Ultraviolet and optical observations of tidal disruption events
Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-2421, USA
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Tidal disruption events are expected to produce a luminous flare of radiation from fallback accretion of tidally disrupted stellar debris onto the central supermassive black hole. The first convincing candidates for tidal disruption events were discovered in the soft X-rays: large-amplitude, luminous, extremely-soft X-ray flares from inactive galaxies in the ROSAT All-Sky survey. However, the sparsely sampled light curves and lack of multiwavelength observations for these candidates make it difficult to directly constrain the parameters of their events (e.g., Eddington ratio, mass of the black hole, type of star disrupted). Here I present a review of the recent progress made in studying tidal disruption events in detail from taking advantage of wide-field, multi-epoch observations of UV and optical surveys (GALEX, SDSS, PTF, Pan-STARRS1) to measure well-sampled light curves, trigger prompt multiwavelength follow-up observations, and measure rates. I conclude with the promising potential of the next generation of optical synoptic surveys, such as LSST, to probe black hole demographics with samples of thousands of tidal disruption events.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2012
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