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  1. Massive black holes (BHs) at the centres of massive galaxies are ubiquitous. The population of BHs within dwarf galaxies, on the other hand, is evasive. Dwarf galaxies are thought to harbour BHs with proportionally small masses, including intermediate mass BHs, with masses 102
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 31, 2023
  2. Abstract

    A large fraction of Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) observations over the next decade will be in the near-infrared (NIR), at wavelengths beyond the reach of the current standard light-curve model for SN Ia cosmology, SALT3 (∼2800–8700 Å central filter wavelength). To harness this new SN Ia sample and reduce future light-curve standardization systematic uncertainties, we train SALT3 at NIR wavelengths (SALT3-NIR) up to 2μm with the open-source model-training softwareSALTshaker, which can easily accommodate future observations. Using simulated data, we show that the training process constrains the NIR model to ∼2%–3% across the phase range (−20 to 50 days). We find that Hubble residual (HR) scatter is smaller using the NIR alone or optical+NIR compared to optical alone, by up to ∼30% depending on filter choice (95% confidence). There is significant correlation between NIR light-curve stretch measurements and luminosity, with stretch and color corrections often improving HR scatter by up to ∼20%. For SN Ia observations expected from the Roman Space Telescope, SALT3-NIR increases the amount of usable data in the SALT framework by ∼20% at redshiftz≲ 0.4 and by ∼50% atz≲ 0.15. The SALT3-NIR model is part of the open-sourceSNCosmoandSNANASN Ia cosmology packages.

  3. Abstract We present multiwavelength observations of the Type II SN 2020pni. Classified at ∼1.3 days after explosion, the object showed narrow (FWHM intensity <250 km s −1 ) recombination lines of ionized helium, nitrogen, and carbon, as typically seen in flash-spectroscopy events. Using the non-LTE radiative transfer code CMFGEN to model our first high-resolution spectrum, we infer a progenitor mass-loss rate of M ̇ = ( 3.5 – 5.3 ) × 10 − 3 M ⊙ yr −1 (assuming a wind velocity of v w = 200 km s −1 ), estimated at a radius of R in = 2.5 × 10 14 cm. In addition, we find that the progenitor of SN 2020pni was enriched in helium and nitrogen (relative abundances in mass fractions of 0.30–0.40 and 8.2 × 10 −3 , respectively). Radio upper limits are also consistent with dense circumstellar material (CSM) and a mass-loss rate of M ̇ > 5 × 10 − 4 M ☉ yr − 1 . During the initial 4 days after first light, we also observe an increase in velocity of the hydrogen lines (from ∼250 to ∼1000 km s −1 ), suggesting complex CSM. The presence of dense and confinedmore »CSM, as well as its inhomogeneous structure, indicates a phase of enhanced mass loss of the progenitor of SN 2020pni during the last year before explosion. Finally, we compare SN 2020pni to a sample of other shock-photoionization events. We find no evidence of correlations among the physical parameters of the explosions and the characteristics of the CSM surrounding the progenitors of these events. This favors the idea that the mass loss experienced by massive stars during their final years could be governed by stochastic phenomena and that, at the same time, the physical mechanisms responsible for this mass loss must be common to a variety of different progenitors.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  4. Abstract

    Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) are more precise standardizable candles when measured in the near-infrared (NIR) than in the optical. With this motivation, from 2012 to 2017 we embarked on the RAISIN program with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to obtain rest-frame NIR light curves for a cosmologically distant sample of 37 SNe Ia (0.2 ≲z≲ 0.6) discovered by Pan-STARRS and the Dark Energy Survey. By comparing higher-zHST data with 42 SNe Ia atz< 0.1 observed in the NIR by the Carnegie Supernova Project, we construct a Hubble diagram from NIR observations (with only time of maximum light and some selection cuts from optical photometry) to pursue a unique avenue to constrain the dark energy equation-of-state parameter,w. We analyze the dependence of the full set of Hubble residuals on the SN Ia host galaxy mass and find Hubble residual steps of size ∼0.06-0.1 mag with 1.5σ−2.5σsignificance depending on the method and step location used. Combining our NIR sample with cosmic microwave background constraints, we find 1 +w= −0.17 ± 0.12 (statistical + systematic errors). The largest systematic errors are the redshift-dependent SN selection biases and the properties of the NIR mass step. We also use these data to measureH0=more »75.9 ± 2.2 km s−1Mpc−1from stars with geometric distance calibration in the hosts of eight SNe Ia observed in the NIR versusH0= 71.2 ± 3.8 km s−1Mpc−1using an inverse distance ladder approach tied to Planck. Using optical data, we find 1 +w= −0.10 ± 0.09, and with optical and NIR data combined, we find 1 +w= −0.06 ± 0.07; these shifts of up to ∼0.11 inwcould point to inconsistency in the optical versus NIR SN models. There will be many opportunities to improve this NIR measurement and better understand systematic uncertainties through larger low-zsamples, new light-curve models, calibration improvements, and eventually by building high-zsamples from the Roman Space Telescope.

