Monday, July 15, 2013

1307.3313 (Chenwei Yang et al.)

Long Term Spectral Evolution of Tidal Disruption Candidates Selected by Strong Coronal Lines    [PDF]

Chenwei Yang, Tinggui Wang, Gary Ferland, Weimin Yuan, Hongyan Zhou, Peng Jiang
We present results of follow-up optical spectroscopic observations of seven rare, extreme coronal line emitting galaxies reported by Wang et al. (2012) with Multi-Mirror Telescope (MMT). Large variations in coronal lines are found in four objects, making them strong candidates of tidal disruption events (TDE). For the four TDE candidates, all the coronal lines with ionization status higher than [Fe VII] disappear within 5-9 years. The [Fe VII] faded by a factor of about five in one object (J0952+2143) within 4 years, whereas emerged in other two without them previously. A strong increment in the [O III] flux is observed, shifting the line ratios towards the loci of active galactic nucleus on the BPT diagrams. Surprisingly, we detect a non-canonical [O III]5007/[O III]4959 2 in two objects, indicating a large column density of O$^{2+}$ and thus probably optical thick gas. This also requires a very large ionization parameter and relatively soft ionizing spectral energy distribution (e.g. blackbody with $T < 5\times 10^4$ K). Our observations can be explained as echoing of a strong ultraviolet to soft X-ray flare caused by tidal disruption events, on molecular clouds in the inner parsecs of the galactic nuclei. Re-analyzing the SDSS spectra reveals double-peaked or strongly blue-shouldered broad lines in three of the objects, which disappeared in the MMT spectra in two objects, and faded by a factor of ten in 8 years in the remaining object with a decrease in both the line width and centroid offset. We interpret these broad lines as arising from decelerating biconical outflows. Our results demonstrate that the signatures of echoing can persist for as long as ten years, and can be used to probe the gas environment in the quiescent galactic nuclei.
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