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Title: Chandra, HST/STIS, NICER, Swift, and TESS Detail the Flare Evolution of the Repeating Nuclear Transient ASASSN -14ko

ASASSN-14ko is a nuclear transient at the center of the AGN ESO 253−G003 that undergoes periodic flares. Optical flares were first observed in 2014 by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN) and their peak times are well-modeled with a period of115.21.2+1.3days and period derivative of −0.0026 ± 0.0006. Here we present ASAS-SN, Chandra, HST/STIS, NICER, Swift, and TESS data for the flares that occurred on 2020 December, 2021 April, 2021 July, and 2021 November. These four flares represent flares 18–21 of the total number of flares observed by ASAS-SN so far since 2014. The HST/STIS UV spectra evolve from blueshifted broad absorption features to redshifted broad emission features over ∼10 days. The Swift UV/optical light curves peaked as predicted by the timing model, but the peak UV luminosities that varied between flares and the UV flux in Flare 20 were roughly half the brightness of the other peaks. The X-ray luminosities consistently decreased and the spectra became harder during the UV/optical rise, but apparently without changes in absorption. Finally, two high-cadence TESS light curves from Flare 18 and Flare 12 showed that the slopes during the rising and declining phases changed over time, which indicates some stochasticity in the flare’s driving mechanism. Although ASASSN-14ko remains observationally consistent with a repeating partial tidal disruption event, these rich multi-wavelength data are in need of a detailed theoretical model.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Article No. 134
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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