skip to main content


Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Auchettl, Katie"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    We present a detailed compilation and analysis of the X-ray phase space of low- to intermediate-redshift (0 ≤z≤ 1) transients that consolidates observed light curves (and theory where necessary) for a large variety of classes of transient/variable phenomena in the 0.3–10 keV energy band. We include gamma-ray burst afterglows, supernovae, supernova shock breakouts and shocks interacting with the environment, tidal disruption events and active galactic nuclei, fast blue optical transients, cataclysmic variables, magnetar flares/outbursts and fast radio bursts, cool stellar flares, X-ray binary outbursts, and ultraluminous X-ray sources. Our overarching goal is to offer a comprehensive resource for the examination of these ephemeral events, extending the X-ray duration–luminosity phase space (DLPS) to show luminosity evolution. We use existing observations (both targeted and serendipitous) to characterize the behavior of various transient/variable populations. Contextualizing transient signals in the larger DLPS serves two primary purposes: to identify areas of interest (i.e., regions in the parameter space where one would expect detections, but in which observations have historically been lacking), and to provide initial qualitative guidance in classifying newly discovered transient signals. We find that while the most luminous (largely extragalactic) and least luminous (largely Galactic) part of the phase space is well populated att> 0.1 days, intermediate-luminosity phenomena (LX= 1034–1042erg s−1) represent a gap in the phase space. We thus identifyLX= 1034–1042erg s−1andt= 10−4to 0.1 days as a key discovery phase space in transient X-ray astronomy.

     
    more » « less
  2. ABSTRACT

    We used Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) data to identify 29 candidate active galactic nuclei (AGNs) through their optical variability. The high-cadence, high-precision TESS light curves present an opportunity for the identification of AGNs, including those not selected through other methods. Of the candidates, we found that 18 have either previously been identified as AGNs in the literature or could have been selected based on emission-line diagnostics, mid-IR colours, or X-ray luminosity. AGNs in low-mass galaxies offer a unique window into supermassive black hole and galaxy co-evolution and 8 of the 29 candidates have estimated black hole masses ≲ 106 M⊙. The low-mass galaxies NGC 4395 and NGC 4449 are two of our five ‘high-confidence’ candidates. Since our initial sample largely draws from just nine TESS sectors, we expect to identify at least ∼45 more candidates in the TESS primary and extended mission data sets, of which ∼60 per cent will be new AGNs and ∼20 per cent will be in low-mass galaxies.

     
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    ASASSN-14ko is a nuclear transient at the center of the AGN ESO 253−G003 that undergoes periodic flares. Optical flares were first observed in 2014 by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN) and their peak times are well-modeled with a period of115.21.2+1.3days and period derivative of −0.0026 ± 0.0006. Here we present ASAS-SN, Chandra, HST/STIS, NICER, Swift, and TESS data for the flares that occurred on 2020 December, 2021 April, 2021 July, and 2021 November. These four flares represent flares 18–21 of the total number of flares observed by ASAS-SN so far since 2014. The HST/STIS UV spectra evolve from blueshifted broad absorption features to redshifted broad emission features over ∼10 days. The Swift UV/optical light curves peaked as predicted by the timing model, but the peak UV luminosities that varied between flares and the UV flux in Flare 20 were roughly half the brightness of the other peaks. The X-ray luminosities consistently decreased and the spectra became harder during the UV/optical rise, but apparently without changes in absorption. Finally, two high-cadence TESS light curves from Flare 18 and Flare 12 showed that the slopes during the rising and declining phases changed over time, which indicates some stochasticity in the flare’s driving mechanism. Although ASASSN-14ko remains observationally consistent with a repeating partial tidal disruption event, these rich multi-wavelength data are in need of a detailed theoretical model.

     
    more » « less
  4. ABSTRACT

    We analyse high-cadence data from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) of the ambiguous nuclear transient (ANT) ASASSN-18el. The optical changing-look phenomenon in ASASSN-18el has been argued to be due to either a drastic change in the accretion rate of the existing active galactic nucleus (AGN) or the result of a tidal disruption event (TDE). Throughout the TESS observations, short-time-scale stochastic variability is seen, consistent with an AGN. We are able to fit the TESS light curve with a damped-random-walk (DRW) model and recover a rest-frame variability amplitude of $\hat{\sigma } = 0.93 \pm 0.02$ mJy and a rest-frame time-scale of $\tau _{DRW} = 20^{+15}_{-6}$ d. We find that the estimated τDRW for ASASSN-18el is broadly consistent with an apparent relationship between the DRW time-scale and central supermassive black hole mass. The large-amplitude stochastic variability of ASASSN-18el, particularly during late stages of the flare, suggests that the origin of this ANT is likely due to extreme AGN activity rather than a TDE.

