Stefanie Komossa

MPE Garching, Germany

Talk Title: Growing BHs: Observational evidence for stellar tidal disruption events and supermassive BH binaries

Abstract: Three major feeding mechanisms have been studied in the context of black hole growth: accretion, BH-BH mergers, and tidal capture/disruption of stars. While there is ample evidence that accretion is ongoing in active galaxies, observational evidence for the two other processes remained elusive for many years. Given the intense theoretical work on these latter two processes, it is of great interest to see whether such events do occur in nature, how frequent they are, and what are their properties. In this contribution, we will give a review of observational evidence for supermassive binary black holes and stellar tidal disruption events. We will also present new multi-wavelength observations of stellar tidal disruptions, including most recent XMM and Chandra results on the two most dramatic variability events ever recorded among galaxies.

Link to talk: N/A