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  1. Abstract GRB 171205A is a low-luminosity, long-duration gamma-ray burst (GRB) associated with SN 2017iuk, a broad-line type Ic supernova (SN). It is consistent with having been formed in the core collapse of a widely separated binary, which we have called the binary-driven hypernova of type III. The core collapse of the CO star forms a newborn NS ( ν NS) and the SN explosion. Fallback accretion transfers mass and angular momentum to the ν NS, here assumed to be born non-rotating. The accretion energy injected into the expanding stellar layers powers the prompt emission. The multiwavelength power-law afterglow is explained by the synchrotron radiation of electrons in the SN ejecta, powered by energy injected by the spinning ν NS. We calculate the amount of mass and angular momentum gained by the ν NS, as well as the ν NS rotational evolution. The ν NS spins up to a period of 47 ms, then releases its rotational energy powering the synchrotron emission of the afterglow. The paucity of the ν NS spin explains the low-luminosity characteristic and that the optical emission of the SN from the nickel radioactive decay outshines the optical emission from the synchrotron radiation. From the ν NS evolution, we infer that the SN explosion had to occur at most 7.36 h before the GRB trigger. Therefore, for the first time, the analysis of the GRB data leads to the time of occurrence of the CO core collapse leading to the SN explosion and the electromagnetic emission of the GRB event. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  2. Observations of X-ray binaries indicate a dearth of compact objects in the mass range from ∼2 − 5  M ⊙ . The existence of this (first mass) gap has been used to discriminate between proposed engines behind core-collapse supernovae. From LIGO/Virgo observations of binary compact remnant masses, several candidate first mass gap objects, either neutron stars (NSs) or black holes (BHs), were identified during the O3 science run. Motivated by these new observations, we study the formation of BH-NS mergers in the framework of isolated classical binary evolution, using population synthesis methods to evolve large populations of binary stars (Population I and II) across cosmic time. We present results on the NS to BH mass ratios ( q  =  M NS / M BH ) in merging systems, showing that although systems with a mass ratio as low as q  = 0.02 can exist, typically BH-NS systems form with moderate mass ratios q  = 0.1 − 0.2. If we adopt a delayed supernova engine, we conclude that ∼30% of BH-NS mergers may host at least one compact object in the first mass gap (FMG). Even allowing for uncertainties in the processes behind compact object formation, we expect the fraction of BH-NS systems ejecting mass during the merger to be small (from ∼0.6 − 9%). In our reference model, we assume: (i) the formation of compact objects within the FMG, (ii) natal NS/BH kicks decreased by fallback, (iii) low BH spins due to Tayler-Spruit angular momentum transport in massive stars. We find that ≲1% of BH-NS mergers will have any mass ejection and about the same percentage will produce kilonova bright enough to have a chance of being detected with a large (Subaru-class) 8 m telescope. Interestingly, all these mergers will have both a BH and an NS in the FMG. 
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  3. Abstract Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are flashes of high-energy radiation arising from energetic cosmic explosions. Bursts of long (greater than two seconds) duration are produced by the core-collapse of massive stars 1 , and those of short (less than two seconds) duration by the merger of compact objects, such as two neutron stars 2 . A third class of events with hybrid high-energy properties was identified 3 , but never conclusively linked to a stellar progenitor. The lack of bright supernovae rules out typical core-collapse explosions 4–6 , but their distance scales prevent sensitive searches for direct signatures of a progenitor system. Only tentative evidence for a kilonova has been presented 7,8 . Here we report observations of the exceptionally bright GRB 211211A, which classify it as a hybrid event and constrain its distance scale to only 346 megaparsecs. Our measurements indicate that its lower-energy (from ultraviolet to near-infrared) counterpart is powered by a luminous (approximately 10 42  erg per second) kilonova possibly formed in the ejecta of a compact object merger. 
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  4. All ten LIGO/Virgo binary black hole (BH-BH) coalescences reported following the O1/O2 runs have near-zero effective spins. There are only three potential explanations for this. If the BH spin magnitudes are large, then: (i) either both BH spin vectors must be nearly in the orbital plane or (ii) the spin angular momenta of the BHs must be oppositely directed and similar in magnitude. Then there is also the possibility that (iii) the BH spin magnitudes are small. We consider the third hypothesis within the framework of the classical isolated binary evolution scenario of the BH-BH merger formation. We test three models of angular momentum transport in massive stars: a mildly efficient transport by meridional currents (as employed in the Geneva code), an efficient transport by the Tayler-Spruit magnetic dynamo (as implemented in the MESA code), and a very-efficient transport (as proposed by Fuller et al.) to calculate natal BH spins. We allow for binary evolution to increase the BH spins through accretion and account for the potential spin-up of stars through tidal interactions. Additionally, we update the calculations of the stellar-origin BH masses, including revisions to the history of star formation and to the chemical evolution across cosmic time. We find that we can simultaneously match the observed BH-BH merger rate density and BH masses and BH-BH effective spins. Models with efficient angular momentum transport are favored. The updated stellar-mass weighted gas-phase metallicity evolution now used in our models appears to be key for obtaining an improved reproduction of the LIGO/Virgo merger rate estimate. Mass losses during the pair-instability pulsation supernova phase are likely to be overestimated if the merger GW170729 hosts a BH more massive than 50  M ⊙ . We also estimate rates of black hole-neutron star (BH-NS) mergers from recent LIGO/Virgo observations. If, in fact. angular momentum transport in massive stars is efficient, then any (electromagnetic or gravitational wave) observation of a rapidly spinning BH would indicate either a very effective tidal spin up of the progenitor star (homogeneous evolution, high-mass X-ray binary formation through case A mass transfer, or a spin- up of a Wolf-Rayet star in a close binary by a close companion), significant mass accretion by the hole, or a BH formation through the merger of two or more BHs (in a dense stellar cluster). 
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