     
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    We present high-cadence ultraviolet through near-infrared observations of the Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) 2023bee atD= 32 ± 3 Mpc, finding excess flux in the first days after explosion, particularly in our 10 minutes cadence TESS light curve and Swift UV data. Compared to a few other normal SNe Ia with early excess flux, the excess flux in SN 2023bee is redder in the UV and less luminous. We present optical spectra of SN 2023bee, including two spectra during the period where the flux excess is dominant. At this time, the spectra are similar to those of other SNe Ia but with weaker Siii, Cii,and Caiiabsorption lines, perhaps because the excess flux creates a stronger continuum. We compare the data to several theoretical models on the origin of early excess flux in SNe Ia. Interaction with either the companion star or close-in circumstellar material is expected to produce a faster evolution than observed. Radioactive material in the outer layers of the ejecta, either from double detonation explosion or from a56Ni clump near the surface, cannot fully reproduce the evolution either, likely due to the sensitivity of early UV observable to the treatment of the outer part of ejecta in simulation. We conclude that no current model can adequately explain the full set of observations. We find that a relatively large fraction of nearby, bright SNe Ia with high-cadence observations have some amount of excess flux within a few days of explosion. Considering potential asymmetric emission, the physical cause of this excess flux may be ubiquitous in normal SNe Ia.

     
    more » « less
  6. Abstract Momentum feedback from isolated supernova remnants (SNRs) have been increasingly recognized by modern cosmological simulations as a resolution-independent means to implement the effects of feedback in galaxies, such as turbulence and winds. However, the integrated momentum yield from SNRs is uncertain due to the effects of SN clustering and interstellar medium (ISM) inhomogeneities. In this paper, we use spatially resolved observations of the prominent 10 kpc star-forming ring of M31 to test models of mass-weighted ISM turbulence driven by momentum feedback from isolated, nonoverlapping SNRs. We use a detailed stellar age distribution (SAD) map from the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury survey, observationally constrained SN delay-time distributions, and maps of the atomic and molecular hydrogen to estimate the mass-weighted velocity dispersion using the Martizzi et al. ISM turbulence model. Our estimates are within a factor of two of the observed mass-weighted velocity dispersion in most of the ring, but exceed observations at densities ≲0.2 cm −3 and SN rates >2.1 × 10 −4 SN yr −1 kpc −2 , even after accounting for plausible variations in SAD models and ISM scale height assumptions. We conclude that at high SN rates the momentum deposited is most likely suppressed by the nonlinear effects of SN clustering, while at low densities, SNRs reach pressure equilibrium before the cooling phase. These corrections should be introduced in models of momentum-driven feedback and ISM turbulence. 
    more » « less
  7. ABSTRACT

    We present the discovery that ATLAS18mlw was a tidal disruption event (TDE) in the galaxy WISEA J073544.83+663717.3, at a luminosity distance of 334 Mpc. Initially discovered by the Asteroid Terrestrial Impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) on 2018 March 17.3, the TDE nature of the transient was uncovered only recently with the re-reduction of a SuperNova Integral Field Spectrograph (SNIFS) spectrum. This spectrum, taken by the Spectral Classification of Astronomical Transients (SCAT) survey, shows a strong blue continuum and a broad H α emission line. Here, we present roughly 6 yr of optical survey photometry beginning before the TDE to constrain active galactic nucleus activity, optical spectroscopy of the transient, and a detailed study of the host galaxy properties through analysis of archival photometry and a host spectrum. ATLAS18mlw was detected in ground-based light curves for roughly 2 months. From a blackbody fit to the transient spectrum and bolometric correction of the optical light curve, we conclude that ATLAS18mlw is best explained by a low-luminosity TDE with a peak luminosity of log(L [erg s−1]) = 43.5 ± 0.2. The TDE classification is further supported by the quiescent Balmer strong nature of the host galaxy. We also calculated the TDE decline rate from the bolometric light curve and find ΔL40 = −0.7 ± 0.2 dex, making ATLAS18mlw a member of the growing class of ‘faint and fast’ TDEs with low peak luminosities and fast decline rates.

     
    more » « less
  8. null (Ed.)
  9. Abstract

    Tidal disruption events (TDEs) provide a unique opportunity to probe the stellar populations around supermassive black holes (SMBHs). By combining light-curve modeling with spectral line information and knowledge about the stellar populations in the host galaxies, we are able to constrain the properties of the disrupted star for three TDEs. The TDEs in our sample have UV spectra, and measurements of the UV Niiito Ciiiline ratios enabled estimates of the nitrogen-to-carbon abundance ratios for these events. We show that the measured nitrogen line widths are consistent with originating from the disrupted stellar material dispersed by the central SMBH. We find that these nitrogen-to-carbon abundance ratios necessitate the disruption of moderately massive stars (≳1–2M). We determine that these moderately massive disruptions are overrepresented by a factor of ≳102when compared to the overall stellar population of the post-starburst galaxy hosts. This implies that SMBHs are preferentially disrupting higher mass stars, possibly due to ongoing top-heavy star formation in nuclear star clusters or to dynamical mechanisms that preferentially transport higher mass stars to their tidal radii.

     
    more » « less