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  1. ABSTRACT We report the discovery of J0624–6948, a low-surface brightness radio ring, lying between the Galactic Plane and the large magellanic cloud (LMC). It was first detected at 888 MHz with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP), and with a diameter of ∼196 arcsec. This source has phenomenological similarities to odd radio circles (ORCs). Significant differences to the known ORCs – a flatter radio spectral index, the lack of a prominent central galaxy as a possible host, and larger apparent size – suggest that J0624–6948 may be a different type of object. We argue that the most plausible explanation for J0624–6948 is an intergalactic supernova remnant due to a star that resided in the LMC outskirts that had undergone a single-degenerate type Ia supernova, and we are seeing its remnant expand into a rarefied, intergalactic environment. We also examine if a massive star or a white dwarf binary ejected from either galaxy could be the supernova progenitor. Finally, we consider several other hypotheses for the nature of the object, including the jets of an active galactic nucleus (30Dor) or the remnant of a nearby stellar super-flare.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 15, 2023
  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