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First HETDEX Spectroscopic Determinations of Lyα and UV Luminosity Functions at z = 2–3: Bridging a Gap between Faint AGNs and Bright GalaxiesAbstract We present Ly α and ultraviolet (UV)-continuum luminosity functions (LFs) of galaxies and active galactic nuclei (AGNs) at z = 2.0–3.5 determined by the untargeted optical spectroscopic survey of the Hobby–Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX). We combine deep Subaru imaging with HETDEX spectra resulting in 11.4 deg 2 of fiber spectra sky coverage, obtaining 18,320 galaxies spectroscopically identified with Ly α emission, 2126 of which host type 1 AGNs showing broad (FWHM > 1000 km s −1 ) Ly α emission lines. We derive the Ly α (UV) LF over 2 orders of magnitude covering bright galaxies and AGNs in log L Ly α / [ erg s − 1 ] = 43.3 – 45.5 (−27 < M UV < −20) by the 1/ V max estimator. Our results reveal that the bright-end hump of the Ly α LF is composed of type 1 AGNs. In conjunction with previous spectroscopic results at the faint end, we measure a slope of the best-fit Schechter function to be α Sch = − 1.70 − 0.14 + 0.13 , which indicates that α Sch steepens from z = 2–3 toward high redshift. Our UV LF agrees well with previous AGN UVmore »
The Curious Case of ASASSN-20hx: A Slowly Evolving, UV- and X-Ray-Luminous, Ambiguous Nuclear Transient
We present observations of ASASSN-20hx, a nearby ambiguous nuclear transient (ANT) discovered in NGC 6297 by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN). We observed ASASSN-20hx from −30 to 275 days relative to the peak UV/optical emission using high-cadence, multiwavelength spectroscopy and photometry. From Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite data, we determine that the ANT began to brighten on 2020 June 22.8 with a linear rise in flux for at least the first week. ASASSN-20hx peaked in the UV/optical 30 days later on 2020 July 22.8 (MJD = 59052.8) at a bolometric luminosity of
L= (3.15 ± 0.04) × 1043erg s−1. The subsequent decline is slower than any TDE observed to date and consistent with many other ANTs. Compared to an archival X-ray detection, the X-ray luminosity of ASASSN-20hx increased by an order of magnitude to L x∼ 1.5 × 1042erg s−1and then slowly declined over time. The X-ray emission is well fit by a power law with a photon index of Γ ∼ 2.3–2.6. Both the optical and near-infrared spectra of ASASSN-20hx lack emission lines, unusual for any known class of nuclear transient. While ASASSN-20hx has some characteristics seen in both tidal disruption events and active galactic nuclei, it cannot be definitivelymore »
The Hobby–Eberly Telescope (HET) Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX) is undertaking a blind wide-field low-resolution spectroscopic survey of 540 deg2of sky to identify and derive redshifts for a million Ly
α-emitting galaxies in the redshift range 1.9 < z< 3.5. The ultimate goal is to measure the expansion rate of the universe at this epoch, to sharply constrain cosmological parameters and thus the nature of dark energy. A major multiyear Wide-Field Upgrade (WFU) of the HET was completed in 2016 that substantially increased the field of view to 22′ diameter and the pupil to 10 m, by replacing the optical corrector, tracker, and Prime Focus Instrument Package and by developing a new telescope control system. The new, wide-field HET now feeds the Visible Integral-field Replicable Unit Spectrograph (VIRUS), a new low-resolution integral-field spectrograph (LRS2), and the Habitable Zone Planet Finder, a precision near-infrared radial velocity spectrograph. VIRUS consists of 156 identical spectrographs fed by almost 35,000 fibers in 78 integral-field units arrayed at the focus of the upgraded HET. VIRUS operates in a bandpass of 3500−5500 Å with resolving power R≃ 800. VIRUS is the first example of large-scale replication applied to instrumentation in optical astronomy to achieve spectroscopic surveys of very largemore »
The Hobby–Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX) Survey Design, Reductions, and Detections*
We describe the survey design, calibration, commissioning, and emission-line detection algorithms for the Hobby–Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX). The goal of HETDEX is to measure the redshifts of over a million Ly
αemitting galaxies between 1.88 < z< 3.52, in a 540 deg2area encompassing a comoving volume of 10.9 Gpc3. No preselection of targets is involved; instead the HETDEX measurements are accomplished via a spectroscopic survey using a suite of wide-field integral field units distributed over the focal plane of the telescope. This survey measures the Hubble expansion parameter and angular diameter distance, with a final expected accuracy of better than 1%. We detail the project’s observational strategy, reduction pipeline, source detection, and catalog generation, and present initial results for science verification in the Cosmological Evolution Survey, Extended Groth Strip, and Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey North fields. We demonstrate that our data reach the required specifications in throughput, astrometric accuracy, flux limit, and object detection, with the end products being a catalog of emission-line sources, their object classifications, and flux-calibrated spectra.