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Can star collisions explain the AGN variability?
G. Torricelli-Ciamponi 1,2,
C. Foellmi 1,3,
T.J.-L. Courvoisier 1,4 and
S. Paltani 1,4
Received 23 August 1999 / Accepted 7 March 2000
Star collisions may easily occur in a cluster of stars orbiting around a massive black hole. Such collisions can transform part of the star kinetic energy in observable radiating energy. In this paper we derive the star collision rate and the resulting highly variable luminosity for the case of a cluster containing stars of different masses. The variability of the derived light curves is computed for different sets of parameters and compared to the available data (Paltani & Courvoisier 1997). The comparison shows that the observed data trend can be reproduced by this model.
Key words: galaxies: active galaxies: nuclei galaxies: quasars: general ultraviolet: galaxies
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Online publication: June 26, 2000