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  1. Massive black holes (BHs) at the centres of massive galaxies are ubiquitous. The population of BHs within dwarf galaxies, on the other hand, is evasive. Dwarf galaxies are thought to harbour BHs with proportionally small masses, including intermediate mass BHs, with masses 102
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 31, 2023
  2. Abstract We present panchromatic observations and modeling of calcium-strong supernovae (SNe) 2021gno in the star-forming host-galaxy NGC 4165 and 2021inl in the outskirts of elliptical galaxy NGC 4923, both monitored through the Young Supernova Experiment transient survey. The light curves of both, SNe show two peaks, the former peak being derived from shock cooling emission (SCE) and/or shock interaction with circumstellar material (CSM). The primary peak in SN 2021gno is coincident with luminous, rapidly decaying X-ray emission ( L x = 5 × 10 41 erg s −1 ) detected by Swift-XRT at δ t = 1 day after explosion, this observation being the second-ever detection of X-rays from a calcium-strong transient. We interpret the X-ray emission in the context of shock interaction with CSM that extends to r < 3 × 10 14 cm. Based on X-ray modeling, we calculate a CSM mass M CSM = (0.3−1.6) × 10 −3 M ⊙ and density n = (1−4) × 10 10 cm −3 . Radio nondetections indicate a low-density environment at larger radii ( r > 10 16 cm) and mass-loss rate of M ̇ < 10 − 4 M ⊙ yr −1 . SCE modeling of both primary light-curvemore »peaks indicates an extended-progenitor envelope mass M e = 0.02−0.05 M ⊙ and radius R e = 30−230 R ⊙ . The explosion properties suggest progenitor systems containing either a low-mass massive star or a white dwarf (WD), the former being unlikely given the lack of local star formation. Furthermore, the environments of both SNe are consistent with low-mass hybrid He/C/O WD + C/O WD mergers.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  3. ABSTRACT The detection of the optical transient AT2017gfo proved that binary neutron star mergers are progenitors of kilonovae (KNe). Using a combination of numerical-relativity and radiative-transfer simulations, the community has developed sophisticated models for these transients for a wide portion of the expected parameter space. Using these simulations and surrogate models made from them, it has been possible to perform Bayesian inference of the observed signals to infer properties of the ejected matter. It has been pointed out that combining inclination constraints derived from the KN with gravitational-wave measurements increases the accuracy with which binary parameters can be estimated, in particular breaking the distance-inclination degeneracy from gravitational wave inference. To avoid bias from the unknown ejecta geometry, constraints on the inclination angle for AT2017gfo should be insensitive to the employed models. In this work, we compare different assumptions about the ejecta and radiative reprocesses used by the community and we investigate their impact on the parameter inference. While most inferred parameters agree, we find disagreement between posteriors for the inclination angle for different geometries that have been used in the current literature. According to our study, the inclusion of reprocessing of the photons between different ejecta types improves the modelingmore »fits to AT2017gfo and, in some cases, affects the inferred constraints. Our study motivates the inclusion of large ∼ 1-mag uncertainties in the KN models employed for Bayesian analysis to capture yet unknown systematics, especially when inferring inclination angles, although smaller uncertainties seem appropriate to capture model systematics for other intrinsic parameters. We can use this method to impose soft constraints on the ejecta geometry of the KN AT2017gfo.« less
  4. ABSTRACT We present observations of SN 2020fqv, a Virgo-cluster type II core-collapse supernova (CCSN) with a high temporal resolution light curve from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) covering the time of explosion; ultraviolet (UV) spectroscopy from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) starting 3.3 d post-explosion; ground-based spectroscopic observations starting 1.1 d post-explosion; along with extensive photometric observations. Massive stars have complicated mass-loss histories leading up to their death as CCSNe, creating circumstellar medium (CSM) with which the SNe interact. Observations during the first few days post-explosion can provide important information about the mass-loss rate during the late stages of stellar evolution. Model fits to the quasi-bolometric light curve of SN 2020fqv reveal  0.23 M⊙ of CSM confined within  1450 R⊙ (1014 cm) from its progenitor star. Early spectra (<4 d post-explosion), both from HST and ground-based observatories, show emission features from high-ionization metal species from the outer, optically thin part of this CSM. We find that the CSM is consistent with an eruption caused by the injection of ∼5 × 1046 erg into the stellar envelope ∼300 d pre-explosion, potentially from a nuclear burning instability at the onset of oxygen burning. Light-curve fitting, nebular spectroscopy, and pre-explosion HST imaging consistently point to a red supergiant (RSG)more »progenitor with $M_{\rm ZAMS}\approx 13.5\!-\!15 \, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$, typical for SN II progenitor stars. This finding demonstrates that a typical RSG, like the progenitor of SN 2020fqv, has a complicated mass-loss history immediately before core collapse.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 30, 2023
