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  1. We present the results of our monitoring campaigns of the luminous red novae (LRNe) AT 2020hat in NGC 5068 and AT 2020kog in NGC 6106. The two objects were imaged (and detected) before their discovery by routine survey operations. They show a general trend of slow luminosity rise, lasting at least a few months. The subsequent major LRN outbursts were extensively followed in photometry and spectroscopy. The light curves present an initial short-duration peak, followed by a redder plateau phase. AT 2020kog is a moderately luminous event peaking at ∼7 × 10 40 erg s −1 , while AT 2020hat is almost one order of magnitude fainter than AT 2020kog, although it is still more luminous than V838 Mon. In analogy with other LRNe, the spectra of AT 2020kog change significantly with time. They resemble those of type IIn supernovae at early phases, then they become similar to those of K-type stars during the plateau, and to M-type stars at very late phases. In contrast, AT 2020hat already shows a redder continuum at early epochs, and its spectrum shows the late appearance of molecular bands. A moderate-resolution spectrum of AT 2020hat taken at +37 d after maximum shows a forest of narrowmore »P Cygni lines of metals with velocities of 180 km s −1 , along with an H α emission with a full-width at half-maximum velocity of 250 km s −1 . For AT 2020hat, a robust constraint on its quiescent progenitor is provided by archival images of the Hubble Space Telescope. The progenitor is clearly detected as a mid-K type star, with an absolute magnitude of M F 606 W  = −3.33 ± 0.09 mag and a colour of F 606 W  −  F 814 W  = 1.14 ± 0.05 mag, which are inconsistent with the expectations from a massive star that could later produce a core-collapse supernova. Although quite peculiar, the two objects nicely match the progenitor versus light curve absolute magnitude correlations discussed in the literature.« less
  2. 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 emissionmore »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.« less
  3. In this paper we report the results of the first ~four years of spectroscopic and photometric monitoring of the Type IIn supernova SN 2015da (also known as PSN J13522411+3941286, or iPTF16tu). The supernova exploded in the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 5337 in a relatively highly extinguished environment. The transient showed prominent narrow Balmer lines in emission at all times and a slow rise to maximum in all bands. In addition, early observations performed by amateur astronomers give a very well-constrained explosion epoch. The observables are consistent with continuous interaction between the supernova ejecta and a dense and extended H-rich circumstellar medium. The presence of such an extended and dense medium is difficult to reconcile with standard stellar evolution models, since the metallicity at the position of SN 2015da seems to be slightly subsolar. Interaction is likely the mechanism powering the light curve, as confirmed by the analysis of the pseudo bolometric light curve, which gives a total radiated energy ≳ 10 51 erg. Modeling the light curve in the context of a supernova shock breakout through a dense circumstellar medium allowed us to infer the mass of the prexisting gas to be ≃ 8 M ⊙ , with an extrememore »mass-loss rate for the progenitor star ≃0.6 M ⊙ yr −1 , suggesting that most of the circumstellar gas was produced during multiple eruptive events. Near- and mid-infrared observations reveal a fluxexcess in these domains, similar to those observed in SN 2010jl and other interacting transients, likely due to preexisting radiatively heated dust surrounding the supernova. By modeling the infrared excess, we infer a mass ≳ 0.4 × 10 −3 M ⊙ for the dust.« less