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  1. ABSTRACT

    We present results from a search for the radio counterpart to the possible neutron star–black hole merger GW190814 with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder. We have carried out 10 epochs of observation spanning 2–655 d post-merger at a frequency of 944 MHz. Each observation covered 30 deg2, corresponding to 87 per cent of the posterior distribution of the merger’s sky location. We conducted an untargeted search for radio transients in the field, as well as a targeted search for transients associated with known galaxies. We find one radio transient, ASKAP J005022.3−230349, but conclude that it is unlikely to be associated with the merger. We use our observations to place constraints on the inclination angle of the merger and the density of the surrounding environment by comparing our non-detection to model predictions for radio emission from compact binary coalescences. This survey is also the most comprehensive widefield search (in terms of sensitivity and both areal and temporal coverage) for radio transients to-date and we calculate the radio transient surface density at 944 MHz.

  2. ABSTRACT

    The ultraviolet (UV) and near-infrared (NIR) photometric and optical spectroscopic observations of SN 2020acat covering ∼250 d after explosion are presented here. Using the fast rising photometric observations, spanning from the UV to NIR wavelengths, a pseudo-bolometric light curve was constructed and compared to several other well-observed Type IIb supernovae (SNe IIb). SN 2020acat displayed a very short rise time reaching a peak luminosity of $\mathrm{{\rm Log}_{10}}(L) = 42.49 \pm 0.17 \, \mathrm{erg \, s^{-1}}$ in only ∼14.6 ± 0.3 d. From modelling of the pseudo-bolometric light curve, we estimated a total mass of 56Ni synthesized by SN 2020acat of MNi = 0.13 ± 0.03 M⊙, with an ejecta mass of Mej = 2.3 ± 0.4 M⊙ and a kinetic energy of Ek = 1.2 ± 0.3 × 1051 erg. The optical spectra of SN 2020acat display hydrogen signatures well into the transitional period (≳ 100 d), between the photospheric and the nebular phases. The spectra also display a strong feature around 4900  Å that cannot be solely accounted for by the presence of the Fe ii 5018 line. We suggest that the Fe ii feature was augmented by He i 5016 and possibly by the presence of N ii 5005. From both photometric and spectroscopic analysis, we inferred that the progenitor of SN 2020acat was an intermediate-mass compact star with an MZAMS of 15–20 M⊙.

  3. ABSTRACT Stripped-envelope supernovae (SE-SNe) show a wide variety of photometric and spectroscopic properties. This is due to the different potential formation channels and the stripping mechanism that allows for a large diversity within the progenitors outer envelope compositions. Here, the photometric and spectroscopic observations of SN 2020cpg covering ∼130 d from the explosion date are presented. SN 2020cpg (z = 0.037) is a bright SE-SNe with the B-band peaking at MB = −17.75 ± 0.39 mag and a maximum pseudo-bolometric luminosity of Lmax = 6.03 ± 0.01 × 1042 erg s−1. Spectroscopically, SN 2020cpg displays a weak high- and low-velocity H α feature during the photospheric phase of its evolution, suggesting that it contained a detached hydrogen envelope prior to explosion. From comparisons with spectral models, the mass of hydrogen within the outer envelope was constrained to be ∼0.1 M⊙. From the pseudo-bolometric light curve of SN 2020cpg a 56Ni mass of MNi ∼ 0.27 ± 0.08 M⊙ was determined using an Arnett-like model. The ejecta mass and kinetic energy of SN 2020cpg were determined using an alternative method that compares the light curve of SN 2020cpg and several modelled SE-SNe, resulting in an ejecta mass of Mejc ∼ 5.5 ± 2.0 M⊙ and a kinetic energy of EK ∼ 9.0 ± 3.0 × 1051 erg. The ejected mass indicates a progenitor mass of 18−25 M⊙. The use ofmore »the comparative light curve method provides an alternative process to the commonly used Arnett-like model to determine the physical properties of SE-SNe.« less
