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A Tidal Disruption Event in a Dwarf Galaxy

3 Aug 2014, 22:00 UTC
A Tidal Disruption Event in a Dwarf Galaxy
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When a star comes too close to a massive black hole, tidal forces may overwhelm the star’s self-binding energy and rip the star apart in what is known as a tidal disruption event (TDE). Some fraction of the stellar material violently accretes onto the massive black hole, giving rise to a luminous tidal disruption flare (TDF). Most if not all galaxies are thought to harbour massive black holes at their centres. Large galaxies such as the Milky Way and Andromeda are hosts to supermassive black holes (SMBHs). Dwarf galaxies have correspondingly less mass black holes known as intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs). IMBHs have masses that fall between ~100 to 1,000,000 solar-masses. However, IMBHs are difficult to observe as they have much weaker influence on their surroundings compared to SMBHs.Figure 1: Massive black holes reside in the cores of most if not all galaxies. Large galaxies are host to SMBHs while dwarf galaxies are host to IMBHs.Two studies by D. Donato et al. (2014) and W. P. Maksym et al. (2013) identified a possible tidal disruption of a star by the IMBH of a dwarf galaxy that is a member of the galaxy cluster Abell 1795. The observed X-ray flux from ...

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