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  1. Abstract We present the complete set of Hubble Space Telescope imaging of the binary neutron star merger GW170817 and its optical counterpart AT 2017gfo. Including deep template imaging in F814W, F110W, F140W, and F160W at 3.4 yr post-merger, we reanalyze the full light curve of AT 2017gfo across 12 bands from 5 to 1273 rest-frame days after merger. We obtain four new detections of the short γ -ray burst 170817A afterglow from 109 to 170 rest-frame days post-merger. These detections are consistent with the previously observed β = −0.6 spectral index in the afterglow light curve with no evidence for spectral evolution. We also analyze our limits in the context of kilonova afterglow or IR dust echo emission but find that our limits are not constraining for these models. We use the new data to construct deep optical and IR stacks, reaching limits of M = −6.3 to −4.6 mag, to analyze the local environment around AT 2017gfo and low surface brightness features in its host galaxy NGC 4993. We rule out the presence of any globular cluster at the position of AT 2017gfo to 2.3 × 10 4 L ⊙ , including those with the reddest V − Hmore »colors. Finally, we analyze the substructure of NGC 4993 in deep residual imaging and find shell features that extend up to 71.″8 (14.2 kpc) from NGC 4993. The shells have a cumulative stellar mass of 6.3 × 10 8 M ⊙ , roughly 2% of NGC 4993, and mass-weighted ages of >3 Gyr. We conclude that it was unlikely that the GW170817 progenitor system formed in the galaxy merger.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  2. Abstract

    The discovery of the electromagnetic counterpart to the binary neutron star (NS) merger GW170817 has opened the era of gravitational-wave multimessenger astronomy. Rapid identification of the optical/infrared kilonova enabled a precise localization of the source, which paved the way to deep multiwavelength follow-up and its myriad of related science results. Fully exploiting this new territory of exploration requires the acquisition of electromagnetic data from samples of NS mergers and other gravitational-wave sources. After GW170817, the frontier is now to map the diversity of kilonova properties and provide more stringent constraints on the Hubble constant, and enable new tests of fundamental physics. The Vera C. Rubin Observatory’s Legacy Survey of Space and Time can play a key role in this field in the 2020s, when an improved network of gravitational-wave detectors is expected to reach a sensitivity that will enable the discovery of a high rate of merger events involving NSs (∼tens per year) out to distances of several hundred megaparsecs. We design comprehensive target-of-opportunity observing strategies for follow-up of gravitational-wave triggers that will make the Rubin Observatory the premier instrument for discovery and early characterization of NS and other compact-object mergers, and yet unknown classes of gravitational-wave events.

  3. ABSTRACT AT 2018hyz (= ASASSN-18zj) is a tidal disruption event (TDE) located in the nucleus of a quiescent E+A galaxy at a redshift of z = 0.04573, first detected by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN). We present optical+UV photometry of the transient, as well as an X-ray spectrum and radio upper limits. The bolometric light curve of AT 2018hyz is comparable to other known TDEs and declines at a rate consistent with a t−5/3 at early times, emitting a total radiated energy of E = 9 × 1050 erg. An excess bump appears in the UV light curve about 50 d after bolometric peak, followed by a flattening beyond 250 d. We detect a constant X-ray source present for at least 86 d. The X-ray spectrum shows a total unabsorbed flux of ∼4 × 10−14 erg cm−2 s−1 and is best fit by a blackbody plus power-law model with a photon index of Γ = 0.8. A thermal X-ray model is unable to account for photons >1 keV, while a radio non-detection favours inverse-Compton scattering rather than a jet for the non-thermal component. We model the optical and UV light curves using the Modular Open-Source Fitter for Transients (MOSFiT) and find a best fit for a black hole of 5.2 × 106 M⊙ disrupting a 0.1 M⊙ star; themore »model suggests the star was likely only partially disrupted, based on the derived impact parameter of β = 0.6. The low optical depth implied by the small debris mass may explain how we are able to see hydrogen emission with disc-like line profiles in the spectra of AT 2018hyz (see our companion paper).« less
  4. ABSTRACT

    We present BVRI and unfiltered (Clear) light curves of 70 stripped-envelope supernovae (SESNe), observed between 2003 and 2020, from the Lick Observatory Supernova Search follow-up program. Our SESN sample consists of 19 spectroscopically normal SNe Ib, 2 peculiar SNe Ib, six SNe Ibn, 14 normal SNe Ic, 1 peculiar SN Ic, 10 SNe Ic-BL, 15 SNe IIb, 1 ambiguous SN IIb/Ib/c, and 2 superluminous SNe. Our follow-up photometry has (on a per-SN basis) a mean coverage of 81 photometric points (median of 58 points) and a mean cadence of 3.6 d (median of 1.2 d). From our full sample, a subset of 38 SNe have pre-maximum coverage in at least one passband, allowing for the peak brightness of each SN in this subset to be quantitatively determined. We describe our data collection and processing techniques, with emphasis toward our automated photometry pipeline, from which we derive publicly available data products to enable and encourage further study by the community. Using these data products, we derive host-galaxy extinction values through the empirical colour evolution relationship and, for the first time, produce accurate rise-time measurements for a large sample of SESNe in both optical and infrared passbands. By modelling multiband light curves, we find that SNe Ic tend to have lower ejectamore »masses and lower ejecta velocities than SNe Ib and IIb, but higher 56Ni masses.

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  5. ABSTRACT

    We present BVRI and unfiltered light curves of 93 Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) from the Lick Observatory Supernova Search (LOSS) follow-up program conducted between 2005 and 2018. Our sample consists of 78 spectroscopically normal SNe Ia, with the remainder divided between distinct subclasses (3 SN 1991bg-like, 3 SN 1991T-like, 4 SNe Iax, 2 peculiar, and 3 super-Chandrasekhar events), and has a median redshift of 0.0192. The SNe in our sample have a median coverage of 16 photometric epochs at a cadence of 5.4 d, and the median first observed epoch is ∼4.6 d before maximum B-band light. We describe how the SNe in our sample are discovered, observed, and processed, and we compare the results from our newly developed automated photometry pipeline to those from the previous processing pipeline used by LOSS. After investigating potential biases, we derive a final systematic uncertainty of 0.03 mag in BVRI for our data set. We perform an analysis of our light curves with particular focus on using template fitting to measure the parameters that are useful in standardizing SNe Ia as distance indicators. All of the data are available to the community, and we encourage future studies to incorporate our light curves in their analyses.