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  1. ABSTRACT

    An open question in SN Ia research is where the boundary lies between ‘normal’ Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) that are used in cosmological measurements and those that sit off the Phillips relation. We present the spectroscopic modelling of one such ‘86G-like’ transitional SN Ia, SN 2021rhu, that has recently been employed as a local Hubble Constant calibrator using a tip of the red-giant branch measurement. We detail its modelling from −12 d until maximum brightness using the radiative-transfer spectral-synthesis code tardis. Please check and correct this paper accordingly. We base our modelling on literature delayed-detonation and deflagration models of Chandrasekhar mass white dwarfs, as well as the double-detonation models of sub-Chandrasekhar mass white dwarfs. We present a new method for ‘projecting’ abundance profiles to different density profiles for ease of computation. Due to the small velocity extent and low outer densities of the W7 profile, we find it inadequate to reproduce the evolution of SN 2021rhu as it fails to match the high-velocity calcium components. The host extinction of SN 2021rhu is uncertain but we use modelling with and without an extinction correction to set lower and upper limits on the abundances of individual species. Comparing these limits to literature models we conclude that the spectral evolution of SN 2021rhu is also incompatible with double-detonation scenarios, lying more in line with those resulting from the delayed-detonation mechanism (although there are some discrepancies, in particular a larger titanium abundance in SN 2021rhu compared to the literature). This suggests that SN 2021rhu is likely a lower luminosity, and hence lower temperature, version of a normal SN Ia.

     
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  2. ABSTRACT

    We present an in-depth study of the late-time near-infrared plateau in Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia), which occurs between 70 and 500 d. We double the existing sample of SNe Ia observed during the late-time near-infrared plateau with new observations taken with the Hubble Space Telescope, Gemini, New Technology Telescope, the 3.5-m Calar Alto Telescope, and the Nordic Optical Telescope. Our sample consists of 24 nearby SNe Ia at redshift < 0.025. We are able to confirm that no plateau exists in the Ks band for most normal SNe Ia. SNe Ia with broader optical light curves at peak tend to have a higher average brightness on the plateau in J and H, most likely due to a shallower decline in the preceding 100 d. SNe Ia that are more luminous at peak also show a steeper decline during the plateau phase in H. We compare our data to state-of-the-art radiative transfer models of nebular SNe Ia in the near-infrared. We find good agreement with the sub-Mch model that has reduced non-thermal ionization rates, but no physical justification for reducing these rates has yet been proposed. An analysis of the spectral evolution during the plateau demonstrates that the ratio of [Fe ii] to [Fe iii] contribution in a near-infrared filter determines the light curve evolution in said filter. We find that overluminous SNe decline slower during the plateau than expected from the trend seen for normal SNe Ia.

     
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  3. ABSTRACT

    Samples of young Type Ia supernovae have shown ‘early excess’ emission in a few cases. Similar excesses are predicted by some explosion and progenitor scenarios and hence can provide important clues regarding the origin of thermonuclear supernovae. They are, however, only predicted to last up to the first few days following explosion. It is therefore unclear whether such scenarios are intrinsically rare or whether the relatively small sample size simply reflects the difficulty in obtaining sufficiently early detections. To that end, we perform toy simulations covering a range of survey depths and cadences, and investigate the efficiency with which young Type Ia supernovae are recovered. As input for our simulations, we use models that broadly cover the range of predicted luminosities. Based on our simulations, we find that in a typical 3 d cadence survey, only ∼10 per cent of Type Ia supernovae would be detected early enough to rule out the presence of an excess. A 2 d cadence, however, should see this increase to ∼15 per cent. We find comparable results from more detailed simulations of the Zwicky Transient Facility surveys. Using the recovery efficiencies from these detailed simulations, we investigate the number of young Type Ia supernovae expected to be discovered assuming some fraction of the population comes from scenarios producing an excess at early times. Comparing the results of our simulations to observations, we find that the intrinsic fraction of Type Ia supernovae with early flux excesses is $\sim 28^{+13}_{-11}{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$.

