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  2. ABSTRACT We report on Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) observations of the fast and blue optical transient (FBOT), AT 2018cow. At ∼62 Mpc, AT 2018cow is the first relatively nearby FBOT. The nature of AT 2018cow is not clear, although various hypotheses from a tidal disruption event to different kinds of supernovae have been suggested. It had a very fast rise time (3.5 d) and an almost featureless blue spectrum, although high photospheric velocities (40 000 km s−1) were suggested early on. The X-ray luminosity was very high, ∼1.4 × 1043 erg s−1, larger than those of ordinary supernovae (SNe), and more consistent with those of SNe associated with gamma-ray bursts. Variable hard X-ray emission hints at a long-lived ‘central engine.’ It was also fairly radio luminous, with a peak 8.4-GHz spectral luminosity of ∼4 × 1028 erg s−1 Hz−1, allowing us to make VLBI observations at ages between 22 and 287 d. We do not resolve AT 2018cow. Assuming a circularly symmetric source, our observations constrain the average apparent expansion velocity to be ${\lt}0.49\, c$ by t = 98 d (3σ limit). We also constrain the proper motion of AT 2018cow to be ${\lt}0.51\, c$. Since the radio emission generally traces the fastest ejecta, our observations make the presence of a long-lived relativistic jet with a lifetime of more than 1 monthmore »very unlikely.« less
  3. ABSTRACT AT 2018hyz (= ASASSN-18zj) is a tidal disruption event (TDE) located in the nucleus of a quiescent E+A galaxy at a redshift of z = 0.04573, first detected by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN). We present optical+UV photometry of the transient, as well as an X-ray spectrum and radio upper limits. The bolometric light curve of AT 2018hyz is comparable to other known TDEs and declines at a rate consistent with a t−5/3 at early times, emitting a total radiated energy of E = 9 × 1050 erg. An excess bump appears in the UV light curve about 50 d after bolometric peak, followed by a flattening beyond 250 d. We detect a constant X-ray source present for at least 86 d. The X-ray spectrum shows a total unabsorbed flux of ∼4 × 10−14 erg cm−2 s−1 and is best fit by a blackbody plus power-law model with a photon index of Γ = 0.8. A thermal X-ray model is unable to account for photons >1 keV, while a radio non-detection favours inverse-Compton scattering rather than a jet for the non-thermal component. We model the optical and UV light curves using the Modular Open-Source Fitter for Transients (MOSFiT) and find a best fit for a black hole of 5.2 × 106 M⊙ disrupting a 0.1 M⊙ star; themore »model suggests the star was likely only partially disrupted, based on the derived impact parameter of β = 0.6. The low optical depth implied by the small debris mass may explain how we are able to see hydrogen emission with disc-like line profiles in the spectra of AT 2018hyz (see our companion paper).« less