PS1-10jh continues to follow the fallback accretion rate of a tidally disrupted star

S. Gezari*, R. Chornock, Andy Lawrence, A. Rest, D. O. Jones, E. Berger, P. M. Challis, G. Narayan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present late-time observations of the tidal disruption event candidate PS1-10jh. UV and optical imaging with Hubble Space Telescope/WFC3 localize the transient to be coincident with the host galaxy nucleus to an accuracy of 0.023 arcsec, corresponding to 66 pc. The UV flux in the F225W filter, measured 3.35 rest-frame years after the peak of the nuclear flare, is consistent with a decline that continues to follow a t(-5/3) power-law with no spectral evolution. Late epochs of optical spectroscopy obtained with MMT similar to 2 and 4 years after the peak, enable a clean subtraction of the host galaxy from the early spectra, revealing broad helium emission lines on top of a hot continuum, and placing stringent upper limits on the presence of hydrogen line emission. We do not measure Balmer Hd absorption in the host galaxy that is strong enough to be indicative of a rare, post-starburst "E + A" galaxy as reported by Arcavi et al. The light curve of PS1-10jh over a baseline of 3.5 years is best modeled by fallback accretion of a tidally disrupted star. Its strong broad helium emission relative to hydrogen (He II lambda 4686/H alpha > 5) could be indicative of either the hydrogen-poor chemical composition of the disrupted star, or certain conditions in the tidal debris of a solar-composition star in the presence of an optically thick, extended reprocessing envelope.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Number of pages5
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2015


  • accretion, accretion disks
  • black hole physics
  • galaxies: nuclei
  • ultraviolet: general

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