A tidal disruption-like X-ray flare from the quiescent galaxy SDSS J120136.02+300305.5

Download
  1. Get@NRC: A tidal disruption-like X-ray flare from the quiescent galaxy SDSS J120136.02+300305.5 (Opens in a new window)
DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201118367
AuthorSearch for: ; Search for: ; Search for: ; Search for: ; Search for: ; Search for: ; Search for:
TypeArticle
Journal titleAstronomy & Astrophysics
ISSN0004-6361
1432-0746
Volume541
AbstractAims. The study of tidal disruption flares from galactic nuclei has historically been hampered by a lack of high quality spectral observations taken around the peak of the outburst. Here we introduce the first results from a program designed to identify tidal disruption events at their peak by making near-real-time comparisons of the flux seen in XMM-Newton slew sources with that seen in ROSAT. Methods. Flaring extragalactic sources, which do not appear to be AGN, are monitored with Swift and XMM-Newton to track their temporal and spectral evolution. Timely optical observations are made to monitor the reaction of circumnuclear material to the X-ray flare. Results. SDSS J120136.02+300305.5 was detected in an XMM-Newton slew from June 2010 with a flux 56 times higher than an upper limit from ROSAT, corresponding to LX ~ 3 × 1044 erg s-¹. It has the optical spectrum of a quiescent galaxy (z = 0.146). Overall the X-ray flux has evolved consistently with the canonical t^−5/3 model, expected for returning stellar debris, fading by a factor ~300 over 300 days. In detail the source is very variable and became invisible to Swift between 27 and 48 days after discovery, perhaps due to self-absorption. The X-ray spectrum is soft but is not the expected tail of optically thick thermal emission. It may be fit with a Bremsstrahlung or double-power-law model and is seen to soften with time and declining flux. Optical spectra taken 12 days and 11 months after discovery indicate a deficit of material in the broad line and coronal line regions of this galaxy, while a deep radio non-detection implies that a jet was not launched during this event.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Science Infrastructure; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21268985
Export citationExport as RIS
Report a correctionReport a correction
Record identifiere3147155-b439-4b86-8351-f18dea7718ec
Record created2013-11-29
Record modified2016-05-09
Bookmark and share
  • Share this page with Facebook (Opens in a new window)
  • Share this page with Twitter (Opens in a new window)
  • Share this page with Google+ (Opens in a new window)
  • Share this page with Delicious (Opens in a new window)