PS1-13cbe: The rapid transition of a Seyfert 2 to a Seyfert 1

Journal Article (Journal Article)

We present a nuclear transient event, PS1-13cbe, that was first discovered in the Pan-STARRS1 survey in 2013. The outburst occurred in the nucleus of the galaxy SDSS J222153.87+003054.2 at z = 0.123 55, which was classified as a Seyfert 2 in a pre-outburst archival Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) spectrum. PS1-13cbe showed the appearance of strong broad H α and H β emission lines and a non-stellar continuum in a Magellan spectrum taken 57 d after the peak of the outburst that resembled the characteristics of a Seyfert 1. These broad lines were not present in the SDSS spectrum taken a decade earlier and faded away within 2 yr, as observed in several late-time MDM spectra. We argue that the dramatic appearance and disappearance of the broad lines and a factor of ∼8 increase in the optical continuum are most likely caused by variability in the pre-existing accretion disc than a tidal disruption event, supernova, or variable obscuration. The time-scale for the turn-on of the optical emission of ∼70 d observed in this transient is among the shortest observed in a 'changing-look' active galactic nucleus.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Katebi, R; Chornock, R; Berger, E; Jones, DO; Lunnan, R; Margutti, R; Rest, A; Scolnic, DM; Burgett, WS; Kaiser, N; Kudritzki, RP; Magnier, EA; Wainscoat, RJ; Waters, C

Published Date

  • August 11, 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 487 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 4057 - 4070

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1365-2966

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0035-8711

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/mnras/stz1552

Citation Source

  • Scopus