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  1. Abstract Initially classified as a Type Ib supernova (SN), ∼100 days after the explosion SN 2014C made a transition to a Type II SN, presenting a gradual increase in the H α emission. This has been interpreted as evidence of interaction between the SN shock wave and a massive shell previously ejected from the progenitor star. In this paper we present numerical simulations of the propagation of the SN shock through the progenitor star and its wind, as well as the interaction of the SN ejecta with the massive shell. To determine with high precision the structure and location of the shell, we couple a genetic algorithm to a hydrodynamic and a bremsstrahlung radiation transfer code. We iteratively modify the density stratification and location of the shell by minimizing the variance between X-ray observations and synthetic predictions computed from the numerical model, allowing the shell structure to be completely arbitrary. By assuming spherical symmetry, we found that our best-fit model has a shell mass of 2.6 M ⊙ ; extends from 1.6 × 10 16 cm to 1.87 × 10 17 cm, implying that it was ejected ∼ 60/( v w /100 km s −1 ) yr before the SNmore »explosion; and has a density stratification with an average behavior ∼ r −3 but presenting density fluctuations larger than one order of magnitude. Finally, we predict that if the density stratification follows the same power-law behavior, the SN will break out from the shell by mid-2022, i.e., 8.5 yr after explosion.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  2. Abstract We present deep X-ray and radio observations of the fast blue optical transient (FBOT) AT 2020xnd/ZTF 20acigmel at z = 0.2433 from 13 days to 269 days after explosion. AT 2020xnd belongs to the category of optically luminous FBOTs with similarities to the archetypal event AT 2018cow. AT 2020xnd shows luminous radio emission reaching L ν ≈ 8 × 10 29 erg s −1 Hz −1 at 20 GHz and 75 days post-explosion, accompanied by luminous and rapidly fading soft X-ray emission peaking at L X ≈ 6 × 10 42 erg s −1 . Interpreting the radio emission in the context of synchrotron radiation from the explosion’s shock interaction with the environment, we find that AT 2020xnd launched a high-velocity outflow ( v ∼ 0.1 c –0.2 c ) propagating into a dense circumstellar medium (effective M ̇ ≈ 10 − 3 M ⊙ yr −1 for an assumed wind velocity of v w = 1000 km s −1 ). Similar to AT 2018cow, the detected X-ray emission is in excess compared to the extrapolated synchrotron spectrum and constitutes a different emission component, possibly powered by accretion onto a newly formed black hole or neutron star. These propertiesmore »make AT 2020xnd a high-redshift analog to AT 2018cow, and establish AT 2020xnd as the fourth member of the class of optically luminous FBOTs with luminous multiwavelength counterparts.« less
  3. 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.