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  1. Abstract We perform a detailed photometric and astrometric analysis of stars in the Jet stream using data from the first data release of the DECam Local Volume Exploration Survey DR1 and Gaia EDR3. We discover that the stream extends over ∼ 29° on the sky (increasing the known length by 18°), which is comparable to the kinematically cold Phoenix, ATLAS, and GD-1 streams. Using blue horizontal branch stars, we resolve a distance gradient along the Jet stream of 0.2 kpc deg −1 , with distances ranging from D ⊙ ∼ 27–34 kpc. We use natural splines to simultaneously fit themore »stream track, width, and intensity to quantitatively characterize density variations in the Jet stream, including a large gap, and identify substructure off the main track of the stream. Furthermore, we report the first measurement of the proper motion of the Jet stream and find that it is well aligned with the stream track, suggesting the stream has likely not been significantly perturbed perpendicular to the line of sight. Finally, we fit the stream with a dynamical model and find that it is on a retrograde orbit, and is well fit by a gravitational potential including the Milky Way and Large Magellanic Cloud. These results indicate the Jet stream is an excellent candidate for future studies with deeper photometry, astrometry, and spectroscopy to study the potential of the Milky Way and probe perturbations from baryonic and dark matter substructure.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 16, 2022
  2. ABSTRACT We study the optical gri photometric variability of a sample of 190 quasars within the SDSS Stripe 82 region that have long-term photometric coverage during ∼1998−2020 with SDSS, PanSTARRS-1, the Dark Energy Survey, and dedicated follow-up monitoring with Blanco 4m/DECam. With on average ∼200 nightly epochs per quasar per filter band, we improve the parameter constraints from a Damped Random Walk (DRW) model fit to the light curves over previous studies with 10–15 yr baselines and ≲ 100 epochs. We find that the average damping time-scale τDRW continues to rise with increased baseline, reaching a median value of ∼750 d (gmore »band) in the rest frame of these quasars using the 20-yr light curves. Some quasars may have gradual, long-term trends in their light curves, suggesting that either the DRW fit requires very long baselines to converge, or that the underlying variability is more complex than a single DRW process for these quasars. Using a subset of quasars with better-constrained τDRW (less than 20 per cent of the baseline), we confirm a weak wavelength dependence of τDRW∝λ0.51 ± 0.20. We further quantify optical variability of these quasars over days to decades time-scales using structure function (SF) and power spectrum density (PSD) analyses. The SF and PSD measurements qualitatively confirm the measured (hundreds of days) damping time-scales from the DRW fits. However, the ensemble PSD is steeper than that of a DRW on time-scales less than ∼ a month for these luminous quasars, and this second break point correlates with the longer DRW damping time-scale.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 2, 2023
  3. ABSTRACT Strongly lensed quadruply imaged quasars (quads) are extraordinary objects. They are very rare in the sky and yet they provide unique information about a wide range of topics, including the expansion history and the composition of the Universe, the distribution of stars and dark matter in galaxies, the host galaxies of quasars, and the stellar initial mass function. Finding them in astronomical images is a classic ‘needle in a haystack’ problem, as they are outnumbered by other (contaminant) sources by many orders of magnitude. To solve this problem, we develop state-of-the-art deep learning methods and train them on realisticmore »simulated quads based on real images of galaxies taken from the Dark Energy Survey, with realistic source and deflector models, including the chromatic effects of microlensing. The performance of the best methods on a mixture of simulated and real objects is excellent, yielding area under the receiver operating curve in the range of 0.86–0.89. Recall is close to 100 per cent down to total magnitude i ∼ 21 indicating high completeness, while precision declines from 85 per cent to 70 per cent in the range i ∼ 17–21. The methods are extremely fast: training on 2 million samples takes 20 h on a GPU machine, and 108 multiband cut-outs can be evaluated per GPU-hour. The speed and performance of the method pave the way to apply it to large samples of astronomical sources, bypassing the need for photometric pre-selection that is likely to be a major cause of incompleteness in current samples of known quads.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 5, 2023
  4. null (Ed.)
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2022
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  6. Abstract We present the second public data release (DR2) from the DECam Local Volume Exploration survey (DELVE). DELVE DR2 combines new DECam observations with archival DECam data from the Dark Energy Survey, the DECam Legacy Survey, and other DECam community programs. DELVE DR2 consists of ∼160,000 exposures that cover >21,000 deg 2 of the high-Galactic-latitude (∣ b ∣ > 10°) sky in four broadband optical/near-infrared filters ( g , r , i , z ). DELVE DR2 provides point-source and automatic aperture photometry for ∼2.5 billion astronomical sources with a median 5 σ point-source depth of g = 24.3, rmore »= 23.9, i = 23.5, and z = 22.8 mag. A region of ∼17,000 deg 2 has been imaged in all four filters, providing four-band photometric measurements for ∼618 million astronomical sources. DELVE DR2 covers more than 4 times the area of the previous DELVE data release and contains roughly 5 times as many astronomical objects. DELVE DR2 is publicly available via the NOIRLab Astro Data Lab science platform.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2023
  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  8. ABSTRACT Reverberation mapping is a robust method to measure the masses of supermassive black holes outside of the local Universe. Measurements of the radius–luminosity (R−L) relation using the Mg ii emission line are critical for determining these masses near the peak of quasar activity at z ≈ 1−2, and for calibrating secondary mass estimators based on Mg ii that can be applied to large samples with only single-epoch spectroscopy. We present the first nine Mg ii lags from our 5-yr Australian Dark Energy Survey reverberation mapping programme, which substantially improves the number and quality of Mg ii lag measurements. As the Mg ii feature ismore »somewhat blended with iron emission, we model and subtract both the continuum and iron contamination from the multiepoch spectra before analysing the Mg ii line. We also develop a new method of quantifying correlated spectroscopic calibration errors based on our numerous, contemporaneous observations of F-stars. The lag measurements for seven of our nine sources are consistent with both the H β and Mg ii R−L relations reported by previous studies. Our simulations verify the lag reliability of our nine measurements, and we estimate that the median false positive rate of the lag measurements is $4{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 9, 2022
  9. Abstract On 2019 August 14 at 21:10:39 UTC, the LIGO/Virgo Collaboration (LVC) detected a possible neutron star–black hole merger (NSBH), the first ever identified. An extensive search for an optical counterpart of this event, designated GW190814, was undertaken using the Dark Energy Camera on the 4 m Victor M. Blanco Telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. Target of Opportunity interrupts were issued on eight separate nights to observe 11 candidates using the 4.1 m Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope’s Goodman High Throughput Spectrograph in order to assess whether any of these transients was likely to be an optical counterpartmore »of the possible NSBH merger. Here, we describe the process of observing with SOAR, the analysis of our spectra, our spectroscopic typing methodology, and our resultant conclusion that none of the candidates corresponded to the gravitational wave merger event but were all instead other transients. Finally, we describe the lessons learned from this effort. Application of these lessons will be critical for a successful community spectroscopic follow-up program for LVC observing run 4 (O4) and beyond.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023