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  1. This article describes a six-day 5E lesson where students take on the role of horticulturists to help their mentor, Dr. Doust, in identifying the best growing conditions for a new species of plant from the Amazonian Rainforest (see Slide 1 from the Engage Teacher PowerPoint; see also Supplemental Materials). Students explore the different wavelengths of visible light and seek an answer to aspects of the lesson’s driving question, “How can different light colors affect plant growth?” The activities in this lesson provide students with the skill set to construct scientific explanations based on evidence for how environmental factors influence the growth of plants. Additional detail about managing each of the activities described in the manuscript is provided in the Supplemental Materials and include PowerPoint presentations, teacher handouts, rubrics, and student handouts for each phase of the lesson.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2023
  2. Abstract GW190814 was a compact object binary coalescence detected in gravitational waves by Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo that garnered exceptional community interest due to its excellent localization and the uncertain nature of the binary’s lighter-mass component (either the heaviest known neutron star, or the lightest known black hole). Despite extensive follow-up observations, no electromagnetic counterpart has been identified. Here, we present new radio observations of 75 galaxies within the localization volume at Δ t ≈ 35–266 days post-merger. Our observations cover ∼32% of the total stellar luminosity in the final localization volume and extend to later timescales than previously reported searches, allowing us to place the deepest constraints to date on the existence of a radio afterglow from a highly off-axis relativistic jet launched during the merger (assuming that the merger occurred within the observed area). For a viewing angle of ∼46° (the best-fit binary inclination derived from the gravitational wave signal) and assumed electron and magnetic field energy fractions of ϵ e = 0.1 and ϵ B = 0.01, we can rule out a typical short gamma-ray burst-like Gaussian jet with an opening angle of 15° and isotropic-equivalent kinetic energy 2 × 10 51 erg propagating into amore »constant-density medium n ≳ 0.1 cm −3 . These are the first limits resulting from a galaxy-targeted search for a radio counterpart to a gravitational wave event, and we discuss the challenges—and possible advantages—of applying similar search strategies to future events using current and upcoming radio facilities.« less
  3. Abstract

    A large fraction of Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) observations over the next decade will be in the near-infrared (NIR), at wavelengths beyond the reach of the current standard light-curve model for SN Ia cosmology, SALT3 (∼2800–8700 Å central filter wavelength). To harness this new SN Ia sample and reduce future light-curve standardization systematic uncertainties, we train SALT3 at NIR wavelengths (SALT3-NIR) up to 2μm with the open-source model-training softwareSALTshaker, which can easily accommodate future observations. Using simulated data, we show that the training process constrains the NIR model to ∼2%–3% across the phase range (−20 to 50 days). We find that Hubble residual (HR) scatter is smaller using the NIR alone or optical+NIR compared to optical alone, by up to ∼30% depending on filter choice (95% confidence). There is significant correlation between NIR light-curve stretch measurements and luminosity, with stretch and color corrections often improving HR scatter by up to ∼20%. For SN Ia observations expected from the Roman Space Telescope, SALT3-NIR increases the amount of usable data in the SALT framework by ∼20% at redshiftz≲ 0.4 and by ∼50% atz≲ 0.15. The SALT3-NIR model is part of the open-sourceSNCosmoandSNANASN Ia cosmology packages.

  4. Abstract

    For the first ∼3 yrs after the binary neutron star merger event GW 170817, the radio and X-ray radiation has been dominated by emission from a structured relativistic off-axis jet propagating into a low-density medium withn< 0.01 cm−3. We report on observational evidence for an excess of X-ray emission atδt> 900 days after the merger. WithLx≈ 5 × 1038erg s−1at 1234 days, the recently detected X-ray emission represents a ≥3.2σ(Gaussian equivalent) deviation from the universal post-jet-break model that best fits the multiwavelength afterglow at earlier times. In the context ofJetFitafterglow models, current data represent a departure with statistical significance ≥3.1σ, depending on the fireball collimation, with the most realistic models showing excesses at the level of ≥3.7σ. A lack of detectable 3 GHz radio emission suggests a harder broadband spectrum than the jet afterglow. These properties are consistent with the emergence of a new emission component such as synchrotron radiation from a mildly relativistic shock generated by the expanding merger ejecta, i.e., a kilonova afterglow. In this context, we present a set of ab initio numerical relativity binary neutron star (BNS) merger simulations that show that an X-ray excess supports the presence of a high-velocity tail in the mergermore »ejecta, and argues against the prompt collapse of the merger remnant into a black hole. Radiation from accretion processes on the compact-object remnant represents a viable alternative. Neither a kilonova afterglow nor accretion-powered emission have been observed before, as detections of BNS mergers at this phase of evolution are unprecedented.

