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Title: Was the soft X-ray flare in NGC 3599 due to an AGN disc instability or a delayed tidal disruption event?
Authors: Saxton, R. D.
Motta, S. E.
Komossa, S.
Read, Andrew M.
First Published: 11-Dec-2015
Publisher: Oxford University Press for Royal Astronomical Society
Citation: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2015, 454 (3): 2798-2803
Abstract: We present unpublished data from a tidal disruption candidate in NGC 3599 which show that the galaxy was already X-ray bright 18 months before the measurement which led to its classification. This removes the possibility that the flare was caused by a classical, fast-rising, short-peaked, tidal disruption event. Recent relativistic simulations indicate that the majority of disruptions will actually take months or years to rise to a peak, which will then be maintained for longer than previously thought. NGC 3599 could be one of the first identified examples of such an event. The optical spectra of NGC 3599 indicate that it is a low-luminosity Seyfert/low-ionization nuclear emission-line region (LINER) with Lbol ∼ 1040 erg s−1. The flare may alternatively be explained by a thermal instability in the accretion disc, which propagates through the inner region at the sound speed, causing an increase of the disc scaleheight and local accretion rate. This can explain the ≤9 yr rise time of the flare. If this mechanism is correct then the flare may repeat on a time-scale of several decades as the inner disc is emptied and refilled.
DOI Link: 10.1093/mnras/stv2160
ISSN: 0035-8711
eISSN: 1365-2966
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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