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Title: A tidal disruption event in a nearby galaxy hosting an intermediate mass black hole

We report the serendipitous discovery of a bright point source flare in the Abell cluster A1795 with archival EUVE and Chandra observations. Assuming the EUVE emission is associated with the Chandra source, the X-ray 0.5-7 keV flux declined by a factor of ∼2300 over a time span of 6 yr, following a power-law decay with index ∼2.44 ± 0.40. The Chandra data alone vary by a factor of ∼20. The spectrum is well fit by a blackbody with a constant temperature of kT ∼ 0.09 keV (∼10{sup 6} K). The flare is spatially coincident with the nuclear region of a faint, inactive galaxy with a photometric redshift consistent at the 1σ level with the cluster (z = 0.062476). We argue that these properties are indicative of a tidal disruption of a star by a black hole (BH) with log (M {sub BH}/M {sub ☉}) ∼ 5.5 ± 0.5. If so, such a discovery indicates that tidal disruption flares may be used to probe BHs in the intermediate mass range, which are very difficult to study by other means.
Authors:
;  [1] ; ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ; ;  [7] ;  [8] ;  [9]
  1. CRESST and Astroparticle Physics Laboratory NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)
  2. Astrophysics Science Division, NASA/GSFC, Mail Code 661, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)
  3. INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, via E. Bianchi 46, I-23807 Merate (Italy)
  4. Nordic Optical Telescope, Apartado 474, E-38700 Santa Cruz de La Palma (Spain)
  5. Space Science Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375-5352 (United States)
  6. Observational Cosmology Laboratory, NASA/GSFC, 8800 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt, MD 20771-2400 (United States)
  7. Joint Space Science Institute, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States)
  8. Department of Physics, Durham University, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE (United Kingdom)
  9. School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22348142
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 781; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; BLACK HOLES; DECAY; EMISSION; GALAXY CLUSTERS; GALAXY NUCLEI; KEV RANGE; MASS; POINT SOURCES; RED SHIFT; SPECTRA; STARS; X RADIATION; X-RAY GALAXIES