Tidal Disruption Events

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Aurore Simonnet/Press Image for Kara et al., 2016

Tidal Disruption Events

In a galaxy, roughly once every ten thousand years, a star gets disrupted by the strong tidal forces of the central supermassive black hole. About half of the stellar debris continues on its original trajectory, while the other half becomes gravitationally bound and falls back towards the black hole. The accretion of this bound stellar material causes a short-lived flare of emission, known as a Tidal Disruption Event (TDE). These extreme accretion episodes can be an important tool for understanding how black holes influence their environments as the TDE provides an impulse of accretion after which we can monitor how the system responds, through the formation of a disc, corona, jet or massive outflow.

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