Radio emission from the unbound debris of tidal disruption events

A. Yalinewich, E. Steinberg, T. Piran, J. H. Krolik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


When a star gets too close to a supermassive black hole, it is torn apart by the tidal forces. Roughly half of the stellar mass becomes unbound and flies away at tremendous velocities-around 104 km s-1. In this work, we explore the idea that the shock produced by the interaction of the unbound debris with the ambient medium gives rise to the synchrotron radio emission observed in several tidal disruption event (TDE). We use a moving mesh numerical simulation to study the evolution of the unbound debris and the bow shock around it. We find that as the periapse distance of the star decreases, the outflow becomes faster and wider. A TDE whose periapse distance is a factor of 7 smaller than the tidal radius can account for the radio emission observed in ASASSN-14li. This model also allows us to obtain a more accurate estimate for the gas density around the centre of the host galaxy of ASASSN-14li.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)4083-4092
Number of pages10
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 11 Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.


  • radiation mechanisms: non-thermal
  • shock waves


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