PS1-13cbe: The rapid transition of a Seyfert 2 to a Seyfert 1

Reza Katebi, Ryan Chornock, Edo Berger, David O. Jones, Ragnhild Lunnan, Raffaella Margutti, Armin Rest, Daniel M. Scolnic, William S. Burgett, Nick Kaiser, Rolf Peter Kudritzki, Eugene A. Magnier, Richard J. Wainscoat, Christopher Waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We present a nuclear transient event, PS1-13cbe, that was first discovered in the Pan-STARRS1 survey in 2013. The outburst occurred in the nucleus of the galaxy SDSS J222153.87+003054.2 at z = 0.123 55, which was classified as a Seyfert 2 in a pre-outburst archival Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) spectrum. PS1-13cbe showed the appearance of strong broad H α and H β emission lines and a non-stellar continuum in a Magellan spectrum taken 57 d after the peak of the outburst that resembled the characteristics of a Seyfert 1. These broad lines were not present in the SDSS spectrum taken a decade earlier and faded away within 2 yr, as observed in several late-time MDM spectra. We argue that the dramatic appearance and disappearance of the broad lines and a factor of ∼8 increase in the optical continuum are most likely caused by variability in the pre-existing accretion disc than a tidal disruption event, supernova, or variable obscuration. The time-scale for the turn-on of the optical emission of ∼70 d observed in this transient is among the shortest observed in a 'changing-look' active galactic nucleus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4057-4070
Number of pages14
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 11 2019


  • accretion, accretion discs
  • black hole physics
  • galaxies: active
  • galaxies: nuclei

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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