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  1. An advanced LIGO and Virgo’s third observing run brought another binary neutron star merger (BNS) and the first neutron-star black hole mergers. While no confirmed kilonovae were identified in conjunction with any of these events, continued improvements of analyses surrounding GW170817 allow us to project constraints on the Hubble Constant (H0), the Galactic enrichment fromr-process nucleosynthesis, and ultra-dense matter possible from forthcoming events. Here, we describe the expected constraints based on the latest expected event rates from the international gravitational-wave network and analyses of GW170817. We show the expected detection rate of gravitational waves and their counterparts, as well as how sensitive potential constraints are to the observed numbers of counterparts. We intend this analysis as support for the community when creating scientifically driven electromagnetic follow-up proposals. During the next observing run O4, we predict an annual detection rate of electromagnetic counterparts from BNS of0.430.26+0.58(1.971.2+2.68) for the Zwicky Transient Facility (Rubin Observatory).

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 21, 2024
  2. Abstract

    While the vast majority of tidal disruption events (TDEs) have been identified by wide-field sky surveys in the optical and X-ray bands, recent studies indicate that a considerable fraction of TDEs may be dust obscured and thus preferentially detected in the infrared (IR) wave bands. In this Letter, we present the discovery of a luminous mid-IR nuclear flare (termed WTP14adbjsh), identified in a systematic transient search of archival images from the NEOWISE mid-IR survey. The source reached a peak luminosity ofL≃ 1043erg s−1at 4.6μm in 2015 before fading in the IR with a TDE-likeFt−5/3decline, radiating a total of more than 3 × 1051erg in the last 7 yr. The transient event took place in the nearby galaxy NGC 7392, at a distance of around 42 Mpc; yet, no optical or X-ray flare is detected. We interpret the transient as the nearest TDE candidate detected in the last decade, which was missed at other wavelengths due to dust obscuration, hinting at the existence of TDEs that have been historically overlooked. Unlike most previously detected TDEs, the transient was discovered in a star-forming galaxy, corroborating earlier suggestions that dust obscuration suppresses significantly the detection of TDEs in these environments. Our results demonstrate that the study of IR-detected TDEs is critical in order to obtain a complete understanding of the physics of TDEs and to conclude whether TDEs occur preferentially in a particular class of galaxies.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 28, 2024
  3. 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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  4. Abstract

    The fate of stars in the zero-age main-sequence (ZAMS) range ≈8–12Mis unclear. They could evolve to form white dwarfs or explode as electron-capture supernovae (SNe) or iron core-collapse SNe (CCSNe). Even though the initial mass function indicates that this mass range should account for over 40% of all CCSN progenitors, few have been observationally confirmed, likely due to the faintness and rapid evolution of some of these transients. In this paper, we present a sample of nine Ca-rich/O-poor Type IIb SNe detected by the Zwicky Transient Facility with progenitors likely in this mass range. These sources have a [Caii]λλ7291, 7324/[Oi]λλ6300, 6364 flux ratio of ≳2 in their nebular spectra. Comparing the measured [Oi] luminosity (≲1039erg s−1) and derived oxygen mass (≈0.01M) with theoretical models, we infer that the progenitor ZAMS mass for these explosions is less than 12M. The ejecta properties (Mej≲ 1MandEkin∼ 1050erg) are also consistent. The low ejecta mass of these sources indicates a class of strongly-stripped SNe that is a transition between the regular stripped-envelope SNe and ultra-stripped SNe. The progenitor could be stripped by a main-sequence companion and result in the formation of a neutron star−main sequence binary. Such binaries have been suggested to be progenitors of neutron star−white dwarf systems that could merge within a Hubble time and be detectable with LISA.

     
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  5. 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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  6. Holland, Andrew D. ; Beletic, James (Ed.)
    The Wide-Field Infrared Transient Explorer (WINTER) is a new time-domain instrument which will perform a seeing-limited survey of the near-infrared sky. Deployed on a dedicated 1-meter robotic telescope at Palomar Observatory, WINTER is designed to study transients of particular interest in the near-infrared including kilo-novae from gravitational-wave sources, supernovae, tidal disruption events, and transiting exoplanets around low mass stars with surveys to a depth of J=21 magnitudes. WINTER's custom camera combines six commercial large-format Indium Gallium Arsenide (InGaAs) sensors, observing in Y, J, and a short-H (Hs) band filters (0.9-1.7 microns), and employs a novel tiled optical design to cover a >1 degree squared field of view with 90% fill factor. Each wide-format (1920 x 1080 pixels) InGaAs sensor operates at T = -50°C with a thermoelectric cooler, achieving background-limited photometry without cryogenic cooling. The tiled InGaAs sensors result in a wide field-of-view instrument with significant cost savings when compared to HgCdTe sensors. We present WINTER's novel readout scheme, which includes custom electronics, firmware, and software for low-noise, real-time readout of the InGaAs sensors, including up to a 30x speed up of data reduction using GPUs. This work also outlines the cooling design for warm (T = -50°C) operation of the sensors with a two-stage thermometric cooler, copper heat pipes, and liquid cooling. We conclude with updates on the alignment, integration, and test of the WINTER instrument with a projected first light in Fall 2022. 
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  7. Abstract

