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    AT2019pev is a nuclear transient in a narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxy at z = 0.096. The archival ultraviolet, optical, and infrared data showed features of both tidal disruption events and active galactic nuclei (AGNs), and its nature is not fully understood. We present detailed X-ray observations of AT2019pev taken with Swift, Chandra, and NICER over 173 d of its evolution since the first Swift XRT epoch. The X-ray luminosity increases by a factor of 5 in 5 d from the first Swift XRT epoch to the light-curve peak. The light curve decays by a factor of 10 over ∼75 d and then flattens with a weak re-brightening trend at late times. The X-ray spectra show a ‘harder-when-brighter’ trend before peak and a ‘harder-when-fainter’ trend after peak, which may indicate a transition of accretion states. The archival ground-based optical observations show similar time evolution as the X-ray light curves. Beyond the seasonal limit of the ground-based observations, the Gaia light curve is rising towards an equally bright or brighter peak 223 d after the optical discovery. Combining our X-ray analysis and archival multiwavelength data, AT2019pev more closely resembles an AGN transient.

  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 8, 2023
  3. Abstract

    We present extensive multifrequency Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) observations of the radio-bright supernova (SN) IIb SN 2004C that span ∼40–2793 days post-explosion. We interpret the temporal evolution of the radio spectral energy distribution in the context of synchrotron self-absorbed emission from the explosion’s forward shock as it expands in the circumstellar medium (CSM) previously sculpted by the mass-loss history of the stellar progenitor. VLBA observations and modeling of the VLA data point to a blastwave with average velocity ∼0.06cthat carries an energy of ≈1049erg. Our modeling further reveals a flat CSM density profileρCSMR−0.03±0.22up to a break radiusRbr≈ (1.96 ± 0.10) × 1016cm, with a steep density gradient followingρCSMR−2.3±0.5at larger radii. We infer that the flat part of the density profile corresponds to a CSM shell with mass ∼0.021M, and that the progenitor’s effective mass-loss rate varied with time over the range (50–500) × 10−5Myr−1for an adopted wind velocityvw= 1000 km s−1and shock microphysical parametersϵe= 0.1,ϵB= 0.01. These results add to the mounting observational evidence for departures from the traditional single-wind mass-loss scenarios in evolved, massive stars in the centuries leading up to core collapse. Potentially viable scenarios include mass lossmore »powered by gravity waves and/or interaction with a binary companion.

