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  1. Abstract We present NuSTAR observations of the nearby SN 2023ixf in M101 ( d = 6.9 Mpc) that provide the earliest hard X-ray detection of a nonrelativistic stellar explosion to date at δ t ≈ 4 days and δ t ≈ 11 days. The spectra are well described by a hot thermal bremsstrahlung continuum with T > 25 keV shining through a thick neutral medium with a neutral hydrogen column that decreases with time (initial N Hint = 2.6 × 10 23 cm −2 ). A prominent neutral Fe K α emission line is clearly detected, similar to other strongly interacting supernovae (SNe) such as SN 2010jl. The rapidly decreasing intrinsic absorption with time suggests the presence of a dense but confined circumstellar medium (CSM). The absorbed broadband X-ray luminosity (0.3–79 keV) is L X ≈ 2.5 × 10 40 erg s −1 during both epochs, with the increase in overall X-ray flux related to the decrease in the absorbing column. Interpreting these observations in the context of thermal bremsstrahlung radiation originating from the interaction of the SN shock with a dense medium we infer large particle densities in excess of n CSM ≈ 4 × 10 8 cm −3 at r < 10 15 cm, corresponding to an enhanced progenitor mass-loss rate of M ̇ ≈ 3 × 10 − 4 M ⊙ yr −1 for an assumed wind velocity of v w = 50 km s −1 . 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  2. Abstract

    We presentSNART(DeMarchi & Finstad 2023), software for radio synchrotron self-absorption analysis, a generalized version of the model introduced in Chevalier, Chevalier & Fransson.SNART ingests flux density and frequency observations, fits them jointly, and outputs system physical parameters: magnetic fieldB, shock radiusR, post shock energyU, electron number densityne, circumstellar densityρCSM, and mass loss degenerate with wind velocityM˙/vwind.SNART is written in Python and is publicly available via GitHub. The repository hosts an in-depth derivation of the model and a detailed description of parameter definitions in the literature.SNART is a generalized treatment of synchrotron self absorption that leaves the choice of values forp(the power-law index of the electron distribution),q(shock front acceleration),θ(electron pitch angle, commonlyπ/2), andf(the “filling factor,” often 0.5) explicit.

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  3. Abstract

    We present a comprehensive study of 29 short gamma-ray bursts (SGRBs) observed ≈0.8−60 days postburst using Chandra and XMM-Newton. We provide the inferred distributions of the SGRB jet opening angles and true event rates to compare against neutron star merger rates. We perform a uniform analysis and modeling of their afterglows, obtaining 10 opening angle measurements and 19 lower limits. We report on two new opening angle measurements (SGRBs 050724A and 200411A) and eight updated values, obtaining a median value of 〈θj〉 ≈ 6.°1 [−3.°2, +9.°3] (68% confidence on the full distribution) from jet measurements alone. For the remaining events, we inferθj≳ 0.°5–26°. We uncover a population of SGRBs with wider jets ofθj≳ 10° (including two measurements ofθj≳ 15°), representing ∼28% of our sample. Coupled with multiwavelength afterglow information, we derive a total true energy of 〈Etrue,tot〉 ≈ 1049–1050erg, which is consistent with magnetohydrodynamic jet launching mechanisms. Furthermore, we determine a range for the beaming-corrected event rate ofRtrue3601800Gpc−3yr−1, set by the inclusion of a population of wide jets on the low end, and the jet measurements alone on the high end. From a comparison with the latest merger rates, our results are consistent with the majority of SGRBs originating from binary neutron star mergers. However, our inferred rates are well above the latest neutron star–black hole merger rates, consistent with at most a small fraction of SGRBs originating from such mergers.

