Exact formulas for spherical photon orbits around Kerr black holes

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Tavlayan A., Tekin B.

PHYSICAL REVIEW D, vol.102, 2020 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 102
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1103/physrevd.102.104036
  • Journal Name: PHYSICAL REVIEW D
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aerospace Database, INSPEC, zbMATH


Exact formulas relating the radii of the spherical photon orbits to the black hole's rotation parameter and the effective inclination angle of the orbit have been known only for equatorial and polar orbits up to now. Here we provide exact formulas for nonequatorial orbits that lie between these extreme limits. For a given rotation parameter of the black hole, there is a critical inclination angle below which there are four null photon orbits two of which are in the exterior region. At the critical angle, the radii of these orbits are explicitly found. We also provide approximate but very accurate formulas for any orbit. To arrive at these analytical solutions, we carefully study the sextic polynomial in the radius that arises for null spherical geodesics.