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  1. ABSTRACT We introduce a new model for understanding AGN continuum variability. We start from a Shakura–Sunyaev thin accretion disc with a steady-state radial temperature profile T(R) and assume that the variable flux is due to axisymmetric temperature perturbations δT(R, t). After linearizing the equations, we fit UV–optical AGN light curves to determine δT(R, t) for a sample of seven AGNs. We see a diversity of |δT/T| ∼ 0.1 fluctuation patterns which are not dominated by outgoing waves travelling at the speed of light as expected for the ‘lamppost’ model used to interpret disc reverberation mapping studies. Rather, the most common pattern resemblesmore »slow (v ≪ c) ingoing waves. An explanation for our findings is that these ingoing waves trigger central temperature fluctuations that act as a lamppost, producing lower amplitude temperature fluctuations moving outwards at the speed of light. The light curves are dominated by the lamppost signal – even though the temperature fluctuations are dominated by other structures with similar variability time-scales – because the discs exponentially smooth the contributions from the slower moving (v ≪ c) fluctuations to the observed light curves. This leads to light curves that closely resemble the expectations for a lamppost model but with the slow variability time-scales of the ingoing waves. This also implies that longer time-scale variability signals will increasingly diverge from lamppost models because the smoothing of slower moving waves steadily decreases as their period or spatial wavelength increases.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 27, 2023
  2. ABSTRACT With Gaia parallaxes, it is possible to study the stellar populations associated with individual Galactic supernova remnants (SNRs) to estimate the mass of the exploding star. Here, we analyse the luminous stars near the Vela pulsar and SNR to find that its progenitor was probably ($\mathrel {\raise.3ex\rm{\gt }\lower0.6ex\rm{\sim }}90\rm \,per\,cent$) low mass (8.1–$10.3\, {\rm M}_\odot$). The presence of the O star γ2 Vel a little over 100 pc from Vela is the primary ambiguity, as including it in the analysis volume significantly increases the probability (to 5 per cent) of higher mass ($\gt 20\, {\rm M}_\odot$) progenitors. However, to be a high-mass starmore »associated with γ2 Vel’s star cluster at birth, the progenitor would have to be a runaway star from an unbound binary with an unusually high velocity. The primary impediment to analysing large numbers of Galactic SNRs in this manner is the lack of accurate distances. This can likely be solved by searching for absorption lines from the SNR in stars as a function of distance, a method which yielded a distance to Vela in agreement with the direct pulsar parallax. If Vela was a $10\, {\rm M}_\odot$ supernova in an external galaxy, the 50-pc search region used in extragalactic studies would contain only $\simeq 10\rm \,per\,cent$ of the stars formed in a 50-pc region around the progenitor at birth and $\simeq 90\rm \,per\,cent$ of the stars in the search region would have been born elsewhere.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 21, 2023
  3. ABSTRACT As part of an All-Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN) search for sources with large flux decrements, we discovered a transient where the quiescent, stellar source ASASSN-V J192114.84+624950.8 rapidly decreased in flux by $\sim 55{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ (∼0.9 mag) in the g band. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite light curve revealed that the source is a highly eccentric, eclipsing binary. Fits to the light curve using phoebe find the binary orbit to have e = 0.79, Porb = 18.462 d, and i = 88.6°, and the ratios of the stellar radii and temperatures to be R2/R1 = 0.71 and Te,2/Te,1 = 0.82. Both starsmore »are chromospherically active, allowing us to determine their rotational periods of P1 = 1.52 d and P2 = 1.79 d, respectively. A Large Binocular Telescope/Multi-Object Double Spectrograph spectrum shows that the primary is a late-G- or early-K-type dwarf. Fits to the spectral energy distribution show that the luminosities and temperatures of the two stars are L1 = 0.48 L⊙, $T_1= 5050\, \mathrm{K}$, L2 = 0.12 L⊙, and $T_{2} = 4190\, \mathrm{K}$. We conclude that ASASSN-V J192114.84+624950.8 consists of two chromospherically active, rotational variable stars in a highly elliptical eclipsing orbit.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 2, 2023
  4. Abstract We present three new spectra of the nearby Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) 2011fe covering ≈480–850 days after maximum light and show that the ejecta undergoes a rapid ionization shift at ∼500 days after explosion. The prominent Fe iii emission lines at ≈4600 Å are replaced with Fe i +Fe ii blends at ∼4400 Å and ∼5400 Å. The ≈7300 Å feature, which is produced by [Fe ii ]+[Ni ii ] at ≲400 days after explosion, is replaced by broad (≈±15,000 km s −1 ) symmetric [Ca ii ] emission. Models predict this ionization transition occurring ∼100 days latermore »than what is observed, which we attribute to clumping in the ejecta. Finally, we use the nebular-phase spectra to test several proposed progenitor scenarios for SN 2011fe. Nondetections of H and He exclude nearby nondegenerate companions, [O i ] nondetections disfavor the violent merger of two white dwarfs, and the symmetric emission-line profiles favor a symmetric explosion.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  5. ABSTRACT The fraction of stars that are in binaries or triples at the time of stellar death and the fraction of these systems that survive the supernova explosion are crucial constraints for evolution models and predictions for gravitational wave source populations. These fractions are also subject to direct observational determination. Here, we search 10 supernova remnants containing compact objects with proper motions for unbound binaries or triples using Gaia EDR3 and new statistical methods and tests for false positives. We confirm the one known example of an unbound binary, HD 37424 in G180.0−01.7, and find no other examples. Combining this withmore »our previous searches for bound and unbound binaries, and assuming no bias in favour of finding interacting binaries, we find that 72.0 per cent (52.2–86.4 per cent, 90 per cent confidence) of supernova producing neutron stars are not binaries at the time of explosion, 13.9 per cent (5.4–27.2 per cent) produce bound binaries, and 12.5 per cent (2.8–31.3 per cent) produce unbound binaries. With a strong bias in favour of finding interacting binaries, the medians shift to 76.0 per cent were not binaries at death, 9.5 per cent leave bound binaries, and 13.2 per cent leave unbound binaries. Of explosions that do not leave binaries, ${\lt}18.9{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ can be fully unbound triples. These limits are conservatively for $M\gt 5\, \mathrm{M}_\odot$ companions, although the mass limits for some individual systems are significantly stronger. At birth, the progenitor of PSR J0538+2817 was probably a 13–$19\, \mathrm{M}_\odot$ star, and at the time of explosion, it was probably a Roche limited, partially stripped star transferring mass to HD 37424 and then producing a Type IIL or IIb supernova.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 20, 2022
