An extremely luminous panchromatic outburst from the nucleus of a distant galaxy

Andrew J Levan, Nial R Tanvir, Stephen Bradley Cenko, Daniel A Perley, Klass Wiersema, Joshua S Bloom, Andrew S Fruchter, Antonio de Ugarte Postigo, Paul T O'Brien, Nathaniel R Butler, Alexander J van der Horst, Giorgos Leloudas, Adam Nolan Morgan, Kuntal Misra, Geoffrey C Bower, Jay Farihi, Rachel L Tunnicliffe, Maryam Modjaz, Jeffrey M Silverman, Jens HjorthChristina C Thone, Antonino Cucchiara, Jose Maria Castro Ceron, Alberto Javier Castro-Tirado, Jacob A Arnold, Michael Bremer, Jean P Brodie, Timothy Carroll, Michael C Cooper, Peter A Curran, Roc M Cutri, Jack Ehle, Duncan Alan Forbes, Johan Peter Uldall Fynbo, Javier Gorosabel, John F Graham, Douglas I Hoffman, Sergei Guziy, Pall Jakobsson, Atish Kamble, Thomas Kerr, Mansi M Kasliwal, Chryssa Kouveliotou, Dale D Kocevski, Nicholas M Law, Peter E Nugent, Eran O Ofek, Dovi Poznanski, Robert M Quimby, Evert Rol, Aaron J Romanowsky, Ruben Sanchez-Ramirez, Steve Schulze, Navtej Singh, Lieke van Spaandonk, Rhaana L C Starling, Richard G Strom, Juan Carlos Tello, Ovidiu Vaduvescu, Peter J Wheatley, Ralph A M J Wijers, Jan Martin Winters, Dong Xu

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249 Citations (Scopus)


Variable x-ray and gamma-ray emission is characteristic of the most extreme physical processes in the universe. We present multiwavelength observations of a unique gamma-ray-selected transient detected by the Swift satellite, accompanied by bright emission across the electromagnetic spectrum, and whose properties are unlike any previously observed source. We pinpoint the event to the center of a small, star-forming galaxy at redshift z = 0.3534. Its high-energy emission has lasted much longer than any gamma-ray burst, whereas its peak luminosity was 100 times higher than bright active galactic nuclei. The association of the outburst with the center of its host galaxy suggests that this phenomenon has its origin in a rare mechanism involving the massive black hole in the nucleus of that galaxy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199 - 202
Number of pages4
Issue number6039
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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