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A core collapse supernova occurs when exothermic fusion ceases in the core of a massive star, which is typically caused by exhaustion of nuclear fuel. Theory predicts that fusion could be interrupted earlier by merging of the star with a compact binary companion. We report a luminous radio transient, VT J121001+495647, found in the Very Large Array Sky Survey. The radio emission is consistent with supernova ejecta colliding with a dense shell of material, potentially ejected by binary interaction in the centuries before explosion. We associate the supernova with an archival x-ray transient, which implies that a relativistic jet was launched during the explosion. The combination of an early relativistic jet and late-time dense interaction is consistent with expectations for a merger-driven explosion.
A comprehensive search for the radio counterpart of GW190814 with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder
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.
In this paper, we discuss the outcomes of the follow-up campaign of SN 2018ijp, discovered as part of the Zwicky Transient Facility survey for optical transients. Its first spectrum shows similarities to broad-lined Type Ic supernovae around maximum light, whereas later spectra display strong signatures of interaction between rapidly expanding ejecta and a dense H-rich circumstellar medium, coinciding with a second peak in the photometric evolution of the transient. This evolution, along with the results of modeling of the first light-curve peak, suggests a scenario where a stripped star exploded within a dense circumstellar medium. The two main phases in the evolution of the transient could be interpreted as a first phase dominated by radioactive decays, and a later interaction-dominated phase where the ejecta collide with a pre-existing shell. We therefore discuss SN 2018jp within the context of a massive star depleted of its outer layers exploding within a dense H-rich circumstellar medium.