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  1. ABSTRACT

    Some galaxies show little to no sign of active galactic nucleus (AGN) activity, yet exhibit strong coronal line (CL) emission relative to common narrow emission lines. Many of these CLs have ionization potentials of ≥100 eV, thus requiring strong extreme ultraviolet and/or soft X-ray flux. It has long been thought that such events are powered by tidal disruption events (TDEs), but owing to a lack of detailed multiwavelength follow-up, such a connection has not been firmly made. Here, we compare coronal line emitters (CLEs) and TDEs in terms of their host-galaxy and transient properties. We find that the mid-infrared (MIR) colours of CLE hosts in quiescence are similar to those of TDE hosts. Additionally, many CLEs show evidence of a large dust reprocessing echo in their MIR colours, a sign of significant dust in the nucleus. The stellar masses and star formation rates of the CLE hosts are largely consistent with TDE hosts, with many CLEs residing within the green valley. The blackbody properties of CLEs and TDEs are similar, with some CLEs showing hot (T ≥ 40 000 K) blackbody temperatures. Finally, the location of CLEs on the peak-luminosity/decline-rate parameter space is much closer to TDEs than many other major classes of nuclear transients. Combined, these provide strong evidence to confirm the previous claims that CLEs are indeed TDEs in gas-rich environments. We additionally propose a stricter threshold of CL flux ≥1/3 × [O iii] flux to better exclude AGNs from the sample of CLEs.

     
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  2. ABSTRACT

    We used Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) data to identify 29 candidate active galactic nuclei (AGNs) through their optical variability. The high-cadence, high-precision TESS light curves present an opportunity for the identification of AGNs, including those not selected through other methods. Of the candidates, we found that 18 have either previously been identified as AGNs in the literature or could have been selected based on emission-line diagnostics, mid-IR colours, or X-ray luminosity. AGNs in low-mass galaxies offer a unique window into supermassive black hole and galaxy co-evolution and 8 of the 29 candidates have estimated black hole masses ≲ 106 M⊙. The low-mass galaxies NGC 4395 and NGC 4449 are two of our five ‘high-confidence’ candidates. Since our initial sample largely draws from just nine TESS sectors, we expect to identify at least ∼45 more candidates in the TESS primary and extended mission data sets, of which ∼60 per cent will be new AGNs and ∼20 per cent will be in low-mass galaxies.

     
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  3. Abstract

    ASASSN-14ko is a nuclear transient at the center of the AGN ESO 253−G003 that undergoes periodic flares. Optical flares were first observed in 2014 by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN) and their peak times are well-modeled with a period of115.21.2+1.3days and period derivative of −0.0026 ± 0.0006. Here we present ASAS-SN, Chandra, HST/STIS, NICER, Swift, and TESS data for the flares that occurred on 2020 December, 2021 April, 2021 July, and 2021 November. These four flares represent flares 18–21 of the total number of flares observed by ASAS-SN so far since 2014. The HST/STIS UV spectra evolve from blueshifted broad absorption features to redshifted broad emission features over ∼10 days. The Swift UV/optical light curves peaked as predicted by the timing model, but the peak UV luminosities that varied between flares and the UV flux in Flare 20 were roughly half the brightness of the other peaks. The X-ray luminosities consistently decreased and the spectra became harder during the UV/optical rise, but apparently without changes in absorption. Finally, two high-cadence TESS light curves from Flare 18 and Flare 12 showed that the slopes during the rising and declining phases changed over time, which indicates some stochasticity in the flare’s driving mechanism. Although ASASSN-14ko remains observationally consistent with a repeating partial tidal disruption event, these rich multi-wavelength data are in need of a detailed theoretical model.

     
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  4. ABSTRACT

    We analyse high-cadence data from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) of the ambiguous nuclear transient (ANT) ASASSN-18el. The optical changing-look phenomenon in ASASSN-18el has been argued to be due to either a drastic change in the accretion rate of the existing active galactic nucleus (AGN) or the result of a tidal disruption event (TDE). Throughout the TESS observations, short-time-scale stochastic variability is seen, consistent with an AGN. We are able to fit the TESS light curve with a damped-random-walk (DRW) model and recover a rest-frame variability amplitude of $\hat{\sigma } = 0.93 \pm 0.02$ mJy and a rest-frame time-scale of $\tau _{DRW} = 20^{+15}_{-6}$ d. We find that the estimated τDRW for ASASSN-18el is broadly consistent with an apparent relationship between the DRW time-scale and central supermassive black hole mass. The large-amplitude stochastic variability of ASASSN-18el, particularly during late stages of the flare, suggests that the origin of this ANT is likely due to extreme AGN activity rather than a TDE.

