A Caltech Library Service

A high-energy neutrino coincident with a tidal disruption event

Stein, Robert and van Velzen, Sjoert and Kowalski, Marek and Franckowiak, Anna and Gezari, Suvi and Miller-Jones, James C. A. and Frederick, Sara and Sfaradi, Itai and Bietenholz, Michael F. and Horesh, Assaf and Fender, Rob and Garrappa, Simone and Ahumada, Tomás and Andreoni, Igor and Belicki, Justin and Bellm, Eric C. and Böttcher, Markus and Brinnel, Valery and Burruss, Rick and Cenko, S. Bradley and Coughlin, Michael W. and Cunningham, Virginia and Drake, Andrew and Farrar, Glennys R. and Feeney, Michael and Foley, Ryan J. and Gal-Yam, Avishay and Golkhou, V. Zach and Goobar, Ariel and Graham, Matthew J. and Hammerstein, Erica and Helou, George and Hung, Tiara and Kasliwal, Mansi M. and Kilpatrick, Charles D. and Kong, Albert K. H. and Kupfer, Thomas and Laher, Russ R. and Mahabal, Ashish A. and Masci, Frank J. and Necker, Jannis and Nordin, Jakob and Perley, Daniel A. and Rigault, Mickael and Reusch, Simeon and Rodriguez, Hector and Rojas-Bravo, César and Rusholme, Ben and Shupe, David L. and Singer, Leo P. and Sollerman, Jesper and Soumagnac, Maayane T. and Stern, Daniel and Taggart, Kirsty and van Santen, Jakob and Ward, Charlotte and Woudt, Patrick A. and Yao, Yuhan (2020) A high-energy neutrino coincident with a tidal disruption event. . (Unpublished)

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Cosmic neutrinos provide a unique window into the otherwise-hidden mechanism of particle acceleration in astrophysical objects. A flux of high-energy neutrinos was discovered in 2013, and the IceCube Collaboration recently associated one high-energy neutrino with a flare from the relativistic jet of an active galaxy pointed towards the Earth. However a combined analysis of many similar active galaxies revealed no excess from the broader population, leaving the vast majority of the cosmic neutrino flux unexplained. Here we present the association of a radio-emitting tidal disruption event (AT2019dsg) with another high-energy neutrino, identified as part of our systematic search for optical counterparts to high-energy neutrinos with the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF). The probability of finding any radio-emitting tidal disruption event by chance is 0.5%, while the probability of finding one as bright in bolometric energy flux as AT2019dsg is 0.2%. Our electromagnetic observations can be explained through a multi-zone model, with radio analysis revealing a central engine, embedded in a UV photosphere, that powers an extended synchrotron-emitting outflow. This provides an ideal site for PeV neutrino production. The association suggests that tidal disruption events contribute to the cosmic neutrino flux. Unlike previous work which considered the rare subset of tidal disruption events with relativistic jets, our observations of AT2019dsg suggest an empirical model with a mildly-relativistic outflow.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
van Velzen, Sjoert0000-0002-3859-8074
Gezari, Suvi0000-0003-3703-5154
Miller-Jones, James C. A.0000-0003-3124-2814
Frederick, Sara0000-0001-9676-730X
Horesh, Assaf0000-0002-5936-1156
Ahumada, Tomás0000-0002-2184-6430
Andreoni, Igor0000-0002-8977-1498
Bellm, Eric C.0000-0001-8018-5348
Goobar, Ariel0000-0002-4163-4996
Graham, Matthew J.0000-0002-3168-0139
Helou, George0000-0003-3367-3415
Hung, Tiara0000-0002-9878-7889
Kasliwal, Mansi M.0000-0002-5619-4938
Kilpatrick, Charles D.0000-0002-5740-7747
Kong, Albert K. H.0000-0002-5105-344X
Kupfer, Thomas0000-0002-6540-1484
Laher, Russ R.0000-0003-2451-5482
Mahabal, Ashish A.0000-0003-2242-0244
Masci, Frank J.0000-0002-8532-9395
Perley, Daniel A.0000-0001-8472-1996
Rigault, Mickael0000-0002-8121-2560
Rusholme, Ben0000-0001-7648-4142
Shupe, David L.0000-0003-4401-0430
Singer, Leo P.0000-0001-9898-5597
Sollerman, Jesper0000-0003-1546-6615
Soumagnac, Maayane T.0000-0001-6753-1488
Stern, Daniel0000-0003-2686-9241
Taggart, Kirsty0000-0002-5748-4558
Woudt, Patrick A.0000-0002-6896-1655
Yao, Yuhan0000-0001-6747-8509
