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  1. Abstract We present 1.3 mm (230 GHz) observations of the recent and nearby Type II supernova, SN 2023ixf, obtained with the Submillimeter Array (SMA) at 2.6–18.6 days after explosion. The observations were obtained as part the SMA Large Program, POETS (Pursuit of Extragalactic Transients with the SMA). We do not detect any emission at the location of SN 2023ixf, with the deepest limits of L ν (230 GHz) ≲ 8.6 × 10 25 erg s −1 Hz −1 at 2.7 and 7.7 days, and L ν (230 GHz) ≲ 3.4 × 10 25 erg s −1 Hz −1 at 18.6 days. These limits are about a factor of 2 times dimmer than the millimeter emission from SN 2011dh (IIb), about 1 order of magnitude dimmer compared to SN 1993J (IIb) and SN 2018ivc (IIL), and about 30 times dimmer than the most luminous nonrelativistic SNe in the millimeter band (Type IIb/Ib/Ic). Using these limits in the context of analytical models that include synchrotron self-absorption and free–free absorption, we place constraints on the proximate circumstellar medium around the progenitor star, to a scale of ∼2 × 10 15 cm, excluding the range M ̇ ∼ few × 10 − 6 − 10 − 2 M ⊙ yr −1 (for a wind velocity, v w = 115 km s −1 , and ejecta velocity, v ej ∼ (1 − 2) × 10 4 km s −1 ). These results are consistent with an inference of the mass-loss rate based on optical spectroscopy (∼2 × 10 −2 M ⊙ yr −1 for v w = 115 km s −1 ), but are in tension with the inference from hard X-rays (∼7 × 10 −4 M ⊙ yr −1 for v w = 115 km s −1 ). This tension may be alleviated by a nonhomogeneous and confined CSM, consistent with results from high-resolution optical spectroscopy. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  2. Abstract

    SN 1987A was an unusual hydrogen-rich core-collapse supernova originating from a blue supergiant star. Similar blue supergiant explosions remain a small family of events, and are broadly characterized by their long rises to peak. The Zwicky Transient Facility Census of the Local Universe (CLU) experiment aims to construct a spectroscopically complete sample of transients occurring in galaxies from the CLU galaxy catalog. We identify 13 long-rising (>40 days) Type II supernovae from the volume-limited CLU experiment during a 3.5 yr period from 2018 June to 2021 December, approximately doubling the previously known number of these events. We present photometric and spectroscopic data of these 13 events, finding peakr-band absolute magnitudes ranging from −15.6 to −17.5 mag and the tentative detection of Baiilines in nine events. Using our CLU sample of events, we derive a long-rising Type II supernova rate of1.370.30+0.26×106Mpc−3yr−1, ≈1.4% of the total core-collapse supernova rate. This is the first volumetric rate of these events estimated from a large, systematic, volume-limited experiment.

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  3. Abstract

    One of the open questions following the discovery of GW170817 is whether neutron star (NS) mergers are the only astrophysical sites capable of producingr-process elements. Simulations have shown that 0.01–0.1Mofr-process material could be generated in the outflows originating from the accretion disk surrounding the rapidly rotating black hole that forms as a remnant to both NS mergers and collapsing massive stars associated with long-duration gamma-ray bursts (collapsars). The hallmark signature ofr-process nucleosynthesis in the binary NS merger GW170817 was its long-lasting near-infrared (NIR) emission, thus motivating a systematic photometric study of the light curves of broad-lined stripped-envelope (Ic-BL) supernovae (SNe) associated with collapsars. We present the first systematic study of 25 SNe Ic-BL—including 18 observed with the Zwicky Transient Facility and 7 from the literature—in the optical/NIR bands to determine what quantity ofr-process material, if any, is synthesized in these explosions. Using semi-analytic models designed to account forr-process production in SNe Ic-BL, we perform light curve fitting to derive constraints on ther-process mass for these SNe. We also perform independent light curve fits to models without ther-process. We find that ther-process-free models are a better fit to the light curves of the objects in our sample. Thus, we find no compelling evidence ofr-process enrichment in any of our objects. Further high-cadence infrared photometric studies and nebular spectroscopic analysis would be sensitive to smaller quantities ofr-process ejecta mass or indicate whether all collapsars are completely devoid ofr-process nucleosynthesis.