  4. Context. Brown dwarfs are transition objects between stars and planets that are still poorly understood, for which several competing mechanisms have been proposed to describe their formation. Mass measurements are generally difficult to carry out for isolated objects as well as for brown dwarfs orbiting low-mass stars, which are often too faint for a spectroscopic follow-up. Aims. Microlensing provides an alternative tool for the discovery and investigation of such faint systems. Here, we present an analysis of the microlensing event OGLE-2019-BLG-0033/MOA-2019-BLG-035, which is caused by a binary system composed of a brown dwarf orbiting a red dwarf. Methods. Thanks to extensive ground observations and the availability of space observations from Spitzer, it has been possible to obtain accurate estimates of all microlensing parameters, including the parallax, source radius, and orbital motion of the binary lens. Results. Following an accurate modeling process, we found that the lens is composed of a red dwarf with a mass of M 1 = 0.149 ± 0.010 M ⊙ and a brown dwarf with a mass of M 2 = 0.0463 ± 0.0031 M ⊙ at a projected separation of a ⊥ = 0.585 au. The system has a peculiar velocity that is typical ofmore »old metal-poor populations in the thick disk. A percent-level precision in the mass measurement of brown dwarfs has been achieved only in a few microlensing events up to now, but will likely become more common in the future thanks to the Roman space telescope.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  5. ABSTRACT We present and discuss the optical spectrophotometric observations of the nearby (z = 0.087) Type I superluminous supernova (SLSN I) SN 2017gci, whose peak K-corrected absolute magnitude reaches Mg = −21.5 mag. Its photometric and spectroscopic evolution includes features of both slow- and of fast-evolving SLSN I, thus favoring a continuum distribution between the two SLSN-I subclasses. In particular, similarly to other SLSNe I, the multiband light curves (LCs) of SN 2017gci show two re-brightenings at about 103 and 142 d after the maximum light. Interestingly, this broadly agrees with a broad emission feature emerging around 6520 Å after ∼51 d from the maximum light, which is followed by a sharp knee in the LC. If we interpret this feature as Hα, this could support the fact that the bumps are the signature of late interactions of the ejecta with a (hydrogen-rich) circumstellar material. Then we fitted magnetar- and CSM-interaction-powered synthetic LCs on to the bolometric one of SN 2017gci. In the magnetar case, the fit suggests a polar magnetic field Bp ≃ 6 × 1014 G, an initial period of the magnetar Pinitial ≃ 2.8 ms, an ejecta mass $M_{\rm ejecta}\simeq 9\, \mathrm{M}_\odot $ and an ejecta opacity $\kappa \simeq 0.08\, \mathrm{cm}^{2}\, \rm{g}^{-1}$. A CSM-interactionmore »scenario would imply a CSM mass $\simeq 5\, \mathrm{M}_\odot $ and an ejecta mass $\simeq 12\, \mathrm{M}_\odot $. Finally, the nebular spectrum of phase  + 187 d was modeled, deriving a mass of $\sim 10\, {\rm M}_\odot$ for the ejecta. Our models suggest that either a magnetar or CSM interaction might be the power sources for SN 2017gci and that its progenitor was a massive ($40\, {\rm M}_\odot$) star.« less
  6. We present the bolometric lightcurve, identification and analysis of the progenitor candidate, and preliminary modelling of AT 2016jbu (Gaia16cfr). We find a progenitor consistent with a ∼ 22–25 M⊙ yellow hypergiant surrounded by a dusty circumstellar shell, in agreement with what has been previously reported. We see evidence for significant photometric variability in the progenitor, as well as strong Hα emission consistent with pre-existing circumstellar material. The age of the environment as well as the resolved stellar population surrounding AT 2016jbu, support a progenitor age of >10 Myr, consistent with a progenitor mass of ∼22 M⊙. A joint analysis of the velocity evolution of AT 2016jbu, and the photospheric radius inferred from the bolometric lightcurve shows the transient is consistent with two successive outbursts/explosions. The first outburst ejected material with velocity ∼650 km s−1, while the second, more energetic event, ejected material at ∼4500 km s−1. Whether the latter is the core-collapse of the progenitor remains uncertain. We place a limit on the ejected 56Ni mass of <0.016M⊙. Using the bpass code, we explore a wide range of possible progenitor systems, and find that the majority of these are in binaries, some of which are undergoing mass transfer or common envelope evolution immediately prior to explosion. Finally, we use the snecmore »code to demonstrate that the low-energy explosion within some of these binary systems, together with sufficient CSM, can reproduce the overall morphology of the lightcurve of AT 2016jbu.« less
