OGLE16aaa-a signature of a hungry supermassive black hole Academic Article uri icon


  • We present the discovery and first three months of follow-up observations of a currently on-going unusual transient detected by the OGLE-IV survey, located in the centre of a galaxy at redshift z=0.1655. The long rise to absolute magnitude of -20.5 mag, slow decline, very broad He and H spectral features make OGLE16aaa similar to other optical/UV Tidal Disruption Events (TDEs). Weak narrow emission lines in the spectrum and archival photometric observations suggest the host galaxy is a weak-line Active Galactic Nucleus (AGN), which has been accreting at higher rate in the past. OGLE16aaa, along with SDSS J0748, seems to form a sub-class of TDEs by weakly or recently active super-massive black holes (SMBHs). This class might bridge the TDEs by quiescent SMBHs and flares observed as "changing-look QSOs", if we interpret the latter as TDEs. If this picture is true, the previously applied requirement for identifying a flare as a TDE that it had to come from an inactive nucleus, could be leading to observational bias in TDE selection, thus affecting TDE-rate estimations.

altmetric score

  • 15.08

author list (cited authors)

  • Wyrzykowski, L., Zielinski, M., Kostrzewa-Rutkowska, Z., Hamanowicz, A., Jonker, P. G., Arcavi, I., ... Smith, K.

citation count

  • 25

publication date

  • February 2017