NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014B-0204

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Proposal Information for 2014B-0204


PI: Stephen Cenko, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, brad.cenko@nasa.gov
Address: Astrophysics Science Division, Mail Code 661, Greenbelt, MD, 20771, USA

CoI: Joshua Bloom, UC Berkeley
CoI: Linda Strubbe, CITA
CoI: Eliot Quataert, UC Berkeley
CoI: Nat Butler, Arizona State University
CoI: Adam Miller, Caltech
CoI: Andrew Levan, University of Warwick
CoI: Nial Tanvir, University of Leicester
CoI: Iair Arcavi, LCOGT
CoI: Lin Yan, IPAC

Title: Tidal Disruption Flares as Probes of Super-Massive Black Holes and Accretion Physics

Abstract: A star passing within the sphere of disruption of a massive black hole will be torn apart by tidal forces. For sufficiently low-mass black holes, this disruption will occur outside the event horizon and lead to a bright transient known as a tidal disruption flare. Even with only a handful of candidates identified to date, the electromagnetic signatures have shown a remarkable diversity, from the discovery of newly born relativistic jets in Sw J1644+57 and Sw J2058+05, to a He-rich but H-poor accretion disk in PS1-10jh and PTF09ge. Here we request a ToO program with Gemini to help identify and study newly discovered TDF candidates. In these early days, each new candidate presents a real opportunity to fundamentally advance our understanding of the basic physics of these objects. Ultimately, our long-term aims are: 1) To use these sources as probes of the properties of central black holes in distant, quiescent galaxies beyond the reach of current kinematic sutdies, and 2) To better understand the circumstances required to launch a relativistic jet.


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 >   2014B-0204

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