On the prospects of imaging Sagittarius A* from space

Freek Roelofs, Heino Falcke, Christiaan Brinkerink, Monika Moscibrodzka, Leonid I. Gurvits, Manuel Martin-Neira, Volodymyr Kudriashov, Marc Klein-Wolt, Remo Tilanus, Michael Kramer, Luciano Rezzolla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) at sub-millimeter waves has the potential to image the shadow of the black hole in the Galactic Center, Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), and thereby test basic predictions of the theory of general relativity. We investigate the imaging prospects of a new Space VLBI mission concept. The setup consists of two satellites in polar or equatorial circular Medium-Earth Orbits with slightly different radii, resulting in a dense spiral-shaped uvcoverage with long baselines, allowing for extremely high-resolution and high-fidelity imaging of radio sources. We simulate observations of a general relativistic magnetohydrodynamics model of Sgr A* for this configuration with noise calculated from model system parameters. After gridding the uv-plane and averaging visibilities accumulated over multiple months of integration, images of Sgr A* with a resolution of up to 4 µas could be reconstructed, allowing for stronger tests of general relativity and accretion models than with ground-based VLBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-28
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxy: center
  • techniques: high angular resolution
  • techniques: interferometric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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