     
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  4. null (Ed.)
    The late Quaternary fossil record provides crucial data that demonstrate how organisms respond to climate change. These records have been used to great effect, demonstrating that no-analog communities frequently occur during periods of no-analog climate, and that taxa demonstrate individualistic responses to change. However, our efforts to reconstruct biotic responses to environmental change are frequently hampered by inconsistent sampling and differential preservation of fossil taxa. We leveraged occupancy modeling methods and the fossil pollen record across eastern North America to identify circumstances under which occupancy modeling improves our ability to estimate relative abundance in four pollen taxa (Cornus, Fagus, Picea, and Pinus) through time (15 kya to present) and to identify localities where data are unreliable reflections of the local community. We found that integrating observed pollen abundance and detectability improves model performance. Low genus richness and large basin area were consistently important determinants of low detection. Our occupancy models were most informative for taxa with high enough variation in observed pollen abundance for models to be adequately calibrated. We combined occupancy model estimates of pollen abundance and detectability with a Getis-Ord statistical approach to identify spatial clusters of high or low detectability, identifying regions where a taxon’s pollen is more (or less) reliable. This work will advance the integration of ecological and paleontological sciences by allowing us to better identify whether a pollen taxon is truly absent from a fossil site or if it has simply gone undetected, allowing us to produce more robust paleoecological models. This approach will bolster our ability to identify the responses of plant communities to past climatic and anthropogenic change so that we can improve our predictions of future responses. 
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  5. ABSTRACT

    In the new era of time-domain surveys, Type Ia supernovae are being caught sooner after explosion, which has exposed significant variation in their early light curves. Two driving factors for early-time evolution are the distribution of 56Ni in the ejecta and the presence of flux excesses of various causes. We perform an analysis of the largest young SN Ia sample to date. We compare 115 SN Ia light curves from the Zwicky Transient Facility to the turtls model grid containing light curves of Chandrasekhar mass explosions with a range of 56Ni masses, 56Ni distributions, and explosion energies. We find that the majority of our observed light curves are well reproduced by Chandrasekhar mass explosion models with a preference for highly extended 56Ni distributions. We identify six SNe Ia with an early-time flux excess in our gr-band data (four ‘blue’ and two ‘red’ flux excesses). We find an intrinsic rate of 18 ± 11 per cent of early flux excesses in SNe Ia at z < 0.07, based on three detected flux excesses out of 30 (10 per cent) observed SNe Ia with a simulated efficiency of 57 per cent. This is comparable to rates of flux excesses in the literature but also accounts for detection efficiencies. Two of these events are mostly consistent with circumstellar material interaction, while the other four have longer lifetimes in agreement with companion interaction and 56Ni-clump models. We find a higher frequency of flux excesses in 91T/99aa-like events (44 ± 13 per cent).

     
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  6. ABSTRACT

    Over the past few years, ∼30 extragalactic fast X-ray transients (FXRTs) have been discovered, mainly in Chandra and XMM-Newton data. Their nature remains unclear, with proposed origins, including a double neutron star merger, a tidal disruption event involving an intermediate-mass black hole and a white dwarf, or a supernova shock breakout. A decisive differentiation between these three promising mechanisms for their origin requires an understanding of the FXRT energetics, environments, and/or host properties. We present optical observations obtained with the Very Large Telescope for the FXRTs XRT 000519 and XRT 110103 and Gran Telescopio Canarias observations for XRT 000519 designed to search for host galaxies of these FXRTs. In the gs, rs, and R-band images, we detect an extended source on the north-west side of the $\sim \, 1^{\prime \prime }$ (68 per cent confidence) error circle of the X-ray position of XRT 000519 with a Kron magnitude of gs = 26.29 ± 0.09 (AB magnitude). We discuss the XRT 000519 association with the probable host candidate for various possible distances, and we conclude that if XRT 000519 is associated with the host candidate a supernova shock breakout scenario is likely excluded. No host galaxy is found near XRT 110103 down to a limiting magnitude of R > 25.8.

     
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  7. ABSTRACT

    SN 2018hti was a very nearby (z = 0.0614) superluminous supernova with an exceedingly bright absolute magnitude of −21.7 mag in r band at maximum. The densely sampled pre-maximum light curves of SN 2018hti show a slow luminosity evolution and constrain the rise time to ∼50 rest-frame d. We fitted synthetic light curves to the photometry to infer the physical parameters of the explosion of SN 2018hti for both the magnetar and the CSM-interaction scenarios. We conclude that one of two mechanisms could be powering the luminosity of SN 2018hti; interaction with ∼10 M⊙ of circumstellar material or a magnetar with a magnetic field of Bp∼ 1.3 × 1013 G, and initial period of Pspin∼ 1.8 ms. From the nebular spectrum modelling we infer that SN 2018hti likely results from the explosion of a ${\sim}40\, \mathrm{M}_\odot$ progenitor star.