  5. Abstract We present photometric and spectroscopic observations of Supernova 2020oi (SN 2020oi), a nearby (∼17 Mpc) type-Ic supernova (SN Ic) within the grand-design spiral M100. We undertake a comprehensive analysis to characterize the evolution of SN 2020oi and constrain its progenitor system. We detect flux in excess of the fireball rise model δ t ≈ 2.5 days from the date of explosion in multiband optical and UV photometry from the Las Cumbres Observatory and the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, respectively. The derived SN bolometric luminosity is consistent with an explosion with M ej = 0.81 ± 0.03 M ⊙ , E k = 0.79 ± 0.09 × 10 51 erg s −1 , and M Ni56 = 0.08 ± 0.02 M ⊙ . Inspection of the event’s decline reveals the highest Δ m 15,bol reported for a stripped-envelope event to date. Modeling of optical spectra near event peak indicates a partially mixed ejecta comparable in composition to the ejecta observed in SN 1994I, while the earliest spectrum shows signatures of a possible interaction with material of a distinct composition surrounding the SN progenitor. Further, Hubble Space Telescope pre-explosion imaging reveals a stellar cluster coincident with the event. From the clustermore »photometry, we derive the mass and age of the SN progenitor using stellar evolution models implemented in the BPASS library. Our results indicate that SN 2020oi occurred in a binary system from a progenitor of mass M ZAMS ≈ 9.5 ± 1.0 M ⊙ , corresponding to an age of 27 ± 7 Myr. SN 2020oi is the dimmest SN Ic event to date for which an early-time flux excess has been observed, and the first in which an early excess is unlikely to be associated with shock cooling.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  6. ABSTRACT We present observations of ASASSN-19dj, a nearby tidal disruption event (TDE) discovered in the post-starburst galaxy KUG 0810+227 by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN) at a distance of d ≃ 98 Mpc. We observed ASASSN-19dj from −21 to 392 d relative to peak ultraviolet (UV)/optical emission using high-cadence, multiwavelength spectroscopy and photometry. From the ASAS-SN g-band data, we determine that the TDE began to brighten on 2019 February 6.8 and for the first 16 d the rise was consistent with a flux ∝t2 power law. ASASSN-19dj peaked in the UV/optical on 2019 March 6.5 (MJD = 58548.5) at a bolometric luminosity of L = (6.2 ± 0.2) × 1044 erg s−1. Initially remaining roughly constant in X-rays and slowly fading in the UV/optical, the X-ray flux increased by over an order of magnitude ∼225 d after peak, resulting from the expansion of the X-ray emitting region. The late-time X-ray emission is well fitted by a blackbody with an effective radius of ∼1 × 1012 cm and a temperature of ∼6 × 105 K. The X-ray hardness ratio becomes softer after brightening and then returns to a harder state as the X-rays fade. Analysis of Catalina Real-Time Transient Survey images reveals a nuclear outburst roughly 14.5 yr earlier with a smooth declinemore »and a luminosity of LV ≥ 1.4 × 1043 erg s−1, although the nature of the flare is unknown. ASASSN-19dj occurred in the most extreme post-starburst galaxy yet to host a TDE, with Lick HδA = 7.67 ± 0.17 Å.« less
  7. ABSTRACT We present the discovery of ASASSN-18jd (AT 2018bcb), a luminous optical/ultraviolet(UV)/X-ray transient located in the nucleus of the galaxy 2MASX J22434289–1659083 at z = 0.1192. Over the year after discovery, Swift UltraViolet and Optical Telescope (UVOT) photometry shows the UV spectral energy distribution of the transient to be well modelled by a slowly shrinking blackbody with temperature $T \sim 2.5 \times 10^{4} \, {\rm K}$, a maximum observed luminosity of $L_{\rm max} = 4.5^{+0.6}_{-0.3}\times 10^{44} \, {\rm erg \,s}^{-1}$, and a radiated energy of $E = 9.6^{+1.1}_{-0.6} \times 10^{51} \, {\rm erg}$. X-ray data from Swift X-Ray Telescope (XRT) and XMM–Newton show a transient, variable X-ray flux with blackbody and power-law components that fade by nearly an order of magnitude over the following year. Optical spectra show strong, roughly constant broad Balmer emission and transient features attributable to He ii, N iii–v, O iii, and coronal Fe. While ASASSN-18jd shares similarities with tidal disruption events (TDEs), it is also similar to the newly discovered nuclear transients seen in quiescent galaxies and faint active galactic nuclei (AGNs).