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  4. Massive black holes (BHs) at the centres of massive galaxies are ubiquitous. The population of BHs within dwarf galaxies, on the other hand, is evasive. Dwarf galaxies are thought to harbour BHs with proportionally small masses, including intermediate mass BHs, with masses 102
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 31, 2023
  5. Abstract We present multiwavelength observations of the Type II SN 2020pni. Classified at ∼1.3 days after explosion, the object showed narrow (FWHM intensity <250 km s −1 ) recombination lines of ionized helium, nitrogen, and carbon, as typically seen in flash-spectroscopy events. Using the non-LTE radiative transfer code CMFGEN to model our first high-resolution spectrum, we infer a progenitor mass-loss rate of M ̇ = ( 3.5 – 5.3 ) × 10 − 3 M ⊙ yr −1 (assuming a wind velocity of v w = 200 km s −1 ), estimated at a radius of R in = 2.5 × 10 14 cm. In addition, we find that the progenitor of SN 2020pni was enriched in helium and nitrogen (relative abundances in mass fractions of 0.30–0.40 and 8.2 × 10 −3 , respectively). Radio upper limits are also consistent with dense circumstellar material (CSM) and a mass-loss rate of M ̇ > 5 × 10 − 4 M ☉ yr − 1 . During the initial 4 days after first light, we also observe an increase in velocity of the hydrogen lines (from ∼250 to ∼1000 km s −1 ), suggesting complex CSM. The presence of dense and confinedmore »CSM, as well as its inhomogeneous structure, indicates a phase of enhanced mass loss of the progenitor of SN 2020pni during the last year before explosion. Finally, we compare SN 2020pni to a sample of other shock-photoionization events. We find no evidence of correlations among the physical parameters of the explosions and the characteristics of the CSM surrounding the progenitors of these events. This favors the idea that the mass loss experienced by massive stars during their final years could be governed by stochastic phenomena and that, at the same time, the physical mechanisms responsible for this mass loss must be common to a variety of different progenitors.« less
  6. ABSTRACT We present Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) integral-field spectroscopy of ESO 253−G003, which hosts a known active galactic nucleus (AGN) and the periodic nuclear transient ASASSN-14ko, observed as part of the All-weather MUse Supernova Integral-field of Nearby Galaxies survey. The MUSE observations reveal that the inner region hosts two AGN separated by $1.4\pm 0.1~\rm {kpc}$ (≈1${_{.}^{\prime\prime}}$7). The brighter nucleus has asymmetric broad permitted emission-line profiles and is associated with the archival AGN designation. The fainter nucleus does not have a broad emission-line component but exhibits other AGN characteristics, including $\hbox{$v_{\rm {FWHM}}$} \approx 700~\hbox{km~s$^{-1}$}$ forbidden line emission, $\rm{\log _{10}(\rm{[O\,\small {III}]}/\rm{H\beta})} \approx 1.1$, and high-excitation potential emission lines, such as [Fe vii] λ6086 and He ii λ4686. The host galaxy exhibits a disturbed morphology with large kpc-scale tidal features, potential outflows from both nuclei, and a likely superbubble. A circular relativistic disc model cannot reproduce the asymmetric broad emission-line profiles in the brighter nucleus, but two non-axisymmetric disc models provide good fits to the broad emission-line profiles: an elliptical disc model and a circular disc + spiral arm model. Implications for the periodic nuclear transient ASASSN-14ko are discussed.
  7. Abstract We present panchromatic observations and modeling of calcium-strong supernovae (SNe) 2021gno in the star-forming host-galaxy NGC 4165 and 2021inl in the outskirts of elliptical galaxy NGC 4923, both monitored through the Young Supernova Experiment transient survey. The light curves of both, SNe show two peaks, the former peak being derived from shock cooling emission (SCE) and/or shock interaction with circumstellar material (CSM). The primary peak in SN 2021gno is coincident with luminous, rapidly decaying X-ray emission ( L x = 5 × 10 41 erg s −1 ) detected by Swift-XRT at δ t = 1 day after explosion, this observation being the second-ever detection of X-rays from a calcium-strong transient. We interpret the X-ray emission in the context of shock interaction with CSM that extends to r < 3 × 10 14 cm. Based on X-ray modeling, we calculate a CSM mass M CSM = (0.3−1.6) × 10 −3 M ⊙ and density n = (1−4) × 10 10 cm −3 . Radio nondetections indicate a low-density environment at larger radii ( r > 10 16 cm) and mass-loss rate of M ̇ < 10 − 4 M ⊙ yr −1 . SCE modeling of both primary light-curvemore »peaks indicates an extended-progenitor envelope mass M e = 0.02−0.05 M ⊙ and radius R e = 30−230 R ⊙ . The explosion properties suggest progenitor systems containing either a low-mass massive star or a white dwarf (WD), the former being unlikely given the lack of local star formation. Furthermore, the environments of both SNe are consistent with low-mass hybrid He/C/O WD + C/O WD mergers.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
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    ABSTRACT We characterize the extreme heartbeat star system MACHO 80.7443.1718 in the Large Magellanic Cloud using Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) photometry and spectroscopic observations from the Magellan Inamori Kyocera Echelle (MIKE) and SOAR Goodman spectographs. MACHO 80.7443.1718 was first identified as a heartbeat star system in the All-Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN) with $P_{\rm orb}=32.836\pm 0.008\, {\rm d}$. MACHO 80.7443.1718 is a young (∼6 Myr), massive binary, composed of a B0 Iae supergiant with $M_1 \simeq 35\, {\rm M}_\odot$ and an O9.5V secondary with $M_2 \simeq 16\, {\rm M}_\odot$ on an eccentric (e = 0.51 ± 0.03) orbit. In addition to having the largest variability amplitude amongst all known heartbeats stars, MACHO 80.7443.1718 is also one of the most massive heartbeat stars yet discovered. The B[e] supergiant has Balmer emission lines and permitted/forbidden metallic emission lines associated with a circumstellar disc. The disc rapidly dissipates at periastron that could indicate mass transfer to the secondary, but re-emerges immediately following periastron passage. MACHO 80.7443.1718 also shows tidally excited oscillations at the N = 25 and N = 41 orbital harmonics and has a rotational period of 4.4 d.
  9. ABSTRACT We report the discovery of the closest known black hole candidate as a binary companion to V723 Mon. V723 Mon is a nearby ($d\sim 460\, \rm pc$), bright (V ≃ 8.3 mag), evolved (Teff, giant ≃ 4440 K, and Lgiant ≃ 173 L⊙) red giant in a high mass function, f(M) = 1.72 ± 0.01 M⊙, nearly circular binary (P = 59.9 d, e ≃ 0). V723 Mon is a known variable star, previously classified as an eclipsing binary, but its All-Sky Automated Survey, Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope, and Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite light curves are those of a nearly edge-on ellipsoidal variable. Detailed models of the light curves constrained by the period, radial velocities, and stellar temperature give an inclination of $87.0^{\circ ^{+1.7^\circ }}_{-1.4^\circ }$, a mass ratio of q ≃ 0.33 ± 0.02, a companion mass of Mcomp = 3.04 ± 0.06 M⊙, a stellar radius of Rgiant = 24.9 ± 0.7 R⊙, and a giant mass of Mgiant = 1.00 ± 0.07 M⊙. We identify a likely non-stellar, diffuse veiling component with contributions in the B and V band of ${\sim }63{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ and ${\sim }24{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$, respectively. The SED and the absence of continuum eclipses imply that the companion mass must be dominated by a compact object. We do observe eclipses of the Balmermore »lines when the dark companion passes behind the giant, but their velocity spreads are low compared to observed accretion discs. The X-ray luminosity of the system is $L_{\rm X}\simeq 7.6\times 10^{29}~\rm ergs~s^{-1}$, corresponding to L/Ledd ∼ 10−9. The simplest explanation for the massive companion is a single compact object, most likely a black hole in the ‘mass gap’.« less