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  4. Abstract We present late-time radio/millimeter (as well as optical/UV and X-ray) detections of tidal disruption event (TDE) AT2018hyz, spanning 970–1300 d after optical discovery. In conjunction with earlier deeper limits, including those at ≈700 days, our observations reveal rapidly rising emission at 0.8–240 GHz, steeper than F ν ∝ t 5 relative to the time of optical discovery. Such a steep rise cannot be explained in any reasonable scenario of an outflow launched at the time of disruption (e.g., off-axis jet, sudden increase in the ambient density), and instead points to a delayed launch. Our multifrequency data allow us to directly determine the radius and energy of the radio-emitting outflow, and we find from our modeling that the outflow was launched ≈750 days after optical discovery. The outflow velocity is mildly relativistic, with β ≈ 0.25 and ≈0.6 for a spherical geometry and a 10° jet geometry, respectively, and the minimum kinetic energy is E K ≈ 5.8 × 10 49 and ≈6.3 × 10 49 erg, respectively. This is the first definitive evidence for the production of a delayed mildly relativistic outflow in a TDE; a comparison to the recently published radio light curve of ASASSN-15oi suggests that the final rebrightening observed in that event (at a single frequency and time) may be due to a similar outflow with a comparable velocity and energy. Finally, we note that the energy and velocity of the delayed outflow in AT2018hyz are intermediate between those of past nonrelativistic TDEs (e.g., ASASSN-14li, AT2019dsg) and the relativistic TDE Sw J1644+57. We suggest that such delayed outflows may be common in TDEs. 
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  5. Context. There has been significant technological and scientific progress in our ability to detect, monitor, and model the physics of γ -ray bursts (GRBs) over the 50 years since their first discovery. However, the dissipation process thought to be responsible for their defining prompt emission is still unknown. Recent efforts have focused on investigating how the ultrarelativistic jet of the GRB propagates through the progenitor’s stellar envelope for different initial composition shapes, jet structures, magnetisation, and, consequently, possible energy dissipation processes. Study of the temporal variability – in particular the shortest duration of an independent emission episode within a GRB – may provide a unique way to distinguish the imprint of the inner engine activity from geometry and propagation related effects. The advent of new high-energy detectors with exquisite time resolution now makes this possible. Aims. We aim to characterise the minimum variability timescale (MVT) defined as the shortest duration of individual pulses that shape a light curve for a sample of GRBs in the keV–MeV energy range and test correlations with other key observables such as the peak luminosity, the Lorentz factor, and the jet opening angle. We compare these correlations with predictions from recent numerical simulations for a relativistic structured – possibly wobbling – jet and assess the value of temporal variability studies as probes of prompt-emission dissipation physics. Methods. We used the peak detection algorithm MEPSA to identify the shortest pulse within a GRB time history and preliminarily calibrated MEPSA to estimate the full width at half maximum duration. We then applied this framework to two sets of GRBs: Swift GRBs (from 2005 to July 2022) and Insight Hard Modulation X-ray Telescope (Insight-HXMT) GRBs (from June 2017 to July 2021, including the exceptional 221009A). We then selected 401 GRBs with measured redshift to test for correlations. Results. We confirm that, on average, short GRBs have significantly shorter MVTs than long GRBs. The MVT distribution of short GRBs with extended emission such as 060614 and 211211A is compatible only with that of short GRBs. This is important because it provides a new clue concerning the progenitor’s nature. The MVT for long GRBs with measured redshift anti-correlates with peak luminosity; our analysis includes careful evaluation of selection effects. We confirm the anti-correlation with the Lorentz factor and find a correlation with the jet opening angle as estimated from the afterglow light curve, along with an inverse correlation with the number of pulses. Conclusions. The MVT can identify the emerging putative new class of long GRBs that are suggested to be produced by compact binary mergers. For otherwise typical long GRBs, the different correlations between MVT and peak luminosity, Lorentz factor, jet opening angle, and number of pulses can be explained within the context of structured, possibly wobbling, weakly magnetised relativistic jets. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  6. Abstract

    We present UV and/or optical observations and models of SN 2023ixf, a type II supernova (SN) located in Messier 101 at 6.9 Mpc. Early time (flash) spectroscopy of SN 2023ixf, obtained primarily at Lick Observatory, reveals emission lines of Hi, Hei/ii, Civ, and Niii/iv/vwith a narrow core and broad, symmetric wings arising from the photoionization of dense, close-in circumstellar material (CSM) located around the progenitor star prior to shock breakout. These electron-scattering broadened line profiles persist for ∼8 days with respect to first light, at which time Doppler broadened the features from the fastest SN ejecta form, suggesting a reduction in CSM density atr≳ 1015cm. The early time light curve of SN 2023ixf shows peak absolute magnitudes (e.g.,Mu= −18.6 mag,Mg= −18.4 mag) that are ≳2 mag brighter than typical type II SNe, this photometric boost also being consistent with the shock power supplied from CSM interaction. Comparison of SN 2023ixf to a grid of light-curve and multiepoch spectral models from the non-LTE radiative transfer codeCMFGENand the radiation-hydrodynamics codeHERACLESsuggests dense, solar-metallicity CSM confined tor= (0.5–1) × 1015cm, and a progenitor mass-loss rate ofṀ=102Myr−1. For the assumed progenitor wind velocity ofvw= 50 km s−1, this corresponds to enhanced mass loss (i.e.,superwindphase) during the last ∼3–6 yr before explosion.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  7. Abstract

