MIT astronomers have discovered the closest tidal disruption event (TDE) to date using infrared data in the NGC 7392 galaxy, located about 137 million light-years from Earth. This suggests that traditional X-ray and optical surveys may have missed TDEs in star-forming galaxies due to the presence of dust that obscures the light.
By searching in the infrared band, more previously hidden TDEs in active, star-forming galaxies can be revealed, offering a more complete picture of black holes and their host galaxies. The team determined that the TDE occurred in a young, star-forming galaxy, and that traditional surveys could have missed it due to the dust that absorbed the radiation and gave off infrared energy.
With the new discovery, astronomers can gain a better understanding of TDEs and the relationship between supermassive black holes and their host galaxies.