Luminous [Oiii] and [Nii] from tidally disrupted horizontal branch stars

Drew Clausen, Steinn Sigurdsson, Michael Eracleous, Jimmy A. Irwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


We model the emission lines generated in the photoionized debris of a tidally disrupted horizontal branch (HB) star. We find that at late times, the brightest optical emission lines are [Nii] λλ6548, 6583 and [Oiii] λλ4959, 5007. Models of a red clump HB star undergoing mild disruption by a massive (50-100 M) black hole (BH) yield an emission-line spectrum that is in good agreement with that observed in the NGC 1399 globular cluster hosting the ultraluminous X-ray source CXOJ033831.8-352604. We make predictions for the ultraviolet emission-line spectrum that can verify the tidal disruption scenario and constrain the mass of the BH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1268-1274
Number of pages7
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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