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Context. Recent developments in time domain astronomy, such as Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), have made it possible to conduct daily scans of the entire visible sky, leading to the discovery of hundreds of new transients every night. Among these detections, 10 to 15 of these objects are supernovae (SNe), which have to be classified prior to cosmological use. The spectral energy distribution machine (SEDM) is a low-resolution ( ℛ ~ 100) integral field spectrograph designed, built, and operated with the aim of spectroscopically observing and classifying targets detected by the ZTF main camera. Aims. As the current pysedm pipeline can only handle isolated point sources, it is limited by contamination when the transient is too close to its host galaxy core. This can lead to an incorrect typing and ultimately bias the cosmological analyses, affecting the homogeneity of the SN sample in terms of local environment properties. We present a new scene modeler to extract the transient spectrum from its structured background, with the aim of improving the typing efficiency of the SEDM. Methods. H yper G al is a fully chromatic scene modeler that uses archival pre-transient photometric images of the SN environment to generate a hyperspectral model of the host galaxy. It is based on the cigale SED fitter used as a physically-motivated spectral interpolator. The galaxy model, complemented by a point source for the transient and a diffuse background component, is projected onto the SEDM spectro-spatial observation space and adjusted to observations, and the SN spectrum is ultimately extracted from this multi-component model. The full procedure, from scene modeling to transient spectrum extraction and typing, is validated on 5000 simulated cubes built from actual SEDM observations of isolated host galaxies, covering a broad range of observing conditions and scene parameters. Results. We introduce the contrast, c , as the transient-to-total flux ratio at the SN location, integrated over the ZTF r -band. From estimated contrast distribution of real SEDm observations, we show that H yper G al correctly classifies ~95% of SNe Ia, and up to 99% for contrast c ≳ 0.2, representing more than 90% of the observations. Compared to the standard point-source extraction method (without the hyperspectral galaxy modeling step), H yper G al correctly classifies 20% more SNe Ia between 0.1 < c < 0.6 (50% of the observation conditions), with less than 5% of SN Ia misidentifications. The false-positive rate is less than 2% for c > 0.1 (> 99% of the observations), which represents half as much as the standard extraction method. Assuming a similar contrast distribution for core-collapse SNe, H yper G al classifies 14% additional SNe II and 11% additional SNe Ibc. Conclusions. H yper G al has proven to be extremely effective in extracting and classifying SNe in the presence of strong contamination by the host galaxy, providing a significant improvement with respect to the single point-source extraction.more » « less
In order to identify the sources of the observed diffuse high-energy neutrino flux, it is crucial to discover their electromagnetic counterparts. To increase the sensitivity of detecting counterparts of transient or variable sources by telescopes with a limited field of view, IceCube began releasing alerts for single high-energy ( E ν > 60 TeV) neutrino detections with sky localisation regions of order 1° radius in 2016. We used Pan-STARRS1 to follow-up five of these alerts during 2016–2017 to search for any optical transients that may be related to the neutrinos. Typically 10–20 faint ( m i P1 ≲ 22.5 mag) extragalactic transients are found within the Pan-STARRS1 footprints and are generally consistent with being unrelated field supernovae (SNe) and AGN. We looked for unusual properties of the detected transients, such as temporal coincidence of explosion epoch with the IceCube timestamp, or other peculiar light curve and physical properties. We found only one transient that had properties worthy of a specific follow-up. In the Pan-STARRS1 imaging for IceCube-160427A (probability to be of astrophysical origin of ∼50%), we found a SN PS16cgx, located at 10.0′ from the nominal IceCube direction. Spectroscopic observations of PS16cgx showed that it was an H-poor SN at redshift z = 0.2895 ± 0.0001. The spectra and light curve resemble some high-energy Type Ic SNe, raising the possibility of a jet driven SN with an explosion epoch temporally coincident with the neutrino detection. However, distinguishing Type Ia and Type Ic SNe at this redshift is notoriously difficult. Based on all available data we conclude that the transient is more likely to be a Type Ia with relatively weak Si II absorption and a fairly normal rest-frame r -band light curve. If, as predicted, there is no high-energy neutrino emission from Type Ia SNe, then PS16cgx must be a random coincidence, and unrelated to the IceCube-160427A. We find no other plausible optical transient for any of the five IceCube events observed down to a 5 σ limiting magnitude of m i P1 ≈ 22 mag, between 1 day and 25 days after detection.more » « less
We report on the search for optical counterparts to IceCube neutrino alerts released between 2016 April and 2021 August with the All-Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN). Despite the discovery of a diffuse astrophysical high-energy neutrino flux in 2013, the source of those neutrinos remains largely unknown. Since 2016, IceCube has published likely astrophysical neutrinos as public real-time alerts. Through a combination of normal survey and triggered target-of-opportunity observations, ASAS-SN obtained images within 1 h of the neutrino detection for 20 per cent (11) of all observable IceCube alerts and within one day for another 57 per cent (32). For all observable alerts, we obtained images within at least two weeks from the neutrino alert. ASAS-SN provides the only optical follow-up for about 17 per cent of IceCube’s neutrino alerts. We recover the two previously claimed counterparts to neutrino alerts, the flaring-blazar TXS 0506 + 056 and the tidal disruption event AT2019dsg. We investigate the light curves of previously detected transients in the alert footprints, but do not identify any further candidate neutrino sources. We also analysed the optical light curves of Fermi 4FGL sources coincident with high-energy neutrino alerts, but do not identify any contemporaneous flaring activity. Finally, we derive constraints on the luminosity functions of neutrino sources for a range of assumed evolution models.