  6. Abstract We present the first results from Citizen ASAS-SN, a citizen science project for the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN) hosted on the Zooniverse platform. Citizen ASAS-SN utilizes the newer, deeper, higher cadence ASAS-SN g -band data and tasks volunteers to classify periodic variable star candidates based on their phased light curves. We started from 40,640 new variable candidates from an input list of ∼7.4 million stars with δ < −60° and the volunteers identified 10,420 new discoveries which they classified as 4234 pulsating variables, 3132 rotational variables, 2923 eclipsing binaries, and 131 variables flagged as Unknown. They classifiedmore »known variable stars with an accuracy of 89% for pulsating variables, 81% for eclipsing binaries, and 49% for rotational variables. We examine user performance, agreement between users, and compare the citizen science classifications with our machine learning classifier updated for the g -band light curves. In general, user activity correlates with higher classification accuracy and higher user agreement. We used the user’s “Junk” classifications to develop an effective machine learning classifier to separate real from false variables, and there is a clear path for using this “Junk” training set to significantly improve our primary machine learning classifier. We also illustrate the value of Citizen ASAS-SN for identifying unusual variables with several examples.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  7. ABSTRACT We present new Large Binocular Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, and Spitzer Space Telescope data for the failed supernova candidate N6946-BH1. We also report an unsuccessful attempt to detect the candidate with Chandra. The ∼300 000 $\, \mathrm{L}_\odot$ red supergiant progenitor underwent an outburst in 2009 and has since disappeared in the optical. In the LBT data from 2008 May through 2019 October, the upper limit on any increase in the R-band luminosity of the source is $2000 \, \mathrm{L}_\odot$. HST and Spitzer observations show that the source continued to fade in the near-IR and mid-IR, fading by approximately a factor ofmore »2 between 2015 October and 2017 September to 2900 $\, \mathrm{L}_\odot$ at Hband (F160W). Models of the spectral energy distribution are inconsistent with a surviving star obscured either by an ongoing wind or dust formed in the transient. The disappearance of N6946-BH1 remains consistent with a failed supernova, but the post-failure phenomenology requires further theoretical study.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2022
  8. We present V -band photometry of the 20 000 brightest asteroids using data from the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN) between 2012 and 2018. We were able to apply the convex inversion method to more than 5000 asteroids with more than 60 good measurements in order to derive their sidereal rotation periods, spin axis orientations, and shape models. We derive unique spin state and shape solutions for 760 asteroids, including 163 new determinations. This corresponds to a success rate of about 15%, which is significantly higher than the success rate previously achieved using photometry from surveys. We derive themore »first sidereal rotation periods for additional 69 asteroids. We find good agreement in spin periods and pole orientations for objects with prior solutions. We obtain a statistical sample of asteroid physical properties that is sufficient for the detection of several previously known trends, such as the underrepresentation of slow rotators in current databases, and the anisotropic distribution of spin orientations driven by the nongravitational forces. We also investigate the dependence of spin orientations on the rotation period. Since 2018, ASAS-SN has been observing the sky with higher cadence and a deeper limiting magnitude, which will lead to many more new solutions in just a few years.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2022
  9. ABSTRACT We report on the search for electromagnetic counterparts to the nine gravitational-wave events with a >60 per cent probability of containing a neutron star during the third observing run (O3) of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)–Virgo Collaboration (LVC) with the All-Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN). No optical counterparts associated with a gravitational-wave event were found. However, thanks to its network of telescopes, the average area visible to at least one ASAS-SN site during the first 10 h after the trigger contained ∼30 per cent of the integrated source location probability. Through a combination of normal operations and target-of-opportunity observations, ASAS-SN observations ofmore »the highest probability fields began within 1 h of the trigger for four of the events. After 24 h, ASAS-SN observed >60 per cent of total probability for three events and >40 per cent for all but one of the events. This is the largest area coverage to a depth of g = 18.5 mag from any survey with published coverage statistics for seven of the nine events. With its observing strategy, five sites around the world, and a large field of view, ASAS-SN will be one of the leading surveys to optically search for nearby neutron star mergers during LVC fourth observation run (O4).« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 27, 2022
  10. ABSTRACT We present updated results of the Large Binocular Telescope Search for Failed Supernovae. This search monitors luminous stars in 27 nearby galaxies with a current baseline of 11 yr of data. We re-discover the failed supernova (SN) candidate N6946-BH1 as well as a new candidate, M101-OC1. M101-OC1 is a blue supergiant that rapidly disappears in optical wavelengths with no evidence for significant obscuration by warm dust. While we consider other options, a good explanation for the fading of M101-OC1 is a failed SN, but follow-up observations are needed to confirm this. Assuming only one clearly detected failed SN, we findmore »a failed SN fraction $f = 0.16^{+0.23}_{-0.12}$ at 90 per cent confidence. We also report on a collection of stars that show slow (∼decade), large amplitude (ΔL/L > 3) luminosity changes.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 25, 2022