The black hole at the Galactic Center: observations and models [CL]

One of the most interesting astronomical objects is the Galactic Center. We concentrate our discussion on a theoretical analysis of observational data of bright stars in the IR-band obtained with large telescopes. We also discuss the importance of VLBI observations of bright structures which could characterize the shadow at the Galactic Center. There are attempts to describe the Galactic Center with alternative theories of gravity and in this case one can constrain parameters of such theories with observational data for the Galactic Center. In particular, theories of massive gravity are intensively developing and theorists have overcome pathologies presented in initial versions of these theories. In theories of massive gravity, a graviton is massive in contrast with GR where a graviton is massless. Now these theories are considered as an alternative to GR. For example, the LIGO-Virgo collaboration obtained the graviton mass constraint of about $1.2 \times 10^{-22}$ eV in their first publication about the discovery of the first gravitational wave detection event that resulted of the merger of two massive black holes. Surprisingly, one could obtain a consistent and comparable constraint of graviton mass at a level around $m_{g} < 2.9 \times 10^{-21}$ eV from analysis of observational data on the trajectory of the star S2 near the Galactic Center. Therefore, observations of bright stars with existing and forthcoming telescopes such as the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) and the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) are extremely useful for investigating the structure of the Galactic Center in the framework of GR, but these observations also give a tool to confirm, rule out or constrain alternative theories of gravity.

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A. Zakharov
Wed, 31 Jan 18

Comments: 16 pages, presented as a talk at the Third International Conference on Particle Physics and Astrophysics (ICPPA-2017), accepted for publication in the International Journal of Modern Physics D