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Fast Optical Transients from Stellar-mass Black Hole Tidal Disruption Events in Young Star Clusters

Kremer, Kyle and Lu, Wenbin and Piro, Anthony L. and Chatterjee, Sourav and Rasio, Frederic A. and Ye, Claire S. (2021) Fast Optical Transients from Stellar-mass Black Hole Tidal Disruption Events in Young Star Clusters. Astrophysical Journal, 911 (2). Art. No. 104. ISSN 1538-4357. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/abeb14.

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Observational evidence suggests that the majority of stars may have been born in stellar clusters or associations. Within these dense environments, dynamical interactions lead to high rates of close stellar encounters. A variety of recent observational and theoretical indications suggest stellar-mass black holes may be present and play an active dynamical role in stellar clusters of all masses. In this study, we explore the tidal disruption of main-sequence stars by stellar-mass black holes in young star clusters. We compute a suite of over 3000 independent N-body simulations that cover a range of cluster mass, metallicity, and half-mass radii. We find stellar-mass black hole tidal disruption events (TDEs) occur at an overall rate of up to roughly 200 Gpc⁻³ yr⁻¹ in young stellar clusters in the local universe. These TDEs are expected to have several characteristic features, namely, fast rise times of order a day, peak X-ray luminosities of at least 10⁴⁴ erg s⁻¹, and bright optical luminosities (roughly 10⁴¹–10⁴⁴ erg s⁻¹) associated with reprocessing by a disk wind. In particular, we show these events share many features in common with the emerging class of Fast Blue Optical Transients.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Kremer, Kyle0000-0002-4086-3180
Lu, Wenbin0000-0002-1568-7461
Piro, Anthony L.0000-0001-6806-0673
Chatterjee, Sourav0000-0002-3680-2684
Rasio, Frederic A.0000-0002-7132-418X
Ye, Claire S.0000-0001-9582-881X
Additional Information:© 2021. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2020 December 3; revised 2021 February 19; accepted 2021 February 27; published 2021 April 22. We thank Tom Maccarone for helpful suggestions on the manuscript and Carl Rodriguez for useful preliminary discussions. We also thank the anonymous referee for the careful review and many helpful suggestions. K.K. is supported by an NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship under award AST-2001751. W.L. is supported by the David and Ellen Lee Fellowship at Caltech. S.C. acknowledges support of the Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India, under project no. 12-R&D-TFR-5.02-0200. F.A.R. and C.S.Y. acknowledge support from NSF grant AST-1716762 at Northwestern University.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics FellowshipAST-2001751
David and Ellen Lee Postdoctoral FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Department of Atomic Energy (India)12-R&D-TFR-5.02-0200
Subject Keywords:Astrophysical black holes; Young star clusters; Tidal disruption; Transient sources; N-body simulations; X-ray transient sources
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Astrophysical black holes (98); Young star clusters (1833); Tidal disruption (1696); Transient sources (1851); N-body simulations (1083); X-ray transient sources (1852)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210111-160829075
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Kyle Kremer et al 2021 ApJ 911 104
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:107402
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:12 Jan 2021 16:32
Last Modified:23 Apr 2021 17:36

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