     
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  5. Abstract

    We present a spectroscopic analysis of 44 low-luminosity host galaxies of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) detected by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN), using hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur emission lines to measure metallicities and star formation rates. We find no statistically significant evidence that the star formation activity and metallicities of the galaxies in our sample are inconsistent with galaxies of similar luminosities and masses. We identify two 3σoutlier galaxies that have high metallicities for their stellar masses, but find that their other properties are consistent with general galaxies. The overall consistency between our sample and general galaxy samples further strengthens the evidence from more luminous SN Ia host galaxy samples that SN Ia host galaxies are typical.

     
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  6. ABSTRACT

    We present the discovery that ATLAS18mlw was a tidal disruption event (TDE) in the galaxy WISEA J073544.83+663717.3, at a luminosity distance of 334 Mpc. Initially discovered by the Asteroid Terrestrial Impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) on 2018 March 17.3, the TDE nature of the transient was uncovered only recently with the re-reduction of a SuperNova Integral Field Spectrograph (SNIFS) spectrum. This spectrum, taken by the Spectral Classification of Astronomical Transients (SCAT) survey, shows a strong blue continuum and a broad H α emission line. Here, we present roughly 6 yr of optical survey photometry beginning before the TDE to constrain active galactic nucleus activity, optical spectroscopy of the transient, and a detailed study of the host galaxy properties through analysis of archival photometry and a host spectrum. ATLAS18mlw was detected in ground-based light curves for roughly 2 months. From a blackbody fit to the transient spectrum and bolometric correction of the optical light curve, we conclude that ATLAS18mlw is best explained by a low-luminosity TDE with a peak luminosity of log(L [erg s−1]) = 43.5 ± 0.2. The TDE classification is further supported by the quiescent Balmer strong nature of the host galaxy. We also calculated the TDE decline rate from the bolometric light curve and find ΔL40 = −0.7 ± 0.2 dex, making ATLAS18mlw a member of the growing class of ‘faint and fast’ TDEs with low peak luminosities and fast decline rates.

     
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  7. Abstract

    We present the characterization of the low-gravity M6 dwarf 2MASS J06195260-2903592, previously identified as an unusual field object based on its strong IR excess and variable near-IR spectrum. Multiple epochs of low-resolution (R≈ 150) near-IR spectra show large-amplitude (≈0.1–0.5 mag) continuum variations on timescales of days to 12 yr, unlike the small-amplitude variability typical for field ultracool dwarfs. The variations between epochs are well-modeled as changes in the relative extinction (ΔAV≈ 2 mag). Similarly, Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System 1 optical photometry varies on timescales as long as 11 yr (and possibly as short as an hour) and implies comparableAVchanges. Near Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mid-IR light curves also suggest changes on 6 month timescales, with amplitudes consistent with the optical/near-IR extinction variations. However, near-IR spectra, near-IR photometry, and optical photometry obtained in the past year indicate that the source can also be stable on hourly and monthly timescales. From comparison to objects of similar spectral type, the total extinction of 2MASS J0619-2903 seems to beAV≈ 4–6 mag, with perhaps epochs of lower extinction. Gaia Early Data Release 3 (EDR3) finds that 2MASS J0619-2903 has a wide-separation (1.′2 = 10,450 au) stellar companion, with an isochronal age of3110+22Myr and a mass of0.300.03+0.04M. Adopting this companion’s age and EDR3 distance (145.2 ± 0.6 pc), we estimate a mass of 0.11–0.17Mfor 2MASS J0619-2903. Altogether, 2MASS J0619-2903 appears to possess an unusually long-lived primordial circumstellar disk, perhaps making it a more obscured analog to the “Peter Pan” disks found around a few M dwarfs in nearby young moving groups.