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  5. ABSTRACT We present results from spectroscopic observations of AT 2018hyz, a transient discovered by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernova survey at an absolute magnitude of MV ∼ −20.2 mag, in the nucleus of a quiescent galaxy with strong Balmer absorption lines. AT 2018hyz shows a blue spectral continuum and broad emission lines, consistent with previous TDE candidates. High cadence follow-up spectra show broad Balmer lines and He i in early spectra, with He ii making an appearance after ∼70–100 d. The Balmer lines evolve from a smooth broad profile, through a boxy, asymmetric double-peaked phase consistent with accretion disc emission, and back to smooth at late times. The Balmer lines are unlike typical active galactic nucleus in that they show a flat Balmer decrement (Hα/Hβ ∼ 1.5), suggesting the lines are collisionally excited rather than being produced via photoionization. The flat Balmer decrement together with the complex profiles suggests that the emission lines originate in a disc chromosphere, analogous to those seen in cataclysmic variables. The low optical depth of material due to a possible partial disruption may be what allows us to observe these double-peaked, collisionally excited lines. The late appearance of He ii may be due to an expanding photosphere or outflow, ormore »late-time shocks in debris collisions.« less
  6. ABSTRACT At 66 Mpc, AT2019qiz is the closest optical tidal disruption event (TDE) to date, with a luminosity intermediate between the bulk of the population and the faint-and-fast event iPTF16fnl. Its proximity allowed a very early detection and triggering of multiwavelength and spectroscopic follow-up well before maximum light. The velocity dispersion of the host galaxy and fits to the TDE light curve indicate a black hole mass ≈106 M⊙, disrupting a star of ≈1 M⊙. By analysing our comprehensive UV, optical, and X-ray data, we show that the early optical emission is dominated by an outflow, with a luminosity evolution L ∝ t2, consistent with a photosphere expanding at constant velocity (≳2000 km s−1), and a line-forming region producing initially blueshifted H and He ii profiles with v = 3000–10 000 km s−1. The fastest optical ejecta approach the velocity inferred from radio detections (modelled in a forthcoming companion paper from K. D. Alexander et al.), thus the same outflow may be responsible for both the fast optical rise and the radio emission – the first time this connection has been observed in a TDE. The light-curve rise begins 29 ± 2 d before maximum light, peaking when the photosphere reaches the radius where optical photons can escape. The photosphere then undergoes a sudden transition, first cooling atmore »constant radius then contracting at constant temperature. At the same time, the blueshifts disappear from the spectrum and Bowen fluorescence lines (N iii) become prominent, implying a source of far-UV photons, while the X-ray light curve peaks at ≈1041 erg s−1. Assuming that these X-rays are from prompt accretion, the size and mass of the outflow are consistent with the reprocessing layer needed to explain the large optical to X-ray ratio in this and other optical TDEs, possibly favouring accretion-powered over collision-powered outflow models.« less
  7. ABSTRACT We present and analyse a new tidal disruption event (TDE), AT2017eqx at redshift z = 0.1089, discovered by Pan-STARRS and ATLAS. The position of the transient is consistent with the nucleus of its host galaxy; the spectrum shows a persistent blackbody temperature T ≳ 20 000 K with broad H i and He ii emission; and it peaks at a blackbody luminosity of L ≈ 1044 erg s−1. The lines are initially centred at zero velocity, but by 100 d, the H i lines disappear while the He ii develops a blueshift of ≳ 5000 km s−1. Both the early- and late-time morphologies have been seen in other TDEs, but the complete transition between them is unprecedented. The evolution can be explained by combining an extended atmosphere, undergoing slow contraction, with a wind in the polar direction becoming visible at late times. Our observations confirm that a lack of hydrogen a TDE spectrum does not indicate a stripped star, while the proposed model implies that much of the diversity in TDEs may be due to the observer viewing angle. Modelling the light curve suggests AT2017eqx resulted from the complete disruption of a solar-mass star by a black hole of ∼106.3 M⊙. The host is another Balmer-strong absorption galaxy, though fainter and lessmore »centrally concentrated than most TDE hosts. Radio limits rule out a relativistic jet, while X-ray limits at 500 d are among the deepest for a TDE at this phase.« less