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  1. Abstract SN 2017jgh is a type IIb supernova discovered by Pan-STARRS during the C16/C17 campaigns of the Kepler/K2 mission. Here we present the Kepler/K2 and ground based observations of SN 2017jgh, which captured the shock cooling of the progenitor shock breakout with an unprecedented cadence. This event presents a unique opportunity to investigate the progenitors of stripped envelope supernovae. By fitting analytical models to the SN 2017jgh lightcurve, we find that the progenitor of SN 2017jgh was likely a yellow supergiant with an envelope radius of ∼50 − 290 R⊙, and an envelope mass of ∼0 − 1.7 M⊙. SN 2017jgh likely had a shock velocity of ∼7500 − 10300 km s−1. Additionally, we use the lightcurve of SN 2017jgh to investigate how early observations of the rise contribute to constraints on progenitor models. Fitting just the ground based observations, we find an envelope radius of ∼50 − 330 R⊙, an envelope mass of ∼0.3 − 1.7 M⊙ and a shock velocity of ∼9, 000 − 15, 000 km s−1. Without the rise, the explosion time can not be well constrained which leads to a systematic offset in the velocity parameter and larger uncertainties in the mass and radius. Therefore, it is likely that progenitor property estimates throughmore »these models may have larger systematic uncertainties than previously calculated.« less
  2. 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 counterpart 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.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023