The WISE Detection of Infrared Echo in Tidal Disruption Event ASASSN-14li [HEAP]

We report the detection of significant infrared variability of the nearest tidal disruption event (TDE) ASASSN-14li using WISE and newly released NEOWISE-R data. In comparison with the quiescent state, the infrared flux is brightened by 0.12 and 0.16 magnitude in W1 and W2 bands at 36 days after the optical discovery (or ~70 days after the distruption). The flux enhancement is still detectable ~170 more days later. Assuming the flare-like infrared emission is from the dust around the black hole, its blackbody temperature is estimated to be ~$2.1\times10^3$K, slightly higher than the dust sublimation temperature, indicating that the dust is likely located close to the dust sublimation radius. The equilibrium between the heating and radiation of the dust claims a bolometric luminosity of ~$10^{42}-10^{45}$erg/s, comparable with the observed peak luminosity. This result has for the first time confirmed the detection of infrared emission from the dust echo of TDEs.

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N. Jiang, L. Dou, T. Wang, et. al.
Tue, 17 May 16

Comments: Submitted to ApJL on May 11, 2016; 3 figures, 1 table