Additional Information:We thank Cecilia Lunardini, Andrew MacFadyen, Brian Metzger, Andrew Mummery, Alex Pizzuto, Nick Stone, Andrew Taylor andWalterWinter for fruitful discussions. We also thank the IceCube Collaboration for publishing high-energy neutrino alerts. We thank Seth Digel, Ke Fang, Vaidehi Paliya and Judith Racusin for useful feedback provided during Fermi collaboration review. R.S. is grateful to NYU for generously facilitating a visit to develop this work. M.K. is grateful for the hospitality received from Columbia University and NYU during a sabbatical visit. This work was supported by the Initiative and Networking Fund of the Helmholtz Association through the Young Investigator Group program (A.F.). S.v.V is supported by the James Arthur Postdoctoral Fellowship. This research was partially supported by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Projects funding scheme (project DP200102471). The work of M.B. is supported through the South African Research Chair Initiative of the National Research Foundation and the Department of Science and Innovation of South Africa, under SARChI Chair grant No. 64789. A.H. acknowledges support by the I-Core Program of the Planning and Budgeting Committee and the Israel Science Foundation. The UCSC transient team is supported in part by NSF grant AST-1518052, NASA/Swift grant 80NSSC19K1386, the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, the Heising-Simons Foundation, and by a fellowship from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to R.J.F. V.Z.G. is a Moore-Sloan, WRF Innovation in Data Science, and DIRAC Fellow. A.G.Y.s research is supported by the EU via ERC grant No. 725161, the ISFGWexcellence center, an IMOS space infrastructure grant and BSF/Transformative and GIF grants, as well as The Benoziyo Endowment Fund for the Advancement of Science, the Deloro Institute for Advanced Research in Space and Optics, The Veronika A. Rabl Physics Discretionary Fund, Paul and Tina Gardner, Yeda-Sela and the WIS-CIT joint research grant; AGY is the recipient of the Helen and Martin Kimmel Award for Innovative Investigation. M.R. has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Unions Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement no. 759194 - USNAC). The work of D.S. was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA. The work of S.R. was supported by the Helmholtz Weizmann Research School on Multimessenger Astronomy, funded through the Initiative and Networking Fund of the Helmholtz Association, DESY, the Weizmann Institute, the Humboldt University of Berlin, and the University of Potsdam. Based on observations obtained with the Samuel Oschin Telescope 48-inch and the 60-inch Telescope at the Palomar Observatory as part of the Zwicky Transient Facility project. ZTF is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. AST-1440341 and a collaboration including Caltech, IPAC, the Weizmann Institute for Science, the Oskar Klein Center at Stockholm University, the University of Maryland, the University of Washington, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron and Humboldt University, Los Alamos National Laboratories, the TANGO Consortium of Taiwan, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. Operations are conducted by COO, IPAC, and UW. SED Machine is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1106171. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. The MeerKAT telescope is operated by the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory, which is a facility of the National Research Foundation, an agency of the Department of Science and Innovation. This work was supported by the GROWTH (Global Relay of Observatories Watching Transients Happen) project funded by the National Science Foundation Partnership in International Research and Education program under Grant No 1545949. GROWTH is a collaborative project between California Institute of Technology (USA), Pomona College (USA), San Diego State University (USA), Los Alamos National Laboratory (USA), University of Maryland College Park (USA), University of Wisconsin Milwaukee (USA), Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan), National Central University (Taiwan), Indian Institute of Astrophysics (India), Inter-University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics (India),Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel), The Oskar Klein Centre at Stockholm University (Sweden), Humboldt University (Germany). The Liverpool Telescope is operated on the island of La Palma by Liverpool John Moores University in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias with financial support from the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council Research at Lick Observatory is partially supported by a generous gift from Google. The Fermi-LAT Collaboration acknowledges support for LAT development, operation and data analysis from NASA and DOE (United States), CEA/Irfu and IN2P3/CNRS (France), ASI and INFN (Italy), MEXT, KEK, and JAXA (Japan), and the K.A. Wallenberg Foundation, the Swedish Research Council and the National Space Board (Sweden). Science analysis support in the operations phase from INAF (Italy) and CNES (France) is also gratefully acknowledged. This work performed