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Streams collision as possible precursor of double tidal disruption events

Bonnerot, Clément and Rossi, Elena M. (2019) Streams collision as possible precursor of double tidal disruption events. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 484 (1). pp. 1301-1316. ISSN 0035-8711.

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The rate of tidal disruption events (TDEs) can vary by orders of magnitude depending on the environment and the mechanism that launches the stars towards the black hole’s vicinity. For the largest rates, two disruptions can take place shortly one after the other in a double TDE. In this case, the two debris streams may collide with each other before falling back to the black hole resulting in an electromagnetic emission that is absent from single TDEs. We analytically evaluate the conditions for this streams collision to occur. It requires that the difference in pericentre location between the two disruptions makes up for the time delay between them. In addition, the width of the streams must compensate for the vertical offset induced by the inclination of their orbital planes. If the double TDE happens following the tidal separation of a binary, we find that the streams can collide with a probability as high as 44 per cent⁠. We validate our analytical conditions for streams collision through hydrodynamical simulations and find that the associated shocks heat the gas significantly. If photons are able to rapidly escape, a burst of radiation ensues lasting a few days with a luminosity ∼10^(43(ergs^(−1)⁠, most likely in the optical band. This signal represents a precursor to the main flare of TDEs that could in particular be exploited to determine the efficiency of disc formation from the stellar debris.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Bonnerot, Clément0000-0001-9970-2843
Additional Information:© 2019 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model ( Accepted 2018 December 29. Received 2018 December 21; in original form 2018 May 22. Published: 14 January 2019. We thank the anonymous referee for useful comments that improved the paper. CB and EMR acknowledge the help from NOVA. The research of CB was funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through Grant GBMF5076. We also thank Yuri Levin, Giuseppe Lodato, Ilya Mandel, and Ree’m Sari for insightful discussions. Finally, we acknowledge the use of SPLASH (Price 2007) for generating the figures of Section 4.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationGBMF5076
Subject Keywords:black hole physics – hydrodynamics – galaxies: nuclei
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190411-160745269
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Official Citation:Clément Bonnerot, Elena M Rossi, Streams collision as possible precursor of double tidal disruption events, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 484, Issue 1, March 2019, Pages 1301–1316,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:94675
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:12 Apr 2019 02:56
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 21:06

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