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  4. Abstract

    We have extracted 636 spectra taken at the positions of 583 transient sources from the third data release of the Hobby–Eberly Telescope Dark Energy eXperiment (HETDEX). The transients were discovered by the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) during 2018–2022. The HETDEX spectra provide a potential means to obtain classifications for a large number of objects found by photometric surveys for free. We attempt to explore and classify the spectra by utilizing several template-matching techniques. We have identified two transient sources, ZTF20aatpoos = AT 2020fiz and ZTF19abdkelq, as supernova (SN) candidates. We classify AT 2020fiz as a Type IIP SN observed ∼10 days after explosion, and we propose ZTF19abdkelq as a likely Type Ia SN caught ∼40 days after maximum light. ZTF photometry of these two sources are consistent with their classifications as SNe. Beside these two objects, we have confirmed several ZTF transients as variable active galactic nuclei based on their spectral appearance, and determined the host galaxy types of several other ZTF transients.

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  5. Abstract

    Terzan 5 is a rich globular cluster within the galactic bulge containing 39 known millisecond pulsars, the largest known population of any globular cluster. These faint pulsars do not have sufficient signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) to measure reliable flux density or polarization information from individual observations in general. We combined over 5.2 days of archival data, at 1500 and 2000 MHz, taken with the Green Bank Telescope over the past 12 years. We created high-S/N profiles for 32 of the pulsars and determined precise rotation measures (RMs) for 28. We used the RMs, pulsar positions, and dispersion measures to map the projected parallel component of the Galactic magnetic field toward the cluster. The 〈B∣∣〉 shows a rough gradient of ∼6 nG arcsec−1(∼160 nG pc−1) or, fractionally, a change of ∼20% in the R.A. direction across the cluster, implying Galactic magnetic field variability at sub-parsec scales. We also measured average flux densitiesSνfor the pulsars, ranging from ∼10μJy to ∼2 mJy, and an average spectral indexα= −1.35, whereSννα. This spectral index is flatter than most known pulsars, likely a selection effect due to the high frequencies used in pulsar searches to mitigate dispersion and scattering. We used flux densities from each observation to constrain the scintillation properties toward the cluster, finding strong refractive modulation on timescales of months. The inferred pulsar luminosity function is roughly power law, with slope(dlogN)/(dlogL)=1at the high-luminosity end. At the low-luminosity end, there are incompleteness effects, implying that Terzan 5 contains many more pulsars.

