Stellar tidal disruption events and ZTF: what have we learned?

Sjoert van Velzen(Leiden Observatory)

Apr 26, 2021

The tidal disruption of a star by a massive black hole is a rare event that results in a spectacular flare of electromagnetic radiation. Visible from radio to X-ray wavelengths, tidal disruption flares are a unique probe to study massive black holes and the nucleus of their host galaxies. The advent of optical transient surveys has accelerated this field, resulting in a large number of (often unexpected) discoveries. I will review this recent progress, focussing in particular on the results from a population analysis that has been enabled by the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF).

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