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  1. Abstract

    The accretion disks of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) are promising locations for the merger of compact objects detected by gravitational wave (GW) observatories. Embedded within a baryon-rich, high-density environment, mergers within AGNs are the only GW channel where an electromagnetic (EM) counterpart must occur (whether detectable or not). Considering AGNs with unusual flaring activity observed by the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), we describe a search for candidate EM counterparts to binary black hole (BBH) mergers detected by LIGO/Virgo in O3. After removing probable false positives, we find nine candidate counterparts to BBH mergers during O3 (seven in O3a, two in O3b) with ap-value of 0.0019. Based on ZTF sky coverage, AGN geometry, and merger geometry, we expect ≈3(NBBH/83)(fAGN/0.5) potentially detectable EM counterparts from O3, whereNBBHis the total number of observed BBH mergers andfAGNis the fraction originating in AGNs. Further modeling of breakout and flaring phenomena in AGN disks is required to reduce our false-positive rate. Two of the events are also associated with mergers with total masses >100M, which is the expected rate for O3 if hierarchical (large-mass) mergers occur in the AGN channel. Candidate EM counterparts in future GW observing runs can be better constrained by coverage ofmore »the Southern sky as well as spectral monitoring of unusual AGN flaring events in LIGO/Virgo alert volumes. A future set of reliable AGN EM counterparts to BBH mergers will yield an independent means of measuring cosmic expansion (H0) as a function of redshift.

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  2. ABSTRACT We present a Bayesian method to identify multiple (chemodynamic) stellar populations in dwarf spheroidal galaxies (dSphs) using velocity, metallicity, and positional stellar data without the assumption of spherical symmetry. We apply this method to a new Keck/Deep Imaging Multi-Object Spectrograph (DEIMOS) spectroscopic survey of the Ursa Minor (UMi) dSph. We identify 892 likely members, making this the largest UMi sample with line-of-sight velocity and metallicity measurements. Our Bayesian method detects two distinct chemodynamic populations with high significance (in logarithmic Bayes factor, ln B ∼ 33). The metal-rich ([Fe/H] = −2.05 ± 0.03) population is kinematically colder (radial velocity dispersion of $\sigma _v=4.9_{-1.0}^{+0.8} \, \mathrm{km} \, \mathrm{s}^{-1}$) and more centrally concentrated than the metal-poor ($[{\rm Fe/H}]=-2.29_{-0.06}^{+0.05}$) and kinematically hotter population ($\sigma _v =11.5_{-0.8}^{+0.9}\, \mathrm{km} \, \mathrm{s}^{-1}$). Furthermore, we apply the same analysis to an independent Multiple Mirror Telescope (MMT)/Hectochelle data set and confirm the existence of two chemodynamic populations in UMi. In both data sets, the metal-rich population is significantly flattened (ϵ = 0.75 ± 0.03) and the metal-poor population is closer to spherical ($\epsilon =0.33_{-0.09}^{+0.12}$). Despite the presence of two populations, we are able to robustly estimate the slope of the dynamical mass profile. We found hints for prolate rotation of order ${\sim}2 \, \mathrm{km} \, \mathrm{s}^{-1}$more »in the MMT data set, but further observations are required to verify this. The flattened metal-rich population invalidates assumptions built into simple dynamical mass estimators, so we computed new astrophysical dark matter annihilation (J) and decay profiles based on the rounder, hotter metal-poor population and inferred $\log _{10}{(J(0{^{\circ}_{.}}5)/{\rm GeV^{2} \, cm^{-5}})}\approx 19.1$ for the Keck data set. Our results paint a more complex picture of the evolution of UMi than previously discussed.« less
  3. Abstract We present the results of a systematic search for quasars in the Catalina Real-time Transient Survey exhibiting both strong photometric and spectroscopic variability over a decadal baseline. We identify 111 sources with specific patterns of optical and mid-IR photometric behavior and a defined spectroscopic change. These “Changing-State” quasars (CSQs) form a higher luminosity sample to complement existing sets of “Changing-Look” AGN and quasars in the literature. The CSQs (by selection) exhibit larger photometric variability than the CLQs. The spectroscopic variability is marginally stronger in the CSQs than CLQs as defined by the change in Hβ/[O iii] ratio. We find 48 sources with declining Hβ flux, 63 sources with increasing Hβ flux and discover eight sources with z > 0.8, further extending the redshift arm. Our CSQ sample compares to the literature CLQ objects in similar distributions of Hβ flux ratios and differential Eddington ratios between high (bright) and low (dim) states. Taken as a whole, we find that this population of extreme varying quasars is associated with changes in the Eddington ratio and the timescales imply cooling/heating fronts propagating through the disk.
  4. Intense, millisecond-duration bursts of radio waves (named fast radio bursts) have been detected from beyond the Milky Way. Their dispersion measures—which are greater than would be expected if they had propagated only through the interstellar medium of the Milky Way—indicate extragalactic origins, and imply contributions from the intergalactic medium and perhaps from other galaxies. Although several theories exist regarding the sources of these fast radio bursts, their intensities, durations and temporal structures suggest coherent emission from highly magnetized plasma. Two of these bursts have been observed to repeat, and one repeater (FRB 121102) has been localized to the largest star-forming region of a dwarf galaxy at a cosmological redshift of 0.19. However, the host galaxies and distances of the hitherto non-repeating fast radio bursts are yet to be identified. Unlike repeating sources, these events must be observed with an interferometer that has sufficient spatial resolution for arcsecond localization at the time of discovery. Here we report the localization of a fast radio burst (FRB 190523) to a few-arcsecond region containing a single massive galaxy at a redshift of 0.66. This galaxy is different from the host of FRB 121102, as it is a thousand times more massive, with a specificmore »star-formation rate (the star-formation rate divided by the mass) a hundred times smaller.« less