Swift J2058.4+0516: Discovery of a Possible Second Relativistic Tidal Disruption Flare? Discovery of a Possible Second Relativistic Tidal Disruption Flare?

S. Bradley Cenko, Hans A. Krimm, Assaf Horesh, Arne Rau, Dale A. Frail, Jamie A. Kennea, Andrew J. Levan, Stephen T. Holland, Nathaniel R. Butler, Robert M. Quimby, Joshua S. Bloom, Alexei V. Filippenko, Avishay Gal-Yam, Jochen Greiner, S.~R. Kulkarni, Eran O. Ofek, Felipe Olivares E., Patricia Schady, Jeffrey M. Silverman, Nial R. TanvirDong Xu

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131 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We report the discovery by the Swift hard X-ray monitor of the transient source Swift J2058.4+0516 (Sw J2058+05). Our multi-wavelength follow-up campaign uncovered a long-lived (duration months), luminous X-ray (L X, iso ≈ 3 × 1047 erg s–1) and radio (νL ν, iso ≈ 1042 erg s–1) counterpart. The associated optical emission, however, from which we measure a redshift of 1.1853, is relatively faint, and this is not due to a large amount of dust extinction in the host galaxy. Based on numerous similarities with the recently discovered GRB 110328A/Swift J164449.3+573451 (Sw J1644+57), we suggest that Sw J2058+05 may be the second member of a new class of relativistic outbursts resulting from the tidal disruption of a star by a supermassive black hole. If so, the relative rarity of these sources (compared with the expected rate of tidal disruptions) implies that either these outflows are extremely narrowly collimated (θ < 1°) or only a small fraction of tidal disruptions generate relativistic ejecta. Analogous to the case of long-duration gamma-ray bursts and core-collapse supernovae, we speculate that rapid spin of the black hole may be a necessary condition to generate the relativistic component. Alternatively, if powered by gas accretion (i.e., an active galactic nucleus (AGN)), Sw J2058+05 would seem to represent a new mode of variability in these sources, as the observed properties appear largely inconsistent with known classes of AGNs capable of generating relativistic jets (blazars, narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxies).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77
Number of pages1
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume753
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2012

Keywords

  • accretion, accretion disks, black hole physics, galaxies: nuclei, X-rays: bursts, X-rays: individual: Sw J1644+57, Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena

Cite this

Cenko, S. B., Krimm, H. A., Horesh, A., Rau, A., Frail, D. A., Kennea, J. A., Levan, A. J., Holland, S. T., Butler, N. R., Quimby, R. M., Bloom, J. S., Filippenko, A. V., Gal-Yam, A., Greiner, J., Kulkarni, S. R., Ofek, E. O., Olivares E., F., Schady, P., Silverman, J. M., ... Xu, D. (2012). Swift J2058.4+0516: Discovery of a Possible Second Relativistic Tidal Disruption Flare? Discovery of a Possible Second Relativistic Tidal Disruption Flare? Astrophysical Journal, 753, 77. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/753/1/77