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  1. Abstract Active galactic nuclei (AGNs) can funnel stars and stellar remnants from the vicinity of the galactic center into the inner plane of the AGN disk. Stars reaching this inner region can be tidally disrupted by the stellar-mass black holes in the disk. Such micro tidal disruption events (micro-TDEs) could be a useful probe of stellar interaction with the AGN disk. We find that micro-TDEs in AGNs occur at a rate of ∼170 Gpc −3 yr −1 . Their cleanest observational probe may be the electromagnetic detection of tidal disruption in AGNs by heavy supermassive black holes ( M •more »≳ 10 8 M ⊙ ) that cannot tidally disrupt solar-type stars. The reconstructed rate of such events from observations, nonetheless, appears to be much lower than our estimated micro-TDE rate. We discuss two such micro-TDE candidates observed to date (ASASSN-15lh and ZTF19aailpwl).« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  2. Abstract GW190521 was the most massive black hole merger discovered by LIGO/Virgo so far, with masses in tension with stellar evolution models. A possible explanation of such heavy black holes is that they themselves are the remnants of previous mergers of lighter black holes. Here we estimate the masses of the ancestral black holes of GW190521, assuming it is the end product of previous mergers. We find that the heaviest parental black holes has a mass of 56 − 18 + 20 M ⊙ (90% credible level). We find 70% probability that it is in the 50 M ⊙ –120more »M ⊙ mass gap, indicating that it may also be the end product of a previous merger. We therefore also compute the expected mass distributions of the “grandparent” black holes of GW190521, assuming they existed. Ancestral black hole masses could represent an additional puzzle piece in identifying the origin of LIGO/Virgo/KAGRA’s heaviest black holes.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
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