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  1. Abstract Internal solitary waves are ubiquitous in coastal regions and marginal seas of the world’s oceans. As the waves shoal shoreward, they lose the energy obtained from ocean tides through globally significant turbulent mixing and dissipation and consequently pump nutrient-rich water to nourish coastal ecosystem. Here we present fine-scale, direct measurements of shoaling internal solitary waves in the South China Sea, which allow for an examination of the physical processes triggering the intensive turbulent mixing in their interior. These are convective breaking in the wave core and the collapse of Kelvin–Helmholtz billows in the wave rear and lower periphery of the core, often occurring simultaneously. The former takes place when the particle velocity exceeds the wave’s propagating velocity. The latter is caused by the instability induced by the strong velocity shear overcoming the stratification. The instabilities generate turbulence levels four orders of magnitude larger than that in the open ocean.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  2. ABSTRACT SN 2018hti was a very nearby (z = 0.0614) superluminous supernova with an exceedingly bright absolute magnitude of −21.7 mag in r band at maximum. The densely sampled pre-maximum light curves of SN 2018hti show a slow luminosity evolution and constrain the rise time to ∼50 rest-frame d. We fitted synthetic light curves to the photometry to infer the physical parameters of the explosion of SN 2018hti for both the magnetar and the CSM-interaction scenarios. We conclude that one of two mechanisms could be powering the luminosity of SN 2018hti; interaction with ∼10 M⊙ of circumstellar material or a magnetar with a magnetic field of Bp∼ 1.3 × 1013 G, and initial period of Pspin∼ 1.8 ms. From the nebular spectrum modelling we infer that SN 2018hti likely results from the explosion of a ${\sim}40\, \mathrm{M}_\odot$ progenitor star.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 7, 2023
  3. ABSTRACT M31-LRN-2015 is a likely stellar merger discovered in the Andromeda Galaxy in 2015. We present new optical to mid-infrared photometry and optical spectroscopy for this event. Archival data show that the source started to brighten ∼2 yr before the nova event. During this precursor phase, the source brightened by ∼3 mag. The light curve at 6 and 1.5 months before the main outburst may show periodicity, with periods of 16 ± 0.3 and 28.1 ± 1.4 d, respectively. This complex emission may be explained by runaway mass-loss from the system after the binary undergoes Roche lobe overflow, leading the system to coalesce in tens of orbital periods. While the progenitor spectral energy distribution shows no evidence of pre-existing warm dust in the system, the remnant forms an optically thick dust shell at approximately four months after the outburst peak. The optical depth of the shell increases dramatically after 1.5 yr, suggesting the existence of shocks that enhance the dust formation process. We propose that the merger remnant is likely an inflated giant obscured by a cooling shell of gas with mass ∼0.2 M⊙ ejected at the onset of the common envelope phase.
  4. ABSTRACT We explore the synergy between photometric and spectroscopic surveys by searching for periodic variable stars among the targets observed by the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) using photometry from the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN). We identified 1924 periodic variables among more than $258\, 000$ APOGEE targets; 465 are new discoveries. We homogeneously classified 430 eclipsing and ellipsoidal binaries, 139 classical pulsators (Cepheids, RR Lyrae, and δ Scuti), 719 long-period variables (pulsating red giants), and 636 rotational variables. The search was performed using both visual inspection and machine learning techniques. The light curves were also modelled with the damped random walk stochastic process. We find that the median [Fe/H] of variable objects is lower by 0.3 dex than that of the overall APOGEE sample. Eclipsing binaries and ellipsoidal variables are shifted to a lower median [Fe/H] by 0.2 dex. Eclipsing binaries and rotational variables exhibit significantly broader spectral lines than the rest of the sample. We make ASAS-SN light curves for all the APOGEE stars publicly available and provide parameters for the variable objects.