The impact of bound stellar orbits and general relativity on the temporal behavior of tidal disruption flares.
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We have carried out general relativistic particle simulations of stars tidally disrupted by massive black holes. When a star is disrupted in a bound orbit with moderate eccentricity instead of a parabolic orbit, the temporal behavior of the resulting stellar debris changes qualitatively. The debris is initially all bound, returning to pericenter in a short time about the original stellar orbital timescale. The resulting fallback rate can thus be much higher than the Eddington rate. Furthermore, if the star is disrupted close to the hole, in a regime where general relativity is important, the stellar and debris orbits display general relativistic precession. Apsidal precession can make the debris stream cross itself after several orbits, likely leading to fast debris energy dissipation. If the star is disrupted in an inclined orbit around a spinning hole, nodal precession reduces the probability of self-intersection, and circularization may take many dynamical timescales, delaying the onset of flare activity. An examination of the particle dynamics suggests that quasi-periodic flares with short durations, produced when the center of the tidal stream passes pericenter, may occur in the early-time light curve. The late-time light curve may still show power-law behavior which is generic to disk accretion processes. The detection triggers for future surveys should be extended to capture such “non-standard” short-term flaring activity before the event enters the asymptotic decay phase, as this activity is likely to be more sensitive to physical parameters such as the black hole spin.
Artículo de publicación ISI
Quote ItemThe Astrophysical Journal Letters, 775:L9 (6pp), 2013 September 20
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