in part under DOE Contract DE-AC02-76SF00515. Author Contributions. R.S. first identified AT2019dsg as a candidate neutrino source, performed the neutrino analysis and was the primary author of the manuscript. M.K., R.S., and S.v.V. developed the multi-zone model. G.F., M.K. and R.S. performed the neutrino modelling. A.F, J.Ne., R.S. and S.R. scheduled and analysed ZTF ToO observations. J.C.A.M.J. and S.v.V. contributed the VLA observations. A.H., R.F., and I.S. contributed the AMI-LA observations. M.Bi., M.Bo., R.F., J.C.A.M.J. and P.W. contributed the MeerKAT observations. The radio analysis was led by S.v.V., with contributions from M.Bi., R.F., A.H., J.C.A.M.J., M.K., R.S, and I.S. S.Ge. and S.v.V. requested and reduced the Swift-UVOT data. D.A.P. and K.T. contributed the LT observations. S.B.C., S.F. and S.Ge. performed X-rays observations and data analysis. S.Ga. analysed Fermi-LAT gamma-ray data. S.R. and S.v.V. analysed the ZTF data. J.B., E.C.B., R.B., S.B.C., V.C., M.F. V.Z.G., A.G., M.J.G, G.H., M.M.K., T.K., R.R.L., A.A.M, F.J.M., H.R., B.R., D.L.S., and M.T.S contributed to the implementation of ZTF. T.A, I.A, M.W.C, M.M.K and L.P.S enabled ZTF ToO observations. A.D., R.J.F., M.J.G., S.Ge., E.H., T.H., M.M.K, C.D.K., M.R., C.R.B., D.S, C.W., and Y.Y contributed to spectroscopic observations and data reduction. R.S. developed the ToO analysis pipeline. V.B., J.No. and J.v.S. developed Ampel, and contributed to the ToO analysis infrastructure. A.G.Y., A.K.H.K., and J.S. contributed to the manuscript and discussions. All authors reviewed the contents of the manuscript. Data availability. Data from Swift and Fermi-LAT satellites, as well as IceCube high-energy neutrino alerts, are already in the public domain (the NASA archive and GCN). Photometry from ZTF, Swift-UVOT, LT and SEDM are provided in the SI (Table S6), along with reduced X-ray data (Table S7) from Swift-XRT and XMM-Newton, that were used to make Figure 1. The radio data from the VLA, AMI-LA, and MeerKAT, that were used to make Figure 2 are provided in the SI (Table S8). Code availability Python scripts used to perform significant calculations, and make all of the plots, are available on request from R.S. The authors declare that they have no competing financial interests.
Group:Astronomy Department, Zwicky Transient Facility, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren (HGF)UNSPECIFIED
New York University (NYU)UNSPECIFIED
Australian Research CouncilDP200102471
National Research Foundation (South Africa)64789
Department of Science and Innovation (South Africa)UNSPECIFIED
I-CORE Program of the Planning and Budgeting CommitteeUNSPECIFIED
Israel Science FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Washington Research FoundationUNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)725161
Israel Ministry of ScienceUNSPECIFIED
Binational Science Foundation (USA-Israel)UNSPECIFIED
German-Israeli Foundation for Research and DevelopmentUNSPECIFIED
Benoziyo Endowment FundUNSPECIFIED
Deloro Institute for Advanced Research in Space and OpticsUNSPECIFIED
Veronika A. Rabl Physics Discretionary FundUNSPECIFIED
Paul and Tina GardnerUNSPECIFIED
Weizmann Institute of ScienceUNSPECIFIED
Helen and Martin Kimmel AwardUNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)759194
Helmholtz Weizmann Research School on Multimessenger AstronomyUNSPECIFIED
Deutsches Elektronen-SynchrotronUNSPECIFIED
Humboldt UniversityUNSPECIFIED
University of PotsdamUNSPECIFIED
ZTF partner institutionsUNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA)UNSPECIFIED
Institut de recherche sur les lois fondamentales de l'Univers (Irfu)UNSPECIFIED
Institut National de Physique Nucléaire et de Physique des Particules (IN2P3)UNSPECIFIED
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)UNSPECIFIED
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)UNSPECIFIED
Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN)UNSPECIFIED
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)UNSPECIFIED
Kō Enerugī Kasokuki Kenkyū Kikō (KEK)UNSPECIFIED
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)UNSPECIFIED
K. A. Wallenberg FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Swedish Research CouncilUNSPECIFIED
National Space Board (Sweden)UNSPECIFIED
Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF)UNSPECIFIED
Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-AC02-76SF00515
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200604-151413064
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:103703
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:05 Jun 2020 20:11
Last Modified:05 Jun 2020 20:11

Repository Staff Only: item control page