26-30 June 2023
Centro Congressi Federico II
Europe/Rome timezone

Review: Extreme variability around supermassive black holes: Quasi Periodic Eruptions

29 Jun 2023, 15:15
Aula Magna (Centro Congressi Federico II)

Aula Magna

Centro Congressi Federico II

Via Partenope, 36, Napoli, Italy


Dr. Margherita Giustini (Centro de Astrobiología (CAB), CSIC-INTA, Spain)


Serendipitously discovered at the end of 2018 in the nucleus of the galaxy GSN 069, X-ray quasi-periodic eruptions (QPEs) are a new extreme-variability phenomenon associated with supermassive black holes. QPEs typically appear as sharp and intense burst of X-ray emission, with a thermal-like spectrum with a temperature $kT \sim 150$ eV over a much more stable and cooler quiescent level; they last about one hour and repeat quasi-periodically every few hours, carrying a few $10^{42-43}$ erg s$^{-1}$ at each burst. X-ray QPEs have been securely detected in the nuclei of several galaxies since their discovery, all with low-mass supermassive black holes ($M_{BH} < 10^7 M_{\odot}$) and different levels of nuclear activity. In this talk I will review the general properties of QPEs and their variegate phenomenology in the QPE-sources (up to 7) detected so far. I will then discuss the physical scenarios invoked to explain this new and puzzling extreme-variability X-ray phenomenon, as well as the more and more evident physical connection of QPEs with tidal disruption events (TDEs) in low-mass galaxies.

Primary authors

Dr. Margherita Giustini (Centro de Astrobiología (CAB), CSIC-INTA, Spain) Giovanni Miniutti (Centro de Astrobiología (CAB), CSIC-INTA) Richard Saxton (Telespazio for ESA, ESAC, Madrid, Spain) Dr. Riccardo Arcodia (MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Cambridge (MA), USA)

Presentation Materials

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