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Periodic Transients in AGN

Presentation #401.06 in the session Active Galactic Nuclei II.

Published onJul 01, 2023
Periodic Transients in AGN

X-ray Quasi-Periodic Eruptions (QPEs) are a newly discovered phenomenon whereby the nuclei of some galaxies increase dramatically in X-ray flux by a factor of ~10 once every 3-10 hours. Early models proposed that QPEs may be the electromagnetic counterpart of some extreme mass-ratio inspirals (EMRIs), but the vast range of phenomenology among the few known QPE sources has yet to be self-consistently explained by any single physical model.

I will also discuss how QPEs fit into the broader picture of nuclear transients, particularly those which repeat in the X-ray and optical bands. Examples include the repeat Changing-Look AGN, which are known to transition between Type I and Type II on timescales of months; and possible repeating Tidal Disruption Events. Comparing the environments in which we find these different phenomena will inform our picture of SMBH accretion and the AGN-galaxy connection.

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