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  1. ABSTRACT Rapidly evolving transients (RETs), also termed fast blue optical transients, are a recently discovered group of astrophysical events that display rapid luminosity evolution. RETs typically rise to peak in less than 10 d and fade within 30, a time-scale unlikely to be compatible with the decay of Nickel-56 that drives conventional supernovae (SNe). Their peak luminosity spans a range of −15 < Mg < −22.5, with some events observed at redshifts greater than 1. Their evolution on fast time-scales has hindered high-quality follow-up observations, and thus their origin and explosion/emission mechanism remains unexplained. In this paper, we present the largestmore »sample of RETs to date, comprising 106 objects discovered by the Dark Energy Survey, and perform the most comprehensive analysis of RET host galaxies. Using deep-stacked photometry and emission lines from OzDES spectroscopy, we derive stellar masses and star formation rates (SFRs) for 49 host galaxies, and metallicities ([O/H]) for 37. We find that RETs explode exclusively in star-forming galaxies and are thus likely associated with massive stars. Comparing RET hosts to samples of host galaxies of other explosive transients as well as field galaxies, we find that RETs prefer galaxies with high specific SFRs (〈log (sSFR)〉 ∼ −9.6), indicating a link to young stellar populations, similar to stripped-envelope SNe. RET hosts appear to show a lack of chemical enrichment, their metallicities akin to long-duration gamma-ray bursts and superluminous SN host galaxies (〈12 + log (O/H)〉 ∼ 9.4). There are no clear relationships between mass or SFR of the host galaxies and the peak magnitudes or decline rates of the transients themselves.« less
  2. ABSTRACT We consider the effects of weak gravitational lensing on observations of 196 spectroscopically confirmed Type Ia Supernovae (SNe Ia) from years 1 to 3 of the Dark Energy Survey (DES). We simultaneously measure both the angular correlation function and the non-Gaussian skewness caused by weak lensing. This approach has the advantage of being insensitive to the intrinsic dispersion of SNe Ia magnitudes. We model the amplitude of both effects as a function of σ8, and find σ8 =1.2$^{+0.9}_{-0.8}$. We also apply our method to a subsample of 488 SNe from the Joint Light-curve Analysis (JLA; chosen to match the redshift rangemore »we use for this work), and find σ8 =0.8$^{+1.1}_{-0.7}$. The comparable uncertainty in σ8 between DES–SN and the larger number of SNe from JLA highlights the benefits of homogeneity of the DES–SN sample, and improvements in the calibration and data analysis.« less
  3. ABSTRACT Despite vast improvements in the measurement of the cosmological parameters, the nature of dark energy and an accurate value of the Hubble constant (H0) in the Hubble–Lemaître law remain unknown. To break the current impasse, it is necessary to develop as many independent techniques as possible, such as the use of Type II supernovae (SNe II). The goal of this paper is to demonstrate the utility of SNe II for deriving accurate extragalactic distances, which will be an asset for the next generation of telescopes where more-distant SNe II will be discovered. More specifically, we present a sample from the Dark Energymore »Survey Supernova Program (DES-SN) consisting of 15 SNe II with photometric and spectroscopic information spanning a redshift range up to 0.35. Combining our DES SNe with publicly available samples, and using the standard candle method (SCM), we construct the largest available Hubble diagram with SNe II in the Hubble flow (70 SNe II) and find an observed dispersion of 0.27 mag. We demonstrate that adding a colour term to the SN II standardization does not reduce the scatter in the Hubble diagram. Although SNe II are viable as distance indicators, this work points out important issues for improving their utility as independent extragalactic beacons: find new correlations, define a more standard subclass of SNe II, construct new SN II templates, and dedicate more observing time to high-redshift SNe II. Finally, for the first time, we perform simulations to estimate the redshift-dependent distance-modulus bias due to selection effects.« less
  4. ABSTRACT The 5-yr Dark Energy Survey Supernova Programme (DES-SN) is one of the largest and deepest transient surveys to date in terms of volume and number of supernovae. Identifying and characterizing the host galaxies of transients plays a key role in their classification, the study of their formation mechanisms, and the cosmological analyses. To derive accurate host galaxy properties, we create depth-optimized coadds using single-epoch DES-SN images that are selected based on sky and atmospheric conditions. For each of the five DES-SN seasons, a separate coadd is made from the other four seasons such that each SN has a correspondingmore »deep coadd with no contaminating SN emission. The coadds reach limiting magnitudes of order ∼27 in g band, and have a much smaller magnitude uncertainty than the previous DES-SN host templates, particularly for faint objects. We present the resulting multiband photometry of host galaxies for samples of spectroscopically confirmed type Ia (SNe Ia), core-collapse (CCSNe), and superluminous (SLSNe) as well as rapidly evolving transients (RETs) discovered by DES-SN. We derive host galaxy stellar masses and probabilistically compare stellar-mass distributions to samples from other surveys. We find that the DES spectroscopically confirmed sample of SNe Ia selects preferentially fewer high-mass hosts at high-redshift compared to other surveys, while at low redshift the distributions are consistent. DES CCSNe and SLSNe hosts are similar to other samples, while RET hosts are unlike the hosts of any other transients, although these differences have not been disentangled from selection effects.« less
  5. ABSTRACT We present an analysis of DES17X1boj and DES16E2bjy, two peculiar transients discovered by the Dark Energy Survey (DES). They exhibit nearly identical double-peaked light curves that reach very different maximum luminosities (Mr = −15.4 and −17.9, respectively). The light-curve evolution of these events is highly atypical and has not been reported before. The transients are found in different host environments: DES17X1boj was found near the nucleus of a spiral galaxy, while DES16E2bjy is located in the outskirts of a passive red galaxy. Early photometric data are well fitted with a blackbody and the resulting moderate photospheric expansion velocities (1800more » km s−1 for DES17X1boj and 4800  km s−1 for DES16E2bjy) suggest an explosive or eruptive origin. Additionally, a feature identified as high-velocity Ca ii absorption ($v$ ≈ 9400 km s−1) in the near-peak spectrum of DES17X1boj may imply that it is a supernova. While similar light-curve evolution suggests a similar physical origin for these two transients, we are not able to identify or characterize the progenitors.« less
  6. ABSTRACT We present DES16C3cje, a low-luminosity, long-lived type II supernova (SN II) at redshift 0.0618, detected by the Dark Energy Survey (DES). DES16C3cje is a unique SN. The spectra are characterized by extremely narrow photospheric lines corresponding to very low expansion velocities of ≲1500 km s−1, and the light curve shows an initial peak that fades after 50 d before slowly rebrightening over a further 100 d to reach an absolute brightness of Mr ∼ −15.5 mag. The decline rate of the late-time light curve is then slower than that expected from the powering by radioactive decay of 56Co, but is comparable to that expected from accretionmore »power. Comparing the bolometric light curve with hydrodynamical models, we find that DES16C3cje can be explained by either (i) a low explosion energy (0.11 foe) and relatively large 56Ni production of 0.075 M⊙ from an ∼15 M⊙ red supergiant progenitor typical of other SNe II, or (ii) a relatively compact ∼40 M⊙ star, explosion energy of 1 foe, and 0.08 M⊙ of 56Ni. Both scenarios require additional energy input to explain the late-time light curve, which is consistent with fallback accretion at a rate of ∼0.5 × 10−8 M⊙ s−1.« less