According to some models, there may be a significant population of radio pulsars in the Galactic center. In principle, a beam from one of these pulsars could pass close to the supermassive black hole (SMBH) at the center, be deflected, and be detected by Earth telescopes. Such a configuration would be an unprecedented probe of the properties of spacetime in the moderate- to strong-field regime of the SMBH. We present here background on the problem, and approximations for the probability of detection of such beams. We conclude that detection is marginally possible with current telescopes, but that telescopes that will be operating in the near future, with an appropriate multiyear observational program, will have a reasonable chance of detecting a beam deflected by the SMBH. Â© 2012 The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Kevin Stovall, et. al., (2012) Observability of pulsar beam bending by the Sgr A* black hole.Astrophysical Journal744:2. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/744/2/143
© Astrophysical Journal. Original version available at: http://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/744/2/143