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A Mid-infrared Flare in the Active Galaxy MCG-02-04-026: Dust Echo of a Nuclear Transient Event

Sun, Luming and Jiang, Ning and Wang, Tinggui and Zhou, Hongyan and Dou, Liming and Yang, Chenwei and Pan, Xiang and Sheng, Zhenfeng and Zhong, Zhihao and Yan, Lin and Li, Ge (2020) A Mid-infrared Flare in the Active Galaxy MCG-02-04-026: Dust Echo of a Nuclear Transient Event. Astrophysical Journal, 898 (2). Art. No. 129. ISSN 1538-4357. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20200731-121009303

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Abstract

We report the discovery of a mid-infrared (MIR) flare using Wide field Infrared Survey Explorer data in the center of the nearby Seyfert 1.9 galaxy MCG-02-04-026. The MIR flare began in the first half of 2014, peaked around the end of 2015, and faded in 2017. During these years, energy of more than 7 × 10⁵⁰ erg was released in the infrared, and the flare's MIR color was generally turning red. We detected neither optical nor ultraviolet (UV) variation corresponding to the MIR flare based on available data. We explained the MIR flare using a dust echo model in which the radiative transfer is involved. The MIR flare can be well explained as thermal reradiation from dust heated by UV–optical photons of a primary nuclear transient event. Although the transient event was not seen directly owing to dust obscuration, we can infer that it may produce a total energy of at least ~10⁵¹ erg, most of which was released in less than ~3 yr. The nature of the transient event could be a stellar tidal disruption event by the central supermassive black hole (SMBH), or a sudden enhancement of the existing accretion flow onto the SMBH, or a supernova that was particularly bright.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/ab9f2cDOIArticle
https://arxiv.org/abs/2006.11963arXivDiscussion Paper
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Sun, Luming0000-0002-7223-5840
Jiang, Ning0000-0002-7152-3621
Wang, Tinggui0000-0002-1517-6792
Zhou, Hongyan0000-0003-1956-9021
Dou, Liming0000-0002-4757-8622
Yang, Chenwei0000-0003-4975-2433
Pan, Xiang0000-0002-6565-2339
Sheng, Zhenfeng0000-0001-6938-8670
Yan, Lin0000-0003-1710-9339
Additional Information:© 2020 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2018 October 31; revised 2020 May 19; accepted 2020 June 21; published 2020 July 31. This work is supported by the NSFC grant (11421303, 11473025, 116203021, 11833007, NSF11033007), National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, 2013CB834905), the SOC program (CHINARE2012-02-03), and Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (WK 2030220010). L.-M.D. is also supported by NSFC grant 11833007, U1731104, jointly supported by Chinese Academy of Science and NSFC. This work made use of data supplied by the UK Swift Science Data Centre at the University of Leicester. This research also uses data obtained from the MAST. This research uses data obtained through the Telescope Access Program (TAP), which has been funded by the Strategic Priority Research Program, the Emergence of Cosmological Structures (grant No. XDB09000000), the National Astronomical Observatories, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Special Fund for Astronomy from the Ministry of Finance.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Natural Science Foundation of China11421303
National Natural Science Foundation of China11473025
National Natural Science Foundation of China116203021
National Natural Science Foundation of China11833007
National Natural Science Foundation of China11033007
National Basic Research Program of China2013CB834905
Astronomical Project for the Chinese Antarctic Inland StationCHINARE2012-02-03
Fundamental Research Funds for the Central UniversitiesWK 2030220010
National Natural Science Foundation of China11833007
Joint Research Fund in AstronomyU1731104
Chinese Academy of SciencesUNSPECIFIED
Chinese Academy of SciencesXDB09000000
National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC)UNSPECIFIED
Ministry of Finance (China)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Transient sources ; Infrared astronomy ; Active galaxies
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Transient sources (1851); Infrared astronomy (786); Active galaxies (17)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200731-121009303
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20200731-121009303
Official Citation:Luming Sun et al 2020 ApJ 898 129
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:104678
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:31 Jul 2020 20:25
Last Modified:31 Jul 2020 20:25

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