M87 black hole mass and spin estimate through the position of the jet boundary shape break

E. E. Nokhrina, L. I. Gurvits, V. S. Beskin, M. Nakamura, K. Asada, K. Hada

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21 Citations (Scopus)
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We propose a new method of estimating the mass of a supermassive black hole residing in the centre of an active galaxy. The active galaxy M87 offers a convenient test case for the method due to the existence of a large amount of observational data on the jet and ambient environment properties in the central area of the object. We suggest that the observed transition of a jet boundary shape from a parabolic to a conical form is associated with the flow transiting from the magnetically dominated regime to the energy equipartition between plasma bulk motion and magnetic field. By coupling the unique set of observations available for the jet kinematics, environment and boundary profile with our MHD modelling under assumption on the presence of a dynamically important magnetic field in the M87 jet, we estimate the central black hole mass and spin. The method leads us to believe that the M87 supermassive black hole has a mass somewhat larger than typically accepted so far.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1197-1205
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Galaxies: active
  • Galaxies: individual: (M87)
  • Galaxies: jets
  • MHD


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