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  1. ABSTRACT

    Hydrogen-rich Type II supernovae (SNe II) are the most frequently observed class of core-collapse SNe (CCSNe). However, most studies that analyse large samples of SNe II lack events with absolute peak magnitudes brighter than −18.5 mag at rest-frame optical wavelengths. Thanks to modern surveys, the detected number of such luminous SNe II (LSNe II) is growing. There exist several mechanisms that could produce luminous SNe II. The most popular propose either the presence of a central engine (a magnetar gradually spinning down or a black hole accreting fallback material) or the interaction of supernova ejecta with circumstellar material (CSM) that turns kinetic energy into radiation energy. In this work, we study the light curves and spectral series of a small sample of six LSNe II that show peculiarities in their H α profile, to attempt to understand the underlying powering mechanism. We favour an interaction scenario with CSM that is not dense enough to be optically thick to electron scattering on large scales – thus, no narrow emission lines are observed. This conclusion is based on the observed light curve (higher luminosity, fast decline, blue colours) and spectral features (lack of persistent narrow lines, broad H α emission, lack of H α absorption, weak, or non-existent metal lines) together with comparison to other luminous events available in the literature. We add to the growing evidence that transients powered by ejecta–CSM interaction do not necessarily display persistent narrow emission lines.

     
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  2. Aims. The modelling of spectroscopic observations of tidal disruption events (TDEs) to date suggests that the newly formed accretion disks are mostly quasi-circular. In this work we study the transient event AT 2020zso, hosted by an active galactic nucleus (AGN; as inferred from narrow emission line diagnostics), with the aim of characterising the properties of its newly formed accretion flow. Methods. We classify AT 2020zso as a TDE based on the blackbody evolution inferred from UV/optical photometric observations and spectral line content and evolution. We identify transient, double-peaked Bowen (N  III ), He  I , He  II, and H α emission lines. We model medium-resolution optical spectroscopy of the He  II (after careful de-blending of the N  III contribution) and H α lines during the rise, peak, and early decline of the light curve using relativistic, elliptical accretion disk models. Results. We find that the spectral evolution before the peak can be explained by optical depth effects consistent with an outflowing, optically thick Eddington envelope. Around the peak, the envelope reaches its maximum extent (approximately 10 15 cm, or ∼3000–6000 gravitational radii for an inferred black hole mass of 5−10 × 10 5 M ⊙ ) and becomes optically thin. The H α and He  II emission lines at and after the peak can be reproduced with a highly inclined ( i  = 85 ± 5 degrees), highly elliptical ( e  = 0.97 ± 0.01), and relatively compact ( R in = several 100 R g and R out = several 1000 R g ) accretion disk. Conclusions. Overall, the line profiles suggest a highly elliptical geometry for the new accretion flow, consistent with theoretical expectations of newly formed TDE disks. We quantitatively confirm, for the first time, the high inclination nature of a Bowen (and X-ray dim) TDE, consistent with the unification picture of TDEs, where the inclination largely determines the observational appearance. Rapid line profile variations rule out the binary supermassive black hole hypothesis as the origin of the eccentricity; these results thus provide a direct link between a TDE in an AGN and the eccentric accretion disk. We illustrate for the first time how optical spectroscopy can be used to constrain the black hole spin, through (the lack of) disk precession signatures (changes in inferred inclination). We constrain the disk alignment timescale to > 15 days in AT2020zso, which rules out high black hole spin values ( a  < 0.8) for M BH  ∼ 10 6 M ⊙ and disk viscosity α  ≳ 0.1. 
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  3. Abstract

    We present the discovery and extensive follow-up of a remarkable fast-evolving optical transient, AT 2022aedm, detected by the Asteroid Terrestrial impact Last Alert Survey (ATLAS). In the ATLASoband, AT 2022aedm exhibited a rise time of 9 ± 1 days, reaching a luminous peak withMg≈ −22 mag. It faded by 2 mag in thegband during the next 15 days. These timescales are consistent with other rapidly evolving transients, though the luminosity is extreme. Most surprisingly, the host galaxy is a massive elliptical with negligible current star formation. Radio and X-ray observations rule out a relativistic AT 2018cow–like explosion. A spectrum in the first few days after explosion showed short-lived Heiiemission resembling young core-collapse supernovae, but obvious broad supernova features never developed; later spectra showed only a fast-cooling continuum and narrow, blueshifted absorption lines, possibly arising in a wind withv≈ 2700 km s−1. We identify two further transients in the literature (Dougie in particular, as well as AT 2020bot) that share similarities in their luminosities, timescales, color evolution, and largely featureless spectra and propose that these may constitute a new class of transients: luminous fast coolers. All three events occurred in passive galaxies at offsets of ∼4–10 kpc from the nucleus, posing a challenge for progenitor models involving massive stars or black holes. The light curves and spectra appear to be consistent with shock breakout emission, though this mechanism is usually associated with core-collapse supernovae. The encounter of a star with a stellar-mass black hole may provide a promising alternative explanation.

