A Late-time Radio Flare Following a Possible Transition in Accretion State in the Tidal Disruption Event AT 2019azh

Itai Sfaradi*, Assaf Horesh, Rob Fender, David A. Green, David R.A. Williams, Joe Bright, Steve Schulze

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We report here radio follow-up observations of the optical tidal disruption event (TDE) AT 2019azh. Previously reported X-ray observations of this TDE showed variability at early times and a dramatic increase in luminosity, by a factor of ∼10, about 8 months after optical discovery. The X-ray emission is mainly dominated by intermediate hard-soft X-rays and is exceptionally soft around the X-ray peak, which is L X ∼1043 erg s-1. The high cadence 15.5 GHz observations reported here show an early rise in radio emission followed by an approximately constant light curve, and a late-time flare. This flare starts roughly at the time of the observed X-ray peak luminosity and reaches its peak about 110 days after the peak in the X-ray, and a year after optical discovery. The radio flare peaks at ν L ν ∼1038 erg s-1, a factor of two higher than the emission preceding the flare. In light of the late-time radio and X-ray flares, and the X-ray spectral evolution, we speculate a possible transition in the accretion state of this TDE, similar to the observed behavior in black hole X-ray binaries. We compare the radio properties of AT 2019azh to other known TDEs, and focus on the similarities to the late-time radio flare of the TDE ASASSN-15oi.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number176
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the anonymous referee for improving this manuscript and T. Piran and N. Stone for useful discussions. A.H. is grateful for the support by the I-Core Program of the Planning and Budgeting Committee and the Israel Science Foundation, and support by ISF grant 647/18. This research was supported by grant No. 2018154 from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF). We acknowledge the staff who operate and run the AMI-LA telescope at Lord’s Bridge, Cambridge, for the AMI-LA radio data. AMI is supported by the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, and by the European Research Council under grant ERC-2012-StG-307215 LODESTONE. D.R.A.W. and J.B. were supported by the Oxford Centre for Astrophysical Surveys, which is funded through generous support from the Hintze Family Charitable Foundation. S.S. acknowledges support from the G.R.E.A.T research environment, funded by Vetenskapsrå det, the Swedish Research Council, project No. 2016-06012.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society.


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