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|Title: ||Relativistic jet activity from the tidal disruption of a star by a massive black hole|
|Authors: ||Burrows, D.N.|
Page, Kim L.
Osborne, Julian P.
Beardmore, Andrew P.
|Issue Date: ||Aug-2011|
|Publisher: ||Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited|
|Citation: ||Nature, 2011, 476 (7361), pp. 421-424.|
|Abstract: ||Supermassive black holes have powerful gravitational fields with
strong gradients that can destroy stars that get too close1,2, producing
a bright flare in ultraviolet and X-ray spectral regions from
stellar debris that forms an accretion disk around the black hole3–7.
The aftermath of this process may have been seen several times over
the past two decades in the form of sparsely sampled, slowly fading
emission from distant galaxies8–14, but the onset of the stellar disruption
event has not hitherto been observed. Here we report
observations of a bright X-ray flare from the extragalactic transient
Swift J164449.31573451. This source increased in brightness in
the X-ray band by a factor of at least 10,000 since 1990 and by a
factor of at least 100 since early 2010. We conclude that we have
captured the onset of relativistic jet activity from a supermassive
black hole. A companion paper15 comes to similar conclusions on
the basis of radio observations. This event is probably due to the
tidal disruption of a star falling into a supermassive black hole, but
the detailed behaviour differs from current theoretical models of
|DOI Link: ||10.1038/nature10374|
|Rights: ||© 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited|
|Appears in Collections:||Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy|
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