We present our follow-up observations with GRANDMA of transient sources revealed by the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF). Over a period of six months, all ZTF alerts were examined in real time by a dedicated science module implemented in the Fink broker, which will be used in filtering of transients discovered by the Vera C. Rubin Observatory. In this article, we present three selection methods to identify kilonova candidates. Out of more than 35 million alerts, a hundred sources have passed our selection criteria. Six were then followed-up by GRANDMA (by both professional and amateur astronomers). The majority were finally classified either as asteroids or as supernovae events. We mobilized 37 telescopes, bringing together a large sample of images, taken under various conditions and quality. To complement the orphan kilonova candidates, we included three additional supernovae alerts to conduct further observations during summer 2021. We demonstrate the importance of the amateur astronomer community that contributed images for scientific analyses of new sources discovered in a magnitude range r′ = 17 − 19 mag. We based our rapid kilonova classification on the decay rate of the optical source that should exceed 0.3 mag d−1. GRANDMA’s follow-up determined the fading rate within 1.5 ± 1.2 d post-discovery, without waiting for further observations from ZTF. No confirmed kilonovae were discovered during our observing campaign. This work will be continued in the coming months in the view of preparing for kilonova searches in the next gravitational-wave observing run O4.
Aims. We present a variability-, color-, and morphology-based classifier designed to identify multiple classes of transients and persistently variable and non-variable sources from the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) Data Release 11 (DR11) light curves of extended and point sources. The main motivation to develop this model was to identify active galactic nuclei (AGN) at different redshift ranges to be observed by the 4MOST Chilean AGN/Galaxy Evolution Survey (ChANGES). That being said, it also serves as a more general time-domain astronomy study. Methods. The model uses nine colors computed from CatWISE and Pan-STARRS1 (PS1), a morphology score from PS1, and 61 single-band variability features computed from the ZTF DR11 g and r light curves. We trained two versions of the model, one for each ZTF band, since ZTF DR11 treats the light curves observed in a particular combination of field, filter, and charge-coupled device (CCD) quadrant independently. We used a hierarchical local classifier per parent node approach-where each node is composed of a balanced random forest model. We adopted a taxonomy with 17 classes: non-variable stars, non-variable galaxies, three transients (SNIa, SN-other, and CV/Nova), five classes of stochastic variables (lowz-AGN, midz-AGN, highz-AGN, Blazar, and YSO), and seven classes of periodic variables (LPV, EA, EB/EW, DSCT, RRL, CEP, and Periodic-other). Results. The macro-averaged precision, recall, and F1-score are 0.61, 0.75, and 0.62 for the g -band model, and 0.60, 0.74, and 0.61, for the r -band model. When grouping the four AGN classes (lowz-AGN, midz-AGN, highz-AGN, and Blazar) into one single class, its precision-recall, and F1-score are 1.00, 0.95, and 0.97, respectively, for both the g and r bands. This demonstrates the good performance of the model in classifying AGN candidates. We applied the model to all the sources in the ZTF/4MOST overlapping sky (−28 ≤ Dec ≤ 8.5), avoiding ZTF fields that cover the Galactic bulge (| gal_b | ≤ 9 and gal_l ≤ 50). This area includes 86 576 577 light curves in the g band and 140 409 824 in the r band with 20 or more observations and with an average magnitude in the corresponding band lower than 20.5. Only 0.73% of the g -band light curves and 2.62% of the r -band light curves were classified as stochastic, periodic, or transient with high probability ( P init ≥ 0.9). Even though the metrics obtained for the two models are similar, we find that, in general, more reliable results are obtained when using the g -band model. With it, we identified 384 242 AGN candidates (including low-, mid-, and high-redshift AGN and Blazars), 287 156 of which have P init ≥ 0.9.more » « less