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  1. Abstract We report on the observations, analysis and interpretation of the microlensing event MOA-2019-BLG-008. The observed anomaly in the photometric light curve is best described through a binary lens model. In this model, the source did not cross caustics and no finite-source effects were observed. Therefore, the angular Einstein ring radius θ E cannot be measured from the light curve alone. However, the large event duration, t E ∼ 80 days, allows a precise measurement of the microlensing parallax π E . In addition to the constraints on the angular radius θ * and the apparent brightness I s of the source, we employ the Besançon and GalMod galactic models to estimate the physical properties of the lens. We find excellent agreement between the predictions of the two galactic models: the companion is likely a resident of the brown dwarf desert with a mass M p ∼ 30 M Jup , and the host is a main-sequence dwarf star. The lens lies along the line of sight to the Galactic bulge, at a distance of ≤4 kpc. We estimate that in about 10 yr the lens and source will be separated by ∼55 mas, and it will be possible tomore »confirm the exact nature of the lensing system by using high-resolution imaging from ground- or space-based observatories.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 2, 2023
  2. ABSTRACT We present the first intensive continuum reverberation mapping study of the high accretion-rate Seyfert galaxy Mrk 110. The source was monitored almost daily for more than 200 d with the Swift X-ray and ultraviolet (UV)/optical telescopes, supported by ground-based observations from Las Cumbres Observatory, the Liverpool Telescope, and the Zowada Observatory, thus extending the wavelength coverage to 9100 Å. Mrk 110 was found to be significantly variable at all wavebands. Analysis of the intraband lags reveals two different behaviours, depending on the time-scale. On time-scales shorter than 10 d the lags, relative to the shortest UV waveband (∼1928 Å), increase with increasing wavelength up to a maximum of ∼2 d lag for the longest waveband (∼9100 Å), consistent with the expectation from disc reverberation. On longer time-scales, however, the g-band lags the Swift BAT hard X-rays by ∼10 d, with the z-band lagging the g-band by a similar amount, which cannot be explained in terms of simple reprocessing from the accretion disc. We interpret this result as an interplay between the emission from the accretion disc and diffuse continuum radiation from the broad-line region.
  3. ABSTRACT We present multiwavelength spectral and temporal variability analysis of PKS 0027-426 using optical griz observations from Dark Energy Survey between 2013 and 2018 and VEILS Optical Light curves of Extragalactic TransienT Events (VOILETTE) between 2018 and 2019 and near-infrared (NIR) JKs observations from Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy Extragalactic Infrared Legacy Survey (VEILS) between 2017 and 2019. Multiple methods of cross-correlation of each combination of light curve provides measurements of possible lags between optical–optical, optical–NIR, and NIR–NIR emission, for each observation season and for the entire observational period. Inter-band time lag measurements consistently suggest either simultaneous emission or delays between emission regions on time-scales smaller than the cadences of observations. The colour–magnitude relation between each combination of filters was also studied to determine the spectral behaviour of PKS 0027-426. Our results demonstrate complex colour behaviour that changes between bluer when brighter, stable when brighter, and redder when brighter trends over different time-scales and using different combinations of optical filters. Additional analysis of the optical spectra is performed to provide further understanding of this complex spectral behaviour.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 8, 2023
  4. ABSTRACT We present results of time-series analysis of the first year of the Fairall 9 intensive disc-reverberation campaign. We used Swift and the Las Cumbres Observatory global telescope network to continuously monitor Fairall 9 from X-rays to near-infrared at a daily to subdaily cadence. The cross-correlation function between bands provides evidence for a lag spectrum consistent with the τ ∝ λ4/3 scaling expected for an optically thick, geometrically thin blackbody accretion disc. Decomposing the flux into constant and variable components, the variable component’s spectral energy distribution is slightly steeper than the standard accretion disc prediction. We find evidence at the Balmer edge in both the lag and flux spectra for an additional bound-free continuum contribution that may arise from reprocessing in the broad-line region. The inferred driving light curve suggests two distinct components, a rapidly variable (<4 d) component arising from X-ray reprocessing, and a more slowly varying (>100 d) component with an opposite lag to the reverberation signal.
  5. Abstract We have recently initiated the first spectroscopic dust reverberation programme on active galactic nuclei in the near-infrared. Spectroscopy enables measurement of dust properties, such as flux, temperature, and covering factor, with higher precision than photometry. In particular, it enables measurement of both luminosity-based dust radii and dust response times. Here we report results from a 1 yr campaign on NGC 5548. The hot dust responds to changes in the irradiating flux with a lag time of ∼70 light-days, similar to what was previously found in photometric reverberation campaigns. The mean and rms spectra are similar, implying that the same dust component dominates both the emission and the variations. The dust lag time is consistent with the luminosity-based dust radius only if we assume a wavelength-independent dust emissivity law, i.e. a blackbody, which is appropriate for grains of large sizes (of a few μm). For such grains the dust temperature is ∼1450 K. Therefore, silicate grains have most likely evaporated and carbon is the main chemical component. But the hot dust is not close to its sublimation temperature, contrary to popular belief. This is further supported by our observation of temperature variations largely consistent with a heating/cooling process. Therefore, the inner dust-free regionmore »is enlarged and the dusty torus rather a ‘dusty wall’, whose inner radius is expected to be luminosity-invariant. The dust-destruction mechanism that enlarges the dust-free region seems to also partly affect the dusty region. We observe a cyclical decrease in dust mass with implied dust reformation times of ∼5–6 months.« less
  6. Gaia16aye was a binary microlensing event discovered in the direction towards the northern Galactic disc and was one of the first microlensing events detected and alerted to by the Gaia space mission. Its light curve exhibited five distinct brightening episodes, reaching up to I  = 12 mag, and it was covered in great detail with almost 25 000 data points gathered by a network of telescopes. We present the photometric and spectroscopic follow-up covering 500 days of the event evolution. We employed a full Keplerian binary orbit microlensing model combined with the motion of Earth and Gaia around the Sun to reproduce the complex light curve. The photometric data allowed us to solve the microlensing event entirely and to derive the complete and unique set of orbital parameters of the binary lensing system. We also report on the detection of the first-ever microlensing space-parallax between the Earth and Gaia located at L2. The properties of the binary system were derived from microlensing parameters, and we found that the system is composed of two main-sequence stars with masses 0.57 ± 0.05 M ⊙ and 0.36 ± 0.03 M ⊙ at 780 pc, with an orbital period of 2.88 years and an eccentricitymore »of 0.30. We also predict the astrometric microlensing signal for this binary lens as it will be seen by Gaia as well as the radial velocity curve for the binary system. Events such as Gaia16aye indicate the potential for the microlensing method of probing the mass function of dark objects, including black holes, in directions other than that of the Galactic bulge. This case also emphasises the importance of long-term time-domain coordinated observations that can be made with a network of heterogeneous telescopes.« less