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  1. Abstract While it is difficult to observe the first black hole seeds in the early universe, we can study intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) in local dwarf galaxies for clues about their origins. In this paper we present a sample of variability-selected active galactic nuclei (AGN) in dwarf galaxies using optical photometry from the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) and forward-modeled mid-IR photometry of time-resolved Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) co-added images. We found that 44 out of 25,714 dwarf galaxies had optically variable AGN candidates and 148 out of 79,879 dwarf galaxies had mid-IR variable AGN candidates, corresponding to active fractions of 0.17% ± 0.03% and 0.19% ± 0.02%, respectively. We found that spectroscopic approaches to AGN identification would have missed 81% of our ZTF IMBH candidates and 69% of our WISE IMBH candidates. Only nine candidates have been detected previously in radio, X-ray, and variability searches for dwarf galaxy AGN. The ZTF and WISE dwarf galaxy AGN with broad Balmer lines have virial masses of 10 5 M ⊙ < M BH < 10 7 M ⊙ , but for the rest of the sample, BH masses predicted from host galaxy mass range between 10 5.2 M ⊙ < M BH < 10 7.25 M ⊙ . We found that only 5 of 152 previously reported variability-selected AGN candidates from the Palomar Transient Factory in common with our parent sample were variable in ZTF. We also determined a nuclear supernova fraction of 0.05% ± 0.01% yr −1 for dwarf galaxies in ZTF. Our ZTF and WISE IMBH candidates show the promise of variability searches for the discovery of otherwise hidden low-mass AGN. 
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  2. Abstract

    Based on time-series observations collected from the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), we derived period–luminosity–metallicity (PLZ) and period–Wesenheit–metallicity (PWZ) relations for RR Lyrae located in globular clusters. We have applied various selection criteria to exclude RR Lyrae with problematic or spurious light curves. These selection criteria utilized information on the number of data points per light curve, amplitudes, colors, and residuals on the period–luminosity and/or period–Wesenheit relations. Due to blending, a number of RR Lyrae in globular clusters were found to be anomalously bright and have small amplitudes of their ZTF light curves. We used our final sample of ∼750 RR Lyrae in 46 globular clusters covering a wide metallicity range (−2.36 dex < [Fe/H] < −0.54 dex) to derive PLZ and PWZ relations in thegribands. In addition, we have also derived the period–color–metallicity and, for the first time, the period-Q-index-metallicity relations, where theQ-index is extinction-free by construction. We have compared our various relations to empirical and theoretical relations available in the literature and found a good agreement with most studies. Finally, we applied our derived PLZ relation to a dwarf galaxy, Crater II, and found that its true distance modulus should be larger than the most recent determination.

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  3. Abstract

    There is a growing concern about an impact of low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellite constellations on ground-based astronomical observations, in particular, on wide-field surveys in the optical and infrared. The Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), thanks to the large field of view of its camera, provides an ideal setup to study the effects of LEO megaconstellations—such as SpaceX’s Starlink—on astronomical surveys. Here, we analyze the archival ZTF observations collected between 2019 November and 2021 September and find 5301 satellite streaks that can be attributed to Starlink satellites. We find that the number of affected images is increasing with time as SpaceX deploys more satellites. Twilight observations are particularly affected—a fraction of streaked images taken during twilight has increased from less than 0.5% in late 2019 to 18% in 2021 August. We estimate that once the size of the Starlink constellation reaches 10,000, essentially all ZTF images taken during twilight may be affected. However, despite the increase in satellite streaks observed during the analyzed period, the current science operations of ZTF are not yet strongly affected. We also find that redesigning Starlink satellites (by installing visors intended to block sunlight from reaching the satellite antennas to prevent reflection) reduces their brightness by a factor of 4.6 ± 0.1 with respect to the original design ing,r, andibands.

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  5. Abstract

    We present a search for extragalactic fast blue optical transients (FBOTs) during Phase I of the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF). We identify 38 candidates with durations above half-maximum light 1 day <t1/2< 12 days, of which 28 have blue (gr≲ −0.2 mag) colors at peak light. Of the 38 transients (28 FBOTs), 19 (13) can be spectroscopically classified as core-collapse supernovae (SNe): 11 (8) H- or He-rich (Type II/IIb/Ib) SNe, 6 (4) interacting (Type IIn/Ibn) SNe, and 2 (1) H&He-poor (Type Ic/Ic-BL) SNe. Two FBOTs (published previously) had predominantly featureless spectra and luminous radio emission: AT2018lug (The Koala) and AT2020xnd (The Camel). Seven (five) did not have a definitive classification: AT 2020bdh showed tentative broad Hαin emission, and AT 2020bot showed unidentified broad features and was 10 kpc offset from the center of an early-type galaxy. Ten (eight) have no spectroscopic observations or redshift measurements. We present multiwavelength (radio, millimeter, and/or X-ray) observations for five FBOTs (three Type Ibn, one Type IIn/Ibn, one Type IIb). Additionally, we search radio-survey (VLA and ASKAP) data to set limits on the presence of radio emission for 24 of the transients. All X-ray and radio observations resulted in nondetections; we rule out AT2018cow-like X-ray and radio behavior for five FBOTs and more luminous emission (such as that seen in the Camel) for four additional FBOTs. We conclude that exotic transients similar to AT2018cow, the Koala, and the Camel represent a rare subset of FBOTs and use ZTF’s SN classification experiments to measure the rate to be at most 0.1% of the local core-collapse SN rate.