    We analyze pre-explosion near- and mid-infrared (IR) imaging of the site of SN 2023ixf in the nearby spiral galaxy M101 and characterize the candidate progenitor star. The star displays compelling evidence of variability with a possible period of ≈1000 days and an amplitude of Δm≈ 0.6 mag in extensive monitoring with the Spitzer Space Telescope since 2004, likely indicative of radial pulsations. Variability consistent with this period is also seen in the near-IRJandKsbands between 2010 and 2023, up to just 10 days before the explosion. Beyond the periodic variability, we do not find evidence for any IR-bright pre-supernova outbursts in this time period. The IR brightness (MKs=10.7mag) and color (JKs= 1.6 mag) of the star suggest a luminous and dusty red supergiant. Modeling of the phase-averaged spectral energy distribution (SED) yields constraints on the stellar temperature (Teff=35001400+800K) and luminosity (logL/L=5.1±0.2). This places the candidate among the most luminous Type II supernova progenitors with direct imaging constraints, with the caveat that many of these rely only on optical measurements. Comparison with stellar evolution models gives an initial mass ofMinit= 17 ± 4M. We estimate the pre-supernova mass-loss rate of the star between 3 and 19 yr before explosion from the SED modeling atṀ3×105to 3 × 10−4Myr−1for an assumed wind velocity ofvw= 10 km s−1, perhaps pointing to enhanced mass loss in a pulsation-driven wind.

     
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  8. Abstract

    We report the detection and interferometric localization of the repeating fast radio burst (FRB) source FRB 20220912A during commissioning observations with the Deep Synoptic Array (DSA-110). Two bursts were detected from FRB 20220912A, one each on 2022 October 18 and 2022 October 25. The best-fit position is (R.A. J2000, decl. J2000) = (23:09:04.9, +48:42:25.4), with a 90% confidence error ellipse with radii ±2″ and ±1″ in R.A. and decl., respectively. The two bursts are polarized, and we find a Faraday rotation measure that is consistent with the low value of +0.6 rad m−2reported by CHIME/FRB. The DSA-110 localization overlaps with the galaxy PSO J347.2702+48.7066 at a redshiftz= 0.0771, which we identify as the likely host. PSO J347.2702+48.7066 has a stellar mass of approximately 1010M, modest internal dust extinction, and a star formation rate likely in excess of 0.1Myr−1. The host-galaxy contribution to the dispersion measure is likely ≲50 pc cm−3. The FRB 20220912A source is therefore likely viewed along a tenuous plasma column through the host galaxy.

     
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  9. 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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  10. Abstract

    Luminous red novae (LRNe) are transients characterized by low luminosities and expansion velocities, and they are associated with mergers or common-envelope ejections in stellar binaries. Intermediate-luminosity red transients (ILRTs) are an observationally similar class with unknown origins, but they are generally believed to be either electron-capture supernovae in super-asymptotic giant branch stars or outbursts in dusty luminous blue variables (LBVs). In this paper, we present a systematic sample of eight LRNe and eight ILRTs detected as part of the Census of the Local Universe (CLU) experiment on the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF). The CLU experiment spectroscopically classifies ZTF transients associated with nearby (<150 Mpc) galaxies, achieving 80% completeness formr< 20 mag. Using the ZTF-CLU sample, we derive the first systematic LRNe volumetric rate of7.83.7+6.5×105Mpc−3yr−1in the luminosity range −16 ≤Mr≤ −11 mag. We find that, in this luminosity range, the LRN rate scales asdN/dLL2.5±0.3—significantly steeper than the previously derived scaling ofL−1.4±0.3for lower-luminosity LRNe (MV≥ −10 mag). The steeper power law for LRNe at high luminosities is consistent with the massive merger rates predicted by binary population synthesis models. We find that the rates of the brightest LRNe (Mr≤ −13 mag) are consistent with a significant fraction of them being progenitors of double compact objects that merge within a Hubble time. For ILRTs, we derive a volumetric rate of2.61.4+1.8×106Mpc−3yr−1forMr≤ −13.5 mag, which scales asdN/dLL2.5±0.5. This rate is ∼1%–5% of the local core-collapse supernova rate and is consistent with theoretical ECSN rate estimates.

     
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