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  1. Abstract

    We present observations of ASASSN-20hx, a nearby ambiguous nuclear transient (ANT) discovered in NGC 6297 by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN). We observed ASASSN-20hx from −30 to 275 days relative to the peak UV/optical emission using high-cadence, multiwavelength spectroscopy and photometry. From Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite data, we determine that the ANT began to brighten on 2020 June 22.8 with a linear rise in flux for at least the first week. ASASSN-20hx peaked in the UV/optical 30 days later on 2020 July 22.8 (MJD = 59052.8) at a bolometric luminosity ofL= (3.15 ± 0.04) × 1043erg s−1. The subsequent decline is slower than any TDE observed to date and consistent with many other ANTs. Compared to an archival X-ray detection, the X-ray luminosity of ASASSN-20hx increased by an order of magnitude toLx∼ 1.5 × 1042erg s−1and then slowly declined over time. The X-ray emission is well fit by a power law with a photon index of Γ ∼ 2.3–2.6. Both the optical and near-infrared spectra of ASASSN-20hx lack emission lines, unusual for any known class of nuclear transient. While ASASSN-20hx has some characteristics seen in both tidal disruption events and active galactic nuclei, it cannot be definitivelymore »classified with current data.

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  2. We examine the early phase intrinsic (B - V)0 color evolution of a dozen SNe Ia discovered within three days of the inferred time of first light (t first) and have (B - V)0 color information beginning within five days of t first. The sample indicates there are two distinct early populations. The first is a population exhibiting blue colors that slowly evolve, and the second population exhibits red colors and evolves more rapidly. We find that the early blue events are all 1991T/1999aa-like with more luminous, slower declining light curves than those exhibiting early red colors. Placing the first sample on the Branch diagram (i.e., ratio of Si II λλ5972, 6355 pseudo-Equivalent widths) indicates that all blue objects are of the Branch shallow silicon (SS) spectral type, while all early red events except for the 2000cx-like SN 2012fr are of the Branch Core Normal (CN) or CooL (CL) type. A number of potential processes contributing to the early emission are explored, and we find that, in general, the viewing-angle dependance inherent in the companion collision model is inconsistent with all of the SS objects with early-time observations being blue and exhibiting an excess. We caution that great care mustmore »be taken when interpreting early phase light curves as there may be a variety of physical processes that are possibly at play and significant theoretical work remains to be done.« less