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  5. Abstract We present panchromatic observations and modeling of calcium-strong supernovae (SNe) 2021gno in the star-forming host-galaxy NGC 4165 and 2021inl in the outskirts of elliptical galaxy NGC 4923, both monitored through the Young Supernova Experiment transient survey. The light curves of both, SNe show two peaks, the former peak being derived from shock cooling emission (SCE) and/or shock interaction with circumstellar material (CSM). The primary peak in SN 2021gno is coincident with luminous, rapidly decaying X-ray emission ( L x = 5 × 10 41 erg s −1 ) detected by Swift-XRT at δ t = 1 day after explosion, this observation being the second-ever detection of X-rays from a calcium-strong transient. We interpret the X-ray emission in the context of shock interaction with CSM that extends to r < 3 × 10 14 cm. Based on X-ray modeling, we calculate a CSM mass M CSM = (0.3−1.6) × 10 −3 M ⊙ and density n = (1−4) × 10 10 cm −3 . Radio nondetections indicate a low-density environment at larger radii ( r > 10 16 cm) and mass-loss rate of M ̇ < 10 − 4 M ⊙ yr −1 . SCE modeling of both primary light-curvemore »peaks indicates an extended-progenitor envelope mass M e = 0.02−0.05 M ⊙ and radius R e = 30−230 R ⊙ . The explosion properties suggest progenitor systems containing either a low-mass massive star or a white dwarf (WD), the former being unlikely given the lack of local star formation. Furthermore, the environments of both SNe are consistent with low-mass hybrid He/C/O WD + C/O WD mergers.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  6. ABSTRACT We present observations of SN 2020fqv, a Virgo-cluster type II core-collapse supernova (CCSN) with a high temporal resolution light curve from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) covering the time of explosion; ultraviolet (UV) spectroscopy from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) starting 3.3 d post-explosion; ground-based spectroscopic observations starting 1.1 d post-explosion; along with extensive photometric observations. Massive stars have complicated mass-loss histories leading up to their death as CCSNe, creating circumstellar medium (CSM) with which the SNe interact. Observations during the first few days post-explosion can provide important information about the mass-loss rate during the late stages of stellar evolution. Model fits to the quasi-bolometric light curve of SN 2020fqv reveal  0.23 M⊙ of CSM confined within  1450 R⊙ (1014 cm) from its progenitor star. Early spectra (<4 d post-explosion), both from HST and ground-based observatories, show emission features from high-ionization metal species from the outer, optically thin part of this CSM. We find that the CSM is consistent with an eruption caused by the injection of ∼5 × 1046 erg into the stellar envelope ∼300 d pre-explosion, potentially from a nuclear burning instability at the onset of oxygen burning. Light-curve fitting, nebular spectroscopy, and pre-explosion HST imaging consistently point to a red supergiant (RSG)more »progenitor with $M_{\rm ZAMS}\approx 13.5\!-\!15 \, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$, typical for SN II progenitor stars. This finding demonstrates that a typical RSG, like the progenitor of SN 2020fqv, has a complicated mass-loss history immediately before core collapse.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 30, 2023
  7. Abstract We present photometric and spectroscopic observations of Supernova 2020oi (SN 2020oi), a nearby (∼17 Mpc) type-Ic supernova (SN Ic) within the grand-design spiral M100. We undertake a comprehensive analysis to characterize the evolution of SN 2020oi and constrain its progenitor system. We detect flux in excess of the fireball rise model δ t ≈ 2.5 days from the date of explosion in multiband optical and UV photometry from the Las Cumbres Observatory and the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, respectively. The derived SN bolometric luminosity is consistent with an explosion with M ej = 0.81 ± 0.03 M ⊙ , E k = 0.79 ± 0.09 × 10 51 erg s −1 , and M Ni56 = 0.08 ± 0.02 M ⊙ . Inspection of the event’s decline reveals the highest Δ m 15,bol reported for a stripped-envelope event to date. Modeling of optical spectra near event peak indicates a partially mixed ejecta comparable in composition to the ejecta observed in SN 1994I, while the earliest spectrum shows signatures of a possible interaction with material of a distinct composition surrounding the SN progenitor. Further, Hubble Space Telescope pre-explosion imaging reveals a stellar cluster coincident with the event. From the clustermore »photometry, we derive the mass and age of the SN progenitor using stellar evolution models implemented in the BPASS library. Our results indicate that SN 2020oi occurred in a binary system from a progenitor of mass M ZAMS ≈ 9.5 ± 1.0 M ⊙ , corresponding to an age of 27 ± 7 Myr. SN 2020oi is the dimmest SN Ic event to date for which an early-time flux excess has been observed, and the first in which an early excess is unlikely to be associated with shock cooling.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  8. ABSTRACT After correcting for their light-curve shape and colour, Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) are precise cosmological distance indicators. However, there remains a non-zero intrinsic scatter in the differences between measured distance and that inferred from a cosmological model (i.e. Hubble residuals or HRs), indicating that SN Ia distances can potentially be further improved. We use the open-source relational data base kaepora to generate composite spectra with desired average properties of phase, light-curve shape, and HR. At many phases, the composite spectra from two subsamples with positive and negative average HRs are significantly different. In particular, in all spectra from 9 d before to 15 d after peak brightness, we find that SNe with negative HRs have, on average, higher ejecta velocities (as seen in nearly every optical spectral feature) than SNe with positive HRs. At +4 d relative to B-band maximum, using a sample of 62 SNe Ia, we measure a 0.091 ± 0.035 mag (2.7σ) HR step between SNe with Si ii λ6355 line velocities ($v_{Si\, rm{\small II}}$) higher/lower than −11 000 km s−1 (the median velocity). After light-curve shape and colour correction, SNe with higher velocities tend to have underestimated distance moduli relative to a cosmological model. The intrinsic scatter in our sample reduces from 0.094 to 0.082 mag after making thismore »correction. Using the Si ii λ6355 velocity evolution of 115 SNe Ia, we estimate that a velocity difference >500 km s−1 exists at each epoch between the positive-HR and negative-HR samples with 99.4 per cent confidence. Finally at epochs later than +37 d, we observe that negative-HR composite spectra tend to have weaker spectral features in comparison to positive-HR composite spectra.« less