    We present extensive multifrequency Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) observations of the radio-bright supernova (SN) IIb SN 2004C that span ∼40–2793 days post-explosion. We interpret the temporal evolution of the radio spectral energy distribution in the context of synchrotron self-absorbed emission from the explosion’s forward shock as it expands in the circumstellar medium (CSM) previously sculpted by the mass-loss history of the stellar progenitor. VLBA observations and modeling of the VLA data point to a blastwave with average velocity ∼0.06cthat carries an energy of ≈1049erg. Our modeling further reveals a flat CSM density profileρCSMR−0.03±0.22up to a break radiusRbr≈ (1.96 ± 0.10) × 1016cm, with a steep density gradient followingρCSMR−2.3±0.5at larger radii. We infer that the flat part of the density profile corresponds to a CSM shell with mass ∼0.021M, and that the progenitor’s effective mass-loss rate varied with time over the range (50–500) × 10−5Myr−1for an adopted wind velocityvw= 1000 km s−1and shock microphysical parametersϵe= 0.1,ϵB= 0.01. These results add to the mounting observational evidence for departures from the traditional single-wind mass-loss scenarios in evolved, massive stars in the centuries leading up to core collapse. Potentially viable scenarios include mass loss powered by gravity waves and/or interaction with a binary companion.

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  8. Abstract GW190814 was a compact object binary coalescence detected in gravitational waves by Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo that garnered exceptional community interest due to its excellent localization and the uncertain nature of the binary’s lighter-mass component (either the heaviest known neutron star, or the lightest known black hole). Despite extensive follow-up observations, no electromagnetic counterpart has been identified. Here, we present new radio observations of 75 galaxies within the localization volume at Δ t ≈ 35–266 days post-merger. Our observations cover ∼32% of the total stellar luminosity in the final localization volume and extend to later timescales than previously reported searches, allowing us to place the deepest constraints to date on the existence of a radio afterglow from a highly off-axis relativistic jet launched during the merger (assuming that the merger occurred within the observed area). For a viewing angle of ∼46° (the best-fit binary inclination derived from the gravitational wave signal) and assumed electron and magnetic field energy fractions of ϵ e = 0.1 and ϵ B = 0.01, we can rule out a typical short gamma-ray burst-like Gaussian jet with an opening angle of 15° and isotropic-equivalent kinetic energy 2 × 10 51 erg propagating into a constant-density medium n ≳ 0.1 cm −3 . These are the first limits resulting from a galaxy-targeted search for a radio counterpart to a gravitational wave event, and we discuss the challenges—and possible advantages—of applying similar search strategies to future events using current and upcoming radio facilities. 
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  9. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT We present X-ray and radio observations of what may be the closest Type Iax supernova (SN) to date, SN 2014dt (d = 12.3–19.3 Mpc), and provide tight constraints on the radio and X-ray emission. We infer a specific radio luminosity $L_R\lt (1.0\!-\!2.4)\times 10^{25}\, \rm {erg\, s^{-1}\, Hz^{-1}}$ at a frequency of 7.5 GHz and a X-ray luminosity $L_X\lt 1.4\times 10^{38}\, \rm {erg\, s^{-1}}$ (0.3–10 keV) at ∼38–48 d post-explosion. We interpret these limits in the context of Inverse Compton (IC) emission and synchrotron emission from a population of electrons accelerated at the forward shock of the explosion in a power-law distribution $N_e(\gamma _e)\propto \gamma _e^{-p}$ with p = 3. Our analysis constrains the progenitor system mass-loss rate to be $\dot{M}\lt 5.0 \times 10^{-6} \rm {M_{\odot }\, yr^{-1}}$ at distances $r\lesssim 10^{16}\, \rm {cm}$ for an assumed wind velocity $v_w=100\, \rm {km\, s^{-1}}$, and a fraction of post-shock energy into magnetic fields and relativistic electrons of ϵB = 0.01 and ϵe = 0.1, respectively. This result rules out some of the parameter space of symbiotic giant star companions, and it is consistent with the low mass-loss rates expected from He-star companions. Our calculations also show that the improved sensitivity of the next-generation Very Large Array (ngVLA) is needed to probe the very low-density media characteristic of He stars that are the leading model for binary stellar companions of white dwarfs giving origin to Type Iax SNe. 
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