Active galactic nuclei (AGNs) can funnel stars and stellar remnants from the vicinity of the galactic center into the inner plane of the AGN disk. Stars reaching this inner region can be tidally disrupted by the stellar-mass black holes in the disk. Such micro tidal disruption events (micro-TDEs) could be a useful probe of stellar interaction with the AGN disk. We find that micro-TDEs in AGNs occur at a rate of 1/4170 Gpc-3 yr-1. Their cleanest observational probe may be the electromagnetic detection of tidal disruption in AGNs by heavy supermassive black holes (M • 3 108 M ⊙) that cannot tidally disrupt solar-type stars. The reconstructed rate of such events from observations, nonetheless, appears to be much lower than our estimated micro-TDE rate. We discuss two such micro-TDE candidates observed to date (ASASSN-15lh and ZTF19aailpwl).
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Astrophysical Journal Letters|
|State||Published - Jul 1 2022|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science