A Likely Decade-Long Sustained Tidal Disruption Event

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dc.contributor.author Lin, Dacheng
dc.contributor.author Guillochon, James
dc.contributor.author Komossa, S.
dc.contributor.author Ramirez-Ruiz, Enrico
dc.contributor.author Irwin, Jimmy A.
dc.contributor.author Maksym, W. Peter
dc.contributor.author Grupe, Dirk
dc.contributor.author Godet, Olivier
dc.contributor.author Webb, Natalie A.
dc.contributor.author Barret, Didier
dc.contributor.author Zauderer, B. Ashley
dc.contributor.author Duc, Pierre-Alain
dc.contributor.author Carrasco, Eleazar R.
dc.contributor.author Gwyn, Stephen D. J.
dc.date.accessioned 2018-12-05T21:14:33Z
dc.date.available 2018-12-05T21:14:33Z
dc.date.issued 2017-02-02
dc.identifier.citation Lin, D. et al. (2017): A Likely Decade-Long Sustained Tidal Disruption Event. Nature Astronomy, 1 (2). DOI: 10.1038/s41550-016-0033 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://ir.ua.edu/handle/123456789/5149
dc.description.abstract Multiwavelength flares from tidal disruption and accretion of stars can be used to find and study otherwise dormant massive black holes in galactic nuclei 1 . Previous well-monitored candidate flares were short-lived, with most emission confined to within ∼1 year 2,​3,​4,​5 . Here we report the discovery of a well-observed super-long (>11 years) luminous X-ray flare from the nuclear region of a dwarf starburst galaxy. After an apparently fast rise within ∼4 months a decade ago, the X-ray luminosity, though showing a weak trend of decay, has been persistently high at around the Eddington limit (when the radiation pressure balances the gravitational force). The X-ray spectra are soft — steeply declining towards higher energies — and can be described with Comptonized emission from an optically thick low-temperature corona, a super-Eddington accretion signature often observed in accreting stellar-mass black holes 6 . Dramatic spectral softening was also caught in one recent observation, implying either a temporary transition from the super-Eddington accretion state to the standard thermal state, or the presence of a transient highly blueshifted (∼0.36c) warm absorber. All these properties in concert suggest a tidal disruption event with an unusually long super-Eddington accretion phase that has never before been observed. en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en_US
dc.subject Galaxies and clusters en_US
dc.subject High-energy astrophysics en_US
dc.title A Likely Decade-Long Sustained Tidal Disruption Event en_US
dc.type text en_US

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