     
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  8. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT We present the data and analysis of SN 2018gjx, an unusual low-luminosity transient with three distinct spectroscopic phases. Phase I shows a hot blue spectrum with signatures of ionized circumstellar material (CSM), Phase II has the appearance of broad SN features, consistent with those seen in a Type IIb supernova at maximum light, and Phase III is that of a supernova interacting with helium-rich CSM, similar to a Type Ibn supernova. This event provides an apparently rare opportunity to view the inner workings of an interacting supernova. The observed properties can be explained by the explosion of a star in an aspherical CSM. The initial light is emitted from an extended CSM (∼4000 R⊙), which ionizes the exterior unshocked material. Some days after, the SN photosphere envelops this region, leading to the appearance of a SN IIb. Over time, the photosphere recedes in velocity space, revealing interaction between the supernova ejecta and the CSM that partially obscures the supernova nebular phase. Modelling of the initial spectrum reveals a surface composition consistent with compact H-deficient Wolf–Rayet and Luminous Blue Variable (LBV) stars. Such configurations may not be unusual, with SNe IIb being known to have signs of interaction so at least some SNe IIb and SNe Ibn may be the same phenomena viewed from different angles, or possibly with differing CSM configurations. 
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  9. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT We present results from spectroscopic observations of AT 2018hyz, a transient discovered by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernova survey at an absolute magnitude of MV ∼ −20.2 mag, in the nucleus of a quiescent galaxy with strong Balmer absorption lines. AT 2018hyz shows a blue spectral continuum and broad emission lines, consistent with previous TDE candidates. High cadence follow-up spectra show broad Balmer lines and He i in early spectra, with He ii making an appearance after ∼70–100 d. The Balmer lines evolve from a smooth broad profile, through a boxy, asymmetric double-peaked phase consistent with accretion disc emission, and back to smooth at late times. The Balmer lines are unlike typical active galactic nucleus in that they show a flat Balmer decrement (Hα/Hβ ∼ 1.5), suggesting the lines are collisionally excited rather than being produced via photoionization. The flat Balmer decrement together with the complex profiles suggests that the emission lines originate in a disc chromosphere, analogous to those seen in cataclysmic variables. The low optical depth of material due to a possible partial disruption may be what allows us to observe these double-peaked, collisionally excited lines. The late appearance of He ii may be due to an expanding photosphere or outflow, or late-time shocks in debris collisions. 
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  10. We present the spectroscopic and photometric study of five intermediate-luminosity red transients (ILRTs), namely AT 2010dn, AT 2012jc, AT 2013la, AT 2013lb, and AT 2018aes. They share common observational properties and belong to a family of objects similar to the prototypical ILRT SN 2008S. These events have a rise time that is less than 15 days and absolute peak magnitudes of between −11.5 and −14.5 mag. Their pseudo-bolometric light curves peak in the range 0.5–9.0 × 10 40  erg s −1 and their total radiated energies are on the order of (0.3–3) × 10 47 erg. After maximum brightness, the light curves show a monotonic decline or a plateau, resembling those of faint supernovae IIL or IIP, respectively. At late phases, the light curves flatten, roughly following the slope of the 56 Co decay. If the late-time power source is indeed radioactive decay, these transients produce 56 Ni masses on the order of 10 −4 to 10 −3   M ⊙ . The spectral energy distribution of our ILRT sample, extending from the optical to the mid-infrared (MIR) domain, reveals a clear IR excess soon after explosion and non-negligible MIR emission at very late phases. The spectra show prominent H lines in emission with a typical velocity of a few hundred km s −1 , along with Ca II features. In particular, the [Ca  II ] λ 7291,7324 doublet is visible at all times, which is a characteristic feature for this family of transients. The identified progenitor of SN 2008S, which is luminous in archival Spitzer MIR images, suggests an intermediate-mass precursor star embedded in a dusty cocoon. We propose the explosion of a super-asymptotic giant branch star forming an electron-capture supernova as a plausible explanation for these events. 
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