Journal article

Distinguishing Tidal Disruption Events from Impostors

Ann Zabludoff, Iair Arcavi, Stephanie La Massa, Hagai B Perets, Benny Trakhtenbrot, B Ashley Zauderer, Katie Auchettl, Jane L Dai, K Decker French, Tiara Hung, Erin Kara, Giuseppe Lodato, W Peter Maksym, Yujing Qin, Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz, Nathaniel Roth, Jessie C Runnoe, Thomas Wevers

Space Science Reviews | SPRINGER | Published : 2021


Recent claimed detections of tidal disruption events (TDEs) in multi-wavelength data have opened potential new windows into the evolution and properties of otherwise dormant supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in the centres of galaxies. At present, there are several dozen TDE candidates, which share some properties and differ in others. The range in properties is broad enough to overlap other transient types, such as active galactic nuclei (AGN) and supernovae (SNe), which can make TDE classification ambiguous. A further complication is that “TDE signatures” have not been uniformly observed to similar sensitivities or even targeted across all candidates. This chapter both reviews those events ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by National Science Foundation

Awarded by Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)

Awarded by NASA

Awarded by Israel Science Foundation

Awarded by Danish National Research Foundation

Awarded by Hong Kong government

Awarded by Hubble Fellowship grant from STScI

Awarded by European Research Council

Awarded by European Commission

Awarded by Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D)

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors thank ISSI for their support and hospitality and the review organisers for their leadership in coordinating these reviews. This work was performed in part at the Aspen Center for Physics, which is supported by National Science Foundation grant PHY-1607611, during the January 2019 Aspen conference on Using Tidal Disruption Events to Study Super-Massive Black Holes. We are grateful to Sjoert van Velzen and Ryan Foley for leading a discussion there about possible differences between TDEs and supernovae. We also thank Nicholas Stone, Sixiang Wen, and Dennis Zaritsky for helpful information. AIZ acknowledges support from grant HST-GO-14717.001-A from the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Incorporated, under NASA contract NAS5-26555. BT acknowledges support from the Israel Science Foundation (grant 1849/19). KAA is supported by the Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF132). JLD is supported by the GRF grant from the Hong Kong government under HKU 27305119. KDF is supported by Hubble Fellowship grant HST-HF2-51391.001-A from STScI, operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. TW is funded in part by European Research Council grant 320360 and by European Commission grant 730980. Parts of this research were supported by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D), through project number CE170100013.