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  6. We present photometric and spectroscopic observations of the Type IIn supernova SN 2019zrk (also known as ZTF 20aacbyec). The SN shows a > 100 day precursor, with a slow rise, followed by a rapid rise to M  ≈ −19.2 in the r and g bands. The post-peak light-curve decline is well fit with an exponential decay with a timescale of ∼39 days, but it shows prominent undulations, with an amplitude of ∼1 mag. Both the light curve and spectra are dominated by an interaction with a dense circumstellar medium (CSM), probably from previous mass ejections. The spectra evolve from a scattering-dominated Type IIn spectrum to a spectrum with strong P-Cygni absorptions. The expansion velocity is high, ∼16 000 km s −1 , even in the last spectra. The last spectrum ∼110 days after the main eruption reveals no evidence for advanced nucleosynthesis. From analysis of the spectra and light curves, we estimate the mass-loss rate to be ∼4 × 10 −2   M ⊙ yr −1 for a CSM velocity of 100 km s −1 , and a CSM mass of 1  M ⊙ . We find strong similarities for both the precursor, general light curve, and spectral evolution with SN 2009ip and similar SNe, although SN 2019zrk displays a brighter peak magnitude. Different scenarios for the nature of the 09ip-class of SNe, based on pulsational pair instability eruptions, wave heating, and mergers, are discussed. 
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  7. Abstract Tidal disruption events (TDEs) offer a unique way to study dormant black holes. While the number of observed TDEs has grown thanks to the emergence of wide-field surveys in the past few decades, questions regarding the nature of the observed optical, UV, and X-ray emission remain. We present a uniformly selected sample of 30 spectroscopically classified TDEs from the Zwicky Transient Facility Phase I survey operations with follow-up Swift UV and X-ray observations. Through our investigation into correlations between light-curve properties, we recover a shallow positive correlation between the peak bolometric luminosity and decay timescales. We introduce a new spectroscopic class of TDE, TDE-featureless, which are characterized by featureless optical spectra. The new TDE-featureless class shows larger peak bolometric luminosities, peak blackbody temperatures, and peak blackbody radii. We examine the differences between the X-ray bright and X-ray faint populations of TDEs in this sample, finding that X-ray bright TDEs show higher peak blackbody luminosities than the X-ray faint subsample. This sample of optically selected TDEs is the largest sample of TDEs from a single survey yet, and the systematic discovery, classification, and follow-up of this sample allows for robust characterization of TDE properties, an important stepping stone looking forward toward the Rubin era. 
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  8. Abstract Dirty fireballs are a hypothesized class of relativistic massive-star explosions with an initial Lorentz factor Γ init below the Γ init ∼ 100 required to produce a long-duration gamma-ray burst (LGRB), but which could still produce optical emission resembling LGRB afterglows. Here we present the results of a search for on-axis optical afterglows using the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF). Our search yielded seven optical transients that resemble on-axis LGRB afterglows in terms of their red colors ( g − r > 0 mag), faint host galaxies ( r > 23 mag), rapid fading ( dr / dt > 1 mag day −1 ), and in some cases X-ray and radio emission. Spectroscopy of the transient emission within a few days of discovery established cosmological distances (redshift z = 0.876 to 2.9) for six of the seven events, tripling the number of afterglows with redshift measurements discovered by optical surveys without a γ -ray trigger. A likely associated LGRB (GRB 200524A, GRB 210204A, GRB 210212B, and GRB 210610B) was identified for four events (ZTF 20abbiixp/AT 2020kym, ZTF 21aagwbjr/AT 2021buv, ZTF 21aakruew/AT 2021cwd, and ZTF 21abfmpwn/AT 2021qbd) post facto, while three (ZTF 20aajnksq/AT 2020blt, ZTF 21aaeyldq/AT 2021any, and ZTF 21aayokph/AT 2021lfa) had no detected LGRB counterpart. The simplest explanation for the three “orphan” events is that they were regular LGRBs missed by high-energy satellites owing to detector sensitivity and duty cycle, although it is possible that they were intrinsically subluminous in γ -rays or viewed slightly off-axis. We rule out a scenario in which dirty fireballs have a similar energy per solid angle to LGRBs and are an order of magnitude more common. In addition, we set the first direct constraint on the ratio of the opening angles of the material producing γ -rays and the material producing early optical afterglow emission, finding that they must be comparable. 
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  9. Abstract

    We present a search for extragalactic fast blue optical transients (FBOTs) during Phase I of the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF). We identify 38 candidates with durations above half-maximum light 1 day <t1/2< 12 days, of which 28 have blue (gr≲ −0.2 mag) colors at peak light. Of the 38 transients (28 FBOTs), 19 (13) can be spectroscopically classified as core-collapse supernovae (SNe): 11 (8) H- or He-rich (Type II/IIb/Ib) SNe, 6 (4) interacting (Type IIn/Ibn) SNe, and 2 (1) H&He-poor (Type Ic/Ic-BL) SNe. Two FBOTs (published previously) had predominantly featureless spectra and luminous radio emission: AT2018lug (The Koala) and AT2020xnd (The Camel). Seven (five) did not have a definitive classification: AT 2020bdh showed tentative broad Hαin emission, and AT 2020bot showed unidentified broad features and was 10 kpc offset from the center of an early-type galaxy. Ten (eight) have no spectroscopic observations or redshift measurements. We present multiwavelength (radio, millimeter, and/or X-ray) observations for five FBOTs (three Type Ibn, one Type IIn/Ibn, one Type IIb). Additionally, we search radio-survey (VLA and ASKAP) data to set limits on the presence of radio emission for 24 of the transients. All X-ray and radio observations resulted in nondetections; we rule out AT2018cow-like X-ray and radio behavior for five FBOTs and more luminous emission (such as that seen in the Camel) for four additional FBOTs. We conclude that exotic transients similar to AT2018cow, the Koala, and the Camel represent a rare subset of FBOTs and use ZTF’s SN classification experiments to measure the rate to be at most 0.1% of the local core-collapse SN rate.

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