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  1. Abstract In recent years, many Type IIn supernovae have been found to share striking similarities with the peculiar SN 2009ip, whose true nature is still under debate. Here, we present 10 yr of observations of SN 2011fh, an interacting transient with spectroscopic and photometric similarities to SN 2009ip. SN 2011fh had an M r ∼ −16 mag brightening event, followed by a brighter M r ∼ −18 mag luminous outburst in 2011 August. The spectra of SN 2011fh are dominated by narrow to intermediate Balmer emission lines throughout its evolution, with P Cygni profiles indicating fast-moving material at ∼6400 km s −1 . HST/WFC3 observations from 2016 October revealed a bright source with M F814W ≈ −13.3 mag, indicating that we are seeing the ongoing interaction of the ejecta with the circumstellar material or that the star might be going through an eruptive phase five years after the luminous outburst of 2011. Using HST photometry of the stellar cluster around SN 2011fh, we estimated an age of ∼4.5 Myr for the progenitor, which implies a stellar mass of ∼60 M ⊙ , using single-star evolution models, or a mass range of 35–80 M ⊙ , considering a binary system. Wemore »also show that the progenitor of SN 2011fh exceeded the classical Eddington limit by a large factor in the months preceding the luminous outburst of 2011, suggesting strong super-Eddington winds as a possible mechanism for the observed mass loss. These findings favor an energetic outburst in a young and massive star, possibly a luminous blue variable.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  2. ABSTRACT

    We report on the search for optical counterparts to IceCube neutrino alerts released between 2016 April and 2021 August with the All-Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN). Despite the discovery of a diffuse astrophysical high-energy neutrino flux in 2013, the source of those neutrinos remains largely unknown. Since 2016, IceCube has published likely astrophysical neutrinos as public real-time alerts. Through a combination of normal survey and triggered target-of-opportunity observations, ASAS-SN obtained images within 1 h of the neutrino detection for 20 per cent (11) of all observable IceCube alerts and within one day for another 57 per cent (32). For all observable alerts, we obtained images within at least two weeks from the neutrino alert. ASAS-SN provides the only optical follow-up for about 17 per cent of IceCube’s neutrino alerts. We recover the two previously claimed counterparts to neutrino alerts, the flaring-blazar TXS 0506 + 056 and the tidal disruption event AT2019dsg. We investigate the light curves of previously detected transients in the alert footprints, but do not identify any further candidate neutrino sources. We also analysed the optical light curves of Fermi 4FGL sources coincident with high-energy neutrino alerts, but do not identify any contemporaneous flaring activity. Finally, we derive constraints on the luminosity functions of neutrinomore »sources for a range of assumed evolution models.

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  3. Abstract

    Low luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGN) probe accretion physics in the low Eddington regime can provide additional clues about galaxy evolution. AGN variability is ubiquitous and thus provides a reliable tool for finding AGN. We analyze the All-Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae light curves of 1218 galaxies withg< 14 mag and Sloan Digital Sky Survey spectra in search of AGN. We find 37 objects that are both variable and have AGN-like structure functions, which is about 3% of the sample. The majority of the variability selected AGN are LLAGN with Eddington ratios ranging from 10−4to 10−2. We thus estimate the fraction of LLAGN in the population of galaxies as 2% down to a median Eddington ratio of 2 × 10−3. Combining the BPT line ratio AGN diagnostics and the broad-line AGN, up to ∼60% of the AGN candidates are confirmed spectroscopically. The BPT diagnostics also classified 10%–30% of the candidates as star-forming galaxies rather than AGN.