  7. We present the results from a high cadence, multi-wavelength observation campaign of AT 2016jbu, (aka Gaia16cfr) an interacting transient. This dataset complements the current literature by adding higher cadence as well as extended coverage of the lightcurve evolution and late-time spectroscopic evolution. Photometric coverage reveals that AT 2016jbuunderwent significant photometric variability followed by two luminous events, the latter of which reached an absolute magnitude of MV ∼ −18.5 mag. This is similar to the transient SN 2009ipwhose nature is still debated. Spectra are dominated by narrow emission lines and show a blue continuum during the peak of the second event. AT 2016jbushows signatures of a complex, non-homogeneous circumstellar material (CSM). We see slowly evolving asymmetric hydrogen line profiles, with velocities of 500 km s−1seen in narrow emission features from a slow moving CSM, and up to 10,000 km s−1seen in broad absorption from some high velocity material. Late-time spectra (∼ +1 year) show a lack of forbidden emission lines expected from a core-collapse supernova and are dominated by strong emission from H, He i and Ca ii. Strong asymmetric emission features, a bumpy lightcurve, and continually evolving spectra suggest an inhibit nebular phase. We compare the evolution of Hα among SN 2009ip-like transients and find possible evidence for orientation angle effects. The light-curvemore »evolution of AT 2016jbusuggests similar, but not identical, circumstellar environments to other SN 2009ip-like transients.« less
  8. We present the spectroscopic and photometric study of five intermediate-luminosity red transients (ILRTs), namely AT 2010dn, AT 2012jc, AT 2013la, AT 2013lb, and AT 2018aes. They share common observational properties and belong to a family of objects similar to the prototypical ILRT SN 2008S. These events have a rise time that is less than 15 days and absolute peak magnitudes of between −11.5 and −14.5 mag. Their pseudo-bolometric light curves peak in the range 0.5–9.0 × 10 40  erg s −1 and their total radiated energies are on the order of (0.3–3) × 10 47 erg. After maximum brightness, the light curves show a monotonic decline or a plateau, resembling those of faint supernovae IIL or IIP, respectively. At late phases, the light curves flatten, roughly following the slope of the 56 Co decay. If the late-time power source is indeed radioactive decay, these transients produce 56 Ni masses on the order of 10 −4 to 10 −3   M ⊙ . The spectral energy distribution of our ILRT sample, extending from the optical to the mid-infrared (MIR) domain, reveals a clear IR excess soon after explosion and non-negligible MIR emission at very late phases. The spectra show prominent H lines in emissionmore »with a typical velocity of a few hundred km s −1 , along with Ca II features. In particular, the [Ca  II ] λ 7291,7324 doublet is visible at all times, which is a characteristic feature for this family of transients. The identified progenitor of SN 2008S, which is luminous in archival Spitzer MIR images, suggests an intermediate-mass precursor star embedded in a dusty cocoon. We propose the explosion of a super-asymptotic giant branch star forming an electron-capture supernova as a plausible explanation for these events.« less
  9. ABSTRACT We present the data and analysis of SN 2018gjx, an unusual low-luminosity transient with three distinct spectroscopic phases. Phase I shows a hot blue spectrum with signatures of ionized circumstellar material (CSM), Phase II has the appearance of broad SN features, consistent with those seen in a Type IIb supernova at maximum light, and Phase III is that of a supernova interacting with helium-rich CSM, similar to a Type Ibn supernova. This event provides an apparently rare opportunity to view the inner workings of an interacting supernova. The observed properties can be explained by the explosion of a star in an aspherical CSM. The initial light is emitted from an extended CSM (∼4000 R⊙), which ionizes the exterior unshocked material. Some days after, the SN photosphere envelops this region, leading to the appearance of a SN IIb. Over time, the photosphere recedes in velocity space, revealing interaction between the supernova ejecta and the CSM that partially obscures the supernova nebular phase. Modelling of the initial spectrum reveals a surface composition consistent with compact H-deficient Wolf–Rayet and Luminous Blue Variable (LBV) stars. Such configurations may not be unusual, with SNe IIb being known to have signs of interaction so at least somemore »SNe IIb and SNe Ibn may be the same phenomena viewed from different angles, or possibly with differing CSM configurations.« less
  10. 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