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    The absence of Type IIP core-collapse supernovae arising from progenitors above 17 solar masses suggests the existence of another evolutionary path by which massive stars end their lives. The direct collapse of a stellar core to a black hole without the production of a bright, explosive transient is expected to produce a long-lived, dim, red transient known as a failed supernova. Despite the detection of a number of candidates for disappearing massive stars in recent years, conclusive observational evidence for failed supernovae remains elusive. A custom-built pipeline designed for the detection of faint transients is used to re-analyse 10 yr of observations of 231 nearby galaxies from the PTF/ZTF surveys. This analysis recovers known supernovae, and yields a number of interesting transients. However, none of these are consistent with a failed supernova. Through Monte Carlo tests the recovery efficiency of our pipeline is quantified. By assuming failed supernovae occur as a Poissonian process with zero detections in the data set, 95 per cent upper limits to the rate of failed supernovae are calculated as a function of failed supernova absolute magnitude. We estimate failed supernovae to be less than 0.61, 0.33, 0.26, or 0.23 of the core-collapse SN rate for absolute magnitudes of −11, −12, −13, and −14, respectively. Finally, we show that if they exist, the Vera C. Rubin Observatory will find 1.7–3.7 failed SNe per year for an absolute bolometric luminosity of ∼6 × 1039 erg s−1 out to distances of 33–43 Mpc, depending on their assumed spectral energy distribution.

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  2. We present an observational study of the luminous red nova (LRN) AT 2021biy in the nearby galaxy NGC 4631. The field of the object was routinely imaged during the pre-eruptive stage by synoptic surveys, but the transient was detected only at a few epochs from ∼231 days before maximum brightness. The LRN outburst was monitored with unprecedented cadence both photometrically and spectroscopically. AT 2021biy shows a short-duration blue peak, with a bolometric luminosity of ∼1.6 × 10 41 erg s −1 , followed by the longest plateau among LRNe to date, with a duration of 210 days. A late-time hump in the light curve was also observed, possibly produced by a shell-shell collision. AT 2021biy exhibits the typical spectral evolution of LRNe. Early-time spectra are characterised by a blue continuum and prominent H emission lines. Then, the continuum becomes redder, resembling that of a K-type star with a forest of metal absorption lines during the plateau phase. Finally, late-time spectra show a very red continuum ( T BB  ≈ 2050 K) with molecular features (e.g., TiO) resembling those of M-type stars. Spectropolarimetric analysis indicates that AT 2021biy has local dust properties similar to those of V838 Mon in the Milky Way Galaxy. Inspection of archival Hubble Space Telescope data taken on 2003 August 3 reveals a ∼20 M ⊙ progenitor candidate with log ( L / L ⊙ ) = 5.0 dex and T eff  = 5900 K at solar metallicity. The above luminosity and colour match those of a luminous yellow supergiant. Most likely, this source is a close binary, with a 17–24 M ⊙ primary component. 
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  3. null (Ed.)
    Abstract Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) data analysis requires unprecedented levels of accuracy in radio interferometer pipelines. We have developed an imaging power spectrum analysis to meet these requirements and generate robust 21 cm EoR measurements. In this work, we build a signal path framework to mathematically describe each step in the analysis, from data reduction in the Fast Holographic Deconvolution (FHD) package to power spectrum generation in the ε ppsilon package. In particular, we focus on the distinguishing characteristics of FHD/ ε ppsilon: highly accurate spectral calibration, extensive data verification products, and end-to-end error propagation. We present our key data analysis products in detail to facilitate understanding of the prominent systematics in image-based power spectrum analyses. As a verification to our analysis, we also highlight a full-pipeline analysis simulation to demonstrate signal preservation and lack of signal loss. This careful treatment ensures that the FHD/ ε ppsilon power spectrum pipeline can reduce radio interferometric data to produce credible 21 cm EoR measurements. 
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  4. null (Ed.)
  5. Abstract

    The nature of dark matter and properties of neutrinos are among the most pressing issues in contemporary particle physics. The dual-phase xenon time-projection chamber is the leading technology to cover the available parameter space for weakly interacting massive particles, while featuring extensive sensitivity to many alternative dark matter candidates. These detectors can also study neutrinos through neutrinoless double-beta decay and through a variety of astrophysical sources. A next-generation xenon-based detector will therefore be a true multi-purpose observatory to significantly advance particle physics, nuclear physics, astrophysics, solar physics, and cosmology. This review article presents the science cases for such a detector.

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