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Detecting tidal disruption events of massive black holes in normal galaxies with the Einstein Probe

  • W. Yuan (a1), S. Komossa (a1) (a2), C. Zhang (a1), H. Feng (a3), Z.-X. Ling (a1), D.H. Zhao (a1), S.-N. Zhang (a4), J.P. Osborne (a5), P. O'Brien (a5), R. Willingale (a5), J. Lapington (a5) and the Einstein Probe team...

Abstract

Stars are tidally disrupted and accreted when they approach massive black holes (MBHs) closely, producing a flare of electromagnetic radiation. The majority of the (approximately two dozen) tidal disruption events (TDEs) identified so far have been discovered by their luminous, transient X-ray emission. Once TDEs are detected in much larger numbers, in future dedicated transient surveys, a wealth of new applications will become possible. Here, we present the proposed Einstein Probe mission, which is a dedicated time-domain soft X-ray all-sky monitor aiming at detecting X-ray transients including TDEs in large numbers. The mission consists of a wide-field micro-pore Lobster-eye imager (60° × 60°), and is designed to carry out an all-sky transient survey at energies of 0.5-4 keV. It will also carry a more sensitive telescope for X-ray follow-ups, and will be capable of issuing public transient alerts rapidly. Einstein Probe is expected to revolutionise the field of TDE research by detecting several tens to hundreds of events per year from the early phase of flares, many with long-term, well sampled lightcurves.

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References

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Burrows, et al. 2011, Nature, 476, 421
Komossa, S. 2012, EPJ Web of Conf. 39 id. 02001
Komossa, S. & Bade, N. 1999, A&A, 343, 775
Rees, M. J. 1988, Nature, 33, 523
Zhao, D., et al. 2014, SPIE, Proc. SPIE 9144, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 91444E (July 24, 2014); doi:10.1117/12.2055434
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