     
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  8. ABSTRACT

    We present photometric and spectroscopic observations and analysis of SN 2021bxu (ATLAS21dov), a low-luminosity, fast-evolving Type IIb supernova (SN). SN 2021bxu is unique, showing a large initial decline in brightness followed by a short plateau phase. With $M_r = -15.93 \pm 0.16\, \mathrm{mag}$ during the plateau, it is at the lower end of the luminosity distribution of stripped-envelope supernovae (SE-SNe) and shows a distinct ∼10 d plateau not caused by H- or He-recombination. SN 2021bxu shows line velocities which are at least $\sim 1500\, \mathrm{km\, s^{-1}}$ slower than typical SE-SNe. It is photometrically and spectroscopically similar to Type IIb SNe during the photospheric phases of evolution, with similarities to Ca-rich IIb SNe. We find that the bolometric light curve is best described by a composite model of shock interaction between the ejecta and an envelope of extended material, combined with a typical SN IIb powered by the radioactive decay of 56Ni. The best-fitting parameters for SN 2021bxu include a 56Ni mass of $M_{\mathrm{Ni}} = 0.029^{+0.004}_{-0.005}\, \mathrm{{\rm M}_{\odot }}$, an ejecta mass of $M_{\mathrm{ej}} = 0.61^{+0.06}_{-0.05}\, \mathrm{{\rm M}_{\odot }}$, and an ejecta kinetic energy of $K_{\mathrm{ej}} = 8.8^{+1.1}_{-1.0} \times 10^{49}\, \mathrm{erg}$. From the fits to the properties of the extended material of Ca-rich IIb SNe we find a trend of decreasing envelope radius with increasing envelope mass. SN 2021bxu has MNi on the low end compared to SE-SNe and Ca-rich SNe in the literature, demonstrating that SN 2021bxu-like events are rare explosions in extreme areas of parameter space. The progenitor of SN 2021bxu is likely a low-mass He star with an extended envelope.

     
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  9. Abstract

    ASASSN-14ko is a recently discovered periodically flaring transient at the center of the active galactic nucleus (AGN) ESO 253−G003 with a slowly decreasing period. Here, we show that the flares originate from the northern, brighter nucleus in this dual-AGN, post-merger system. The light curves for the two flares that occurred in 2020 May and September are nearly identical over all wavelengths. For both events, Swift observations showed that the UV and optical wavelengths brightened in unison. The effective temperature of the UV/optical emission rises and falls with the increase and subsequent decline in the luminosity. The X-ray flux, by contrast, first rapidly drops over ∼2.6 days, rises for ∼5.8 days, drops again over ∼4.3 days, and then recovers. The X-ray spectral evolution of the two flares differ, however. During the 2020 May peak the spectrum softened with increases in the X-ray luminosity, while we observed the reverse for the 2020 September peak. We found a small change in the period derivative, which seems to indicate that the system does not have a static period derivative and there is some stochasticity in its evolution.

     
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  10. Abstract

    We present optical, infrared, ultraviolet, and radio observations of SN 2022xkq, an underluminous fast-declining Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) in NGC 1784 (D≈ 31 Mpc), from <1 to 180 days after explosion. The high-cadence observations of SN 2022xkq, a photometrically transitional and spectroscopically 91bg-like SN Ia, cover the first days and weeks following explosion, which are critical to distinguishing between explosion scenarios. The early light curve of SN 2022xkq has a red early color and exhibits a flux excess that is more prominent in redder bands; this is the first time such a feature has been seen in a transitional/91bg-like SN Ia. We also present 92 optical and 19 near-infrared (NIR) spectra, beginning 0.4 days after explosion in the optical and 2.6 days after explosion in the NIR. SN 2022xkq exhibits a long-lived Ci1.0693μm feature that persists until 5 days post-maximum. We also detect Ciiλ6580 in the pre-maximum optical spectra. These lines are evidence for unburnt carbon that is difficult to reconcile with the double detonation of a sub-Chandrasekhar mass white dwarf. No existing explosion model can fully explain the photometric and spectroscopic data set of SN 2022xkq, but the considerable breadth of the observations is ideal for furthering our understanding of the processes that produce faint SNe Ia.

     
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