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  1. Abstract

    We present observations of ASASSN-20hx, a nearby ambiguous nuclear transient (ANT) discovered in NGC 6297 by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN). We observed ASASSN-20hx from −30 to 275 days relative to the peak UV/optical emission using high-cadence, multiwavelength spectroscopy and photometry. From Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite data, we determine that the ANT began to brighten on 2020 June 22.8 with a linear rise in flux for at least the first week. ASASSN-20hx peaked in the UV/optical 30 days later on 2020 July 22.8 (MJD = 59052.8) at a bolometric luminosity ofL= (3.15 ± 0.04) × 1043erg s−1. The subsequent decline is slower than any TDE observed to date and consistent with many other ANTs. Compared to an archival X-ray detection, the X-ray luminosity of ASASSN-20hx increased by an order of magnitude toLx∼ 1.5 × 1042erg s−1and then slowly declined over time. The X-ray emission is well fit by a power law with a photon index of Γ ∼ 2.3–2.6. Both the optical and near-infrared spectra of ASASSN-20hx lack emission lines, unusual for any known class of nuclear transient. While ASASSN-20hx has some characteristics seen in both tidal disruption events and active galactic nuclei, it cannot be definitivelymore »classified with current data.

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  2. Abstract We report the discovery of HIP-97166b (TOI-1255b), a transiting sub-Neptune on a 10.3 day orbit around a K0 dwarf 68 pc from Earth. This planet was identified in a systematic search of TESS Objects of Interest for planets with eccentric orbits, based on a mismatch between the observed transit duration and the expected duration for a circular orbit. We confirmed the planetary nature of HIP-97166b with ground-based radial-velocity measurements and measured a mass of M b = 20 ± 2 M ⊕ along with a radius of R b = 2.7 ± 0.1 R ⊕ from photometry. We detected an additional nontransiting planetary companion with M c sin i = 10 ± 2 M ⊕ on a 16.8 day orbit. While the short transit duration of the inner planet initially suggested a high eccentricity, a joint RV-photometry analysis revealed a high impact parameter b = 0.84 ± 0.03 and a moderate eccentricity. Modeling the dynamics with the condition that the system remain stable over >10 5 orbits yielded eccentricity constraints e b = 0.16 ± 0.03 and e c < 0.25. The eccentricity we find for planet b is above average for the small population of sub-Neptunes with well-measuredmore »eccentricities. We explored the plausible formation pathways of this system, proposing an early instability and merger event to explain the high density of the inner planet at 5.3 ± 0.9 g cc −1 as well as its moderate eccentricity and proximity to a 5:3 mean-motion resonance.« less
  3. Abstract

    We present an analysis of the first 20 second cadence light curves obtained by the TESS space telescope during its extended mission. We find improved precision of 20 second data compared to 2 minute data for bright stars when binned to the same cadence (≈10%–25% better forT≲ 8 mag, reaching equal precision atT≈ 13 mag), consistent with pre-flight expectations based on differences in cosmic-ray mitigation algorithms. We present two results enabled by this improvement. First, we use 20 second data to detect oscillations in three solar analogs (γPav,ζTuc, andπMen) and use asteroseismology to measure their radii, masses, densities, and ages to ≈1%, ≈3%, ≈1%, and ≈20% respectively, including systematic errors. Combining our asteroseismic ages with chromospheric activity measurements, we find evidence that the spread in the activity–age relation is linked to stellar mass and thus the depth of the convection zone. Second, we combine 20 second data and published radial velocities to recharacterizeπMen c, which is now the closest transiting exoplanet for which detailed asteroseismology of the host star is possible. We show thatπMen c is located at the upper edge of the planet radius valley for its orbital period, confirming that it has likely retained a volatile atmospheremore »and that the “asteroseismic radius valley” remains devoid of planets. Our analysis favors a low eccentricity forπMen c (<0.1 at 68% confidence), suggesting efficient tidal dissipation (Q/k2,1≲ 2400) if it formed via high-eccentricity migration. Combined, these early results demonstrate the strong potential of TESS 20 second cadence data for stellar astrophysics and exoplanet science.

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