NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0435

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Proposal Information for 2011A-0435


PI: S. Bradley Cenko, University of California, Berkeley, cenko@astro.berkeley.edu
Address: Department of Astronomy, 601 Campbell Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720, United States

CoI: Joshua S. Bloom, University of California, Berkeley
CoI: Eliot Quataert, University of California, Berkeley
CoI: Adam A. Miller, University of California, Berkeley
CoI: Nat R. Butler, University of California, Berkeley
CoI: Adam N. Morgan, University of California, Berkeley
CoI: Linda Strubbe, University of California, Berkeley

Title: Probing the Central Black Holes of Distant, Quiescent Galaxies via Tidal Disruption Flares

Abstract: A star passing within the sphere of influence of a massive black hole will be torn apart by tidal forces. For sufficiently low-mass black holes, the disruption will occur outside the event horizon and lead to a bright, short-lived transient known as a tidal disruption flare (TDF). Wide-field, high-cadence optical surveys such as the Palomar Transient Factory will likely uncover a number of TDFs over the course of semester 2011A. Here we request a ToO program with Gemini/GMOS to help disambiguate the origin of a carefully selected sample of TDF candidates. Our long-term aim is to to use these objects as probes of the properties of central black holes in distant, quiescent galaxies beyond the reach of current kinematic studies.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0435

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