiting around it. Light from these stars is bent by the gravitational field of the black hole, giving rise to several phenomena: astrometric displacement of the primary image, the creation of a secondary image that may shift the centroid of Sgr A*, and magnification effects on both images. The soon-to-be second-generation Very Large Telescope Interferometer instrument GRAVITY will perform observations in the near-infrared of the Galactic center at unprecedented resolution, opening the possibility of observing such effects. Here we investigate the observability limits for GRAVITY of gravitational lensing effects on the S-stars in the parameter space 1[DLS, γ, K], where DLS is the distance between the lens and the source, γ is the alignment angle of the source, and K is the source's apparent magnitude in the K band. The easiest effect to observe in future years is the astrometric displacement of primary images. In particular, the shift of the star S17 from its Keplerian orbit will be detected as soon as GRAVITY becomes operative. For exceptional configurations, it will be possible to detect effects related to the spin of the black hole or post-Newtonian orders in the deflection.
astrometry - black hole physics - Galaxy: center - gravitational lensing: strong - infrared: stars - instrumentation: interferometers