Volume 641, September 2020
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Published online||25 September 2020|
Possible mechanism for multiple changing-look phenomena in active galactic nuclei
Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center (PAN), ul. Bartycka 18, 00-716 Warsaw, Poland
2 Center for Theoretical Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Al. Lotników 32/46, 02-668 Warsaw, Poland
3 Astronomical Observatory Belgrade, Volgina 7, 11060 Belgrade, Serbia
Accepted: 3 July 2020
Context. The changing-look phenomenon observed in a growing number of active galaxies challenges our understanding of the accretion process close to a black hole.
Aims. We propose a simple explanation for the sources where multiple semi-periodic outbursts are observed, and the sources are operating close to the Eddington limit.
Methods. The outburst are caused by the radiation pressure instability operating in the narrow ring between the standard gas-dominated outer disk and the hot optically thin inner advection-dominated accretion flow. The corresponding limit cycle is responsible for periodic outbursts, and the timescales are much shorter than the standard viscous timescale due to the narrowness of the unstable radial zone.
Results. Our toy model gives quantitative predictions and works well for multiple outbursts like those observed in NGC 1566, NGC 4151, NGC 5548, and GSN 069, although the shapes of the outbursts are not yet well modeled, and further development of the model is necessary.
Key words: accretion / accretion disks / galaxies: active
© ESO 2020
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