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  6. In this work, we aimed to derive the gri-band period-luminosity (PL) and period-luminosity-color (PLC) relations for late-type contact binaries, for the first time, located in the globular clusters, using the homogeneous light curves collected by the Zwicky Transient Factory (ZTF). We started with 79 contact binaries in 15 globular clusters, and retained 30 contact binaries in 10 globular clusters that have adequate number of data points in the ZTF light curves and unaffected by blending. Magnitudes at mean and maximum light of these contact binaries were determined using a fourth-order Fourier expansion, while extinction corrections were done using the {\tt Bayerstar2019} 3D reddening map together with adopting the homogeneous distances to their host globular clusters. After removing early-type and "anomaly" contact binaries, our derived gri-band PL and period-Wesenheit (PW) relations exhibit a much larger dispersion with large errors on the fitted coefficients. Nevertheless, the gr-band PL and PW relations based on this small sample of contact binaries in globular clusters were consistent with those based on a larger sample of nearby contact binaries. Good agreements of the PL and PW relations suggested both samples of contact binaries in the local Solar neighborhood and in the distant globular clusters can be combined and used to derive and calibrate the PL, PW and PLC relations. The final derived gr-band PL, PW and PLC relations were much improved than those based on the limited sample of contact binaries in the globular clusters. 
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  7. Abstract

    SkyPortalis an open-source software package designed to discover interesting transients efficiently, manage follow-up, perform characterization, and visualize the results. By enabling fast access to archival and catalog data, crossmatching heterogeneous data streams, and the triggering and monitoring of on-demand observations for further characterization, aSkyPortal-based platform has been operating at scale for >2 yr for the Zwicky Transient Facility Phase II community, with hundreds of users, containing tens of millions of time-domain sources, interacting with dozens of telescopes, and enabling community reporting. WhileSkyPortalemphasizes rich user experiences across common front-end workflows, recognizing that scientific inquiry is increasingly performed programmatically,SkyPortalalso surfaces an extensive and well-documented application programming interface system. From back-end and front-end software to data science analysis tools and visualization frameworks, theSkyPortaldesign emphasizes the reuse and leveraging of best-in-class approaches, with a strong extensibility ethos. For instance,SkyPortalnow leverages ChatGPT large language models to generate and surface source-level human-readable summaries automatically. With the imminent restart of the next generation of gravitational-wave detectors,SkyPortalnow also includes dedicated multimessenger features addressing the requirements of rapid multimessenger follow-up: multitelescope management, team/group organizing interfaces, and crossmatching of multimessenger data streams with time-domain optical surveys, with interfaces sufficiently intuitive for newcomers to the field. This paper focuses on the detailed implementations, capabilities, and early science results that establishSkyPortalas a community software package ready to take on the data science challenges and opportunities presented by this next chapter in the multimessenger era.

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  8. null (Ed.)

    Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) in the nearby Hubble flow are excellent distance indicators in cosmology. The Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) has observed a large sample of SNe from an untargeted, rolling survey, reaching 20.8, 20.6, and 20.3 mag in g r, and i band, respectively. With an FoV of 47 deg2, ZTF discovered > 3000 SNe Ia in a little over 2.5 yr. Here, we report on the sample of 761 spectroscopically classified SNe Ia from the first year of operations (DR1). The sample has a median redshift $\bar{z} =$ 0.057, nearly a factor of 2 higher than the current low-z sample. Our sample has a total of 934 spectra, of which 632 were obtained with the robotic SEDm on Palomar P60. We assess the potential for precision cosmology for a total of 305 SNe with redshifts from host galaxy spectra. The sample is already comparable in size to the entire combined literature low-z anchor sample. The median first detection is 13.5 d before maximum light, about 10 d earlier than the median in the literature. Furthermore, six SNe from our sample are at DL < 80 Mpc, for which host galaxy distances can be obtained in the JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE era, such that we have calibrator and Hubble flow SNe observed with the same instrument. In the entire duration of ZTF-I, we have observed nearly 50 SNe for which we can obtain calibrator distances, key for per cent level distance scale measurements.

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