     
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  4. ABSTRACT

    The ultraviolet (UV) and near-infrared (NIR) photometric and optical spectroscopic observations of SN 2020acat covering ∼250 d after explosion are presented here. Using the fast rising photometric observations, spanning from the UV to NIR wavelengths, a pseudo-bolometric light curve was constructed and compared to several other well-observed Type IIb supernovae (SNe IIb). SN 2020acat displayed a very short rise time reaching a peak luminosity of $\mathrm{{\rm Log}_{10}}(L) = 42.49 \pm 0.17 \, \mathrm{erg \, s^{-1}}$ in only ∼14.6 ± 0.3 d. From modelling of the pseudo-bolometric light curve, we estimated a total mass of 56Ni synthesized by SN 2020acat of MNi = 0.13 ± 0.03 M⊙, with an ejecta mass of Mej = 2.3 ± 0.4 M⊙ and a kinetic energy of Ek = 1.2 ± 0.3 × 1051 erg. The optical spectra of SN 2020acat display hydrogen signatures well into the transitional period (≳ 100 d), between the photospheric and the nebular phases. The spectra also display a strong feature around 4900  Å that cannot be solely accounted for by the presence of the Fe ii 5018 line. We suggest that the Fe ii feature was augmented by He i 5016 and possibly by the presence of N ii 5005. From both photometric and spectroscopic analysis, we inferred that the progenitor of SN 2020acat was an intermediate-mass compact star with an MZAMS of 15–20 M⊙.

     
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  5. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT We present results from spectroscopic observations of AT 2018hyz, a transient discovered by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernova survey at an absolute magnitude of MV ∼ −20.2 mag, in the nucleus of a quiescent galaxy with strong Balmer absorption lines. AT 2018hyz shows a blue spectral continuum and broad emission lines, consistent with previous TDE candidates. High cadence follow-up spectra show broad Balmer lines and He i in early spectra, with He ii making an appearance after ∼70–100 d. The Balmer lines evolve from a smooth broad profile, through a boxy, asymmetric double-peaked phase consistent with accretion disc emission, and back to smooth at late times. The Balmer lines are unlike typical active galactic nucleus in that they show a flat Balmer decrement (Hα/Hβ ∼ 1.5), suggesting the lines are collisionally excited rather than being produced via photoionization. The flat Balmer decrement together with the complex profiles suggests that the emission lines originate in a disc chromosphere, analogous to those seen in cataclysmic variables. The low optical depth of material due to a possible partial disruption may be what allows us to observe these double-peaked, collisionally excited lines. The late appearance of He ii may be due to an expanding photosphere or outflow, or late-time shocks in debris collisions. 
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  6. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT At 66 Mpc, AT2019qiz is the closest optical tidal disruption event (TDE) to date, with a luminosity intermediate between the bulk of the population and the faint-and-fast event iPTF16fnl. Its proximity allowed a very early detection and triggering of multiwavelength and spectroscopic follow-up well before maximum light. The velocity dispersion of the host galaxy and fits to the TDE light curve indicate a black hole mass ≈106 M⊙, disrupting a star of ≈1 M⊙. By analysing our comprehensive UV, optical, and X-ray data, we show that the early optical emission is dominated by an outflow, with a luminosity evolution L ∝ t2, consistent with a photosphere expanding at constant velocity (≳2000 km s−1), and a line-forming region producing initially blueshifted H and He ii profiles with v = 3000–10 000 km s−1. The fastest optical ejecta approach the velocity inferred from radio detections (modelled in a forthcoming companion paper from K. D. Alexander et al.), thus the same outflow may be responsible for both the fast optical rise and the radio emission – the first time this connection has been observed in a TDE. The light-curve rise begins 29 ± 2 d before maximum light, peaking when the photosphere reaches the radius where optical photons can escape. The photosphere then undergoes a sudden transition, first cooling at constant radius then contracting at constant temperature. At the same time, the blueshifts disappear from the spectrum and Bowen fluorescence lines (N iii) become prominent, implying a source of far-UV photons, while the X-ray light curve peaks at ≈1041 erg s−1. Assuming that these X-rays are from prompt accretion, the size and mass of the outflow are consistent with the reprocessing layer needed to explain the large optical to X-ray ratio in this and other optical TDEs, possibly favouring accretion-powered over collision-powered outflow models. 
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