  4. ABSTRACT We present results from a resolved stellar population search for dwarf satellite galaxies of six nearby (D < 5 Mpc), sub-Milky Way mass hosts using deep (m ∼ 27 mag) optical imaging from the Large Binocular Telescope. We perform image simulations to quantify our detection efficiency for dwarfs over a large range in luminosity and size, and develop a fast catalogue-based emulator that includes a treatment of unresolved photometric blending. We discover no new dwarf satellites, but we recover two previously known dwarfs (DDO 113 and LV J1228+4358) with MV < −12 that lie in our survey volume. We preview a new theoretical framework to predict satellite luminosity functions using analytical probability distribution functions and apply it to our sample, finding that we predict one fewer classical dwarf and one more faint dwarf (MV ∼ −7.5) than we find in our observational sample (i.e. the observational sample is slightly top-heavy). However, the overall number of dwarfs in the observational sample (2) is in good agreement with the theoretical expectations. Interestingly, DDO 113 shows signs of environmental quenching and LV J1228+4358 is tidally disrupting, suggesting that low-mass hosts may affect their satellites more severely than previously believed.
  5. Abstract

    ASASSN-14ko is a recently discovered periodically flaring transient at the center of the active galactic nucleus (AGN) ESO 253−G003 with a slowly decreasing period. Here, we show that the flares originate from the northern, brighter nucleus in this dual-AGN, post-merger system. The light curves for the two flares that occurred in 2020 May and September are nearly identical over all wavelengths. For both events, Swift observations showed that the UV and optical wavelengths brightened in unison. The effective temperature of the UV/optical emission rises and falls with the increase and subsequent decline in the luminosity. The X-ray flux, by contrast, first rapidly drops over ∼2.6 days, rises for ∼5.8 days, drops again over ∼4.3 days, and then recovers. The X-ray spectral evolution of the two flares differ, however. During the 2020 May peak the spectrum softened with increases in the X-ray luminosity, while we observed the reverse for the 2020 September peak. We found a small change in the period derivative, which seems to indicate that the system does not have a static period derivative and there is some stochasticity in its evolution.

  6. Abstract

    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 ofL= (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 toLx∼ 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 »classified with current data.

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  7. Abstract

    We present observations of the extremely luminous but ambiguous nuclear transient (ANT) ASASSN-17jz, spanning roughly 1200 days of the object’s evolution. ASASSN-17jz was discovered by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN) in the galaxy SDSS J171955.84+414049.4 on UT 2017 July 27 at a redshift ofz= 0.1641. The transient peaked at an absoluteB-band magnitude ofMB,peak= −22.81, corresponding to a bolometric luminosity ofLbol,peak= 8.3 × 1044erg s−1, and exhibited late-time ultraviolet emission that was still ongoing in our latest observations. Integrating the full light curve gives a total emitted energy ofEtot= (1.36 ±0.08) × 1052erg, with (0.80 ± 0.02) × 1052erg of this emitted within 200 days of peak light. This late-time ultraviolet emission is accompanied by increasing X-ray emission that becomes softer as it brightens. ASASSN-17jz exhibited a large number of spectral emission lines most commonly seen in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with little evidence of evolution. It also showed transient Balmer features, which became fainter and broader over time, and are still being detected >1000 days after peak brightness. We consider various physical scenarios for the origin of the transient, including supernovae (SNe), tidal disruption events, AGN outbursts, and ANTs. We find that the most likely explanation ismore »that ASASSN-17jz was a SN IIn occurring in or near the disk of an existing AGN, and that the late-time emission is caused by the AGN transitioning to a more active state.

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  8. ABSTRACT We present the first satellite system of the Large Binocular Telescope Satellites Of Nearby Galaxies Survey (LBT-SONG), a survey to characterize the close satellite populations of Large Magellanic Cloud to Milky-Way-mass, star-forming galaxies in the Local Volume. In this paper, we describe our unresolved diffuse satellite finding and completeness measurement methodology and apply this framework to NGC 628, an isolated galaxy with ∼1/4 the stellar mass of the Milky Way. We present two new dwarf satellite galaxy candidates: NGC 628 dwA, and dwB with MV = −12.2 and −7.7, respectively. NGC 628 dwA is a classical dwarf while NGC 628 dwB is a low-luminosity galaxy that appears to have been quenched after reionization. Completeness corrections indicate that the presence of these two satellites is consistent with CDM predictions. The satellite colours indicate that the galaxies are neither actively star forming nor do they have the purely ancient stellar populations characteristic of ultrafaint dwarfs. Instead, and consistent with our previous work on the NGC 4214 system, they show signs of recent quenching, further indicating that environmental quenching can play a role in modifying satellite populations even for hosts smaller than the Milky Way.