ULTRA-CLOSE ENCOUNTERS of STARS with MASSIVE BLACK HOLES: TIDAL DISRUPTION EVENTS with PROMPT HYPERACCRETION

Christopher Evans, Pablo Laguna, Michael Eracleous

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Abstract

A bright flare from a galactic nucleus followed at late times by a t-5/3 decay in luminosity is often considered the signature of the complete tidal disruption of a star by a massive black hole. The flare and power-law decay are produced when the stream of bound debris returns to the black hole, self-intersects, and eventually forms an accretion disk or torus. In the canonical scenario of a solar-type star disrupted by a 106 M⊙ black hole, the time between the disruption of the star and the formation of the accretion torus could be years. We present fully general relativistic simulations of a new class of tidal disruption events involving ultra-close encounters of solar-type stars with intermediate mass black holes. In these encounters, a thick disk forms promptly after disruption, on timescales of hours. After a brief initial flare, the accretion rate remains steady and highly super-Eddington for a few days at ˜102M⊙ yr-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL19
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume805
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2015

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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