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Creators/Authors contains: "Bloom, Joshua S."

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  1. Abstract

    The orbital-period (Porb) gap in the population of cataclysmic variables (CVs) informs the theoretical narrative of CV evolution, yet a complete understanding of the driving angular momentum loss mechanisms above and below this gap remains elusive. Here we identify, for standard CVs, a new, apparently monotonic relationship between quiescent color (GBPGRP), absolute magnitude (MG), andPorb(between 70 minutes and 8 hr) revealed in Gaia DR2 and EDR3. We show thatPorbincreases in the color–absolute-magnitude diagram roughly orthogonally to the white dwarf and main sequences. We find the orbital-period–color–absolute-magnitude relationship to be stable across different CV subtypes: dwarf novae, intermediate polars, polars, and novalike systems. We place our findings in context with the known semiempirical donor sequence for CVs and find a dependence between color andMGfor a givenPorbspecifically for dwarf novae and intermediate polars above the period gap. These relations have the potential to inform a more complete picture of CV evolution.

  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 We present optical follow-up imaging obtained with the Katzman Automatic Imaging Telescope, Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, Nickel Telescope, Swope Telescope, and Thacher Telescope of the LIGO/Virgo gravitational wave (GW) signal from the neutron star–black hole (NSBH) merger GW190814. We searched the GW190814 localization region (19 deg 2 for the 90th percentile best localization), covering a total of 51 deg 2 and 94.6% of the two-dimensional localization region. Analyzing the properties of 189 transients that we consider as candidate counterparts to the NSBH merger, including their localizations, discovery times from merger, optical spectra, likely host galaxy redshifts, and photometric evolution, we conclude that none of these objects are likely to be associated with GW190814. Based on this finding, we consider the likely optical properties of an electromagnetic counterpart to GW190814, including possible kilonovae and short gamma-ray burst afterglows. Using the joint limits from our follow-up imaging, we conclude that a counterpart with an r -band decline rate of 0.68 mag day −1 , similar to the kilonova AT 2017gfo, could peak at an absolute magnitude of at most −17.8 mag (50% confidence). Our data are not constraining for “red” kilonovae and rule out “blue” kilonovae with M >more »0.5 M ⊙ (30% confidence). We strongly rule out all known types of short gamma-ray burst afterglows with viewing angles <17° assuming an initial jet opening angle of ∼5.°2 and explosion energies and circumburst densities similar to afterglows explored in the literature. Finally, we explore the possibility that GW190814 merged in the disk of an active galactic nucleus, of which we find four in the localization region, but we do not find any candidate counterparts among these sources.« less
  4. Ground-based observatories will discover thousands of transients in the optical, but will not provide the NIR photometry and high-resolution imaging of a space-based observatory. WFIRST can fill this gap. With its SN Ia survey, WFIRST will also discover thousands of other transients in the NIR, revealing the physics for these high-energy events.