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  1. Cometary activity is a manifestation of sublimation-driven processes at the surface of nuclei. However, cometary outbursts may arise from other processes that are not necessarily driven by volatiles. In order to fully understand nuclear surfaces and their evolution, we must identify the causes of cometary outbursts. In that context, we present a study of mini-outbursts of comet 46P/Wirtanen. Six events are found in our long-term lightcurve of the comet around its perihelion passage in 2018. The apparent strengths range from −0.2 to −1.6 mag in a 5" radius aperture, and correspond to dust masses between ∼104 to 106 kg, butmore »with large uncertainties due to the unknown grain size distributions. However, the nominal mass estimates are the same order of magnitude as the mini-outbursts at comet 9P/Tempel 1 and 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, events which were notably lacking at comet 103P/Hartley 2. We compare the frequency of outbursts at the four comets, and suggest that the surface of 46P has large-scale (∼10-100 m) roughness that is intermediate to that of 67P and 103P, if not similar to the latter. The strength of the outbursts appear to be correlated with time since the last event, but a physical interpretation with respect to solar insolation is lacking. We also examine Hubble Space Telescope images taken about 2 days following a near-perihelion outburst. No evidence for macroscopic ejecta was found in the image, with a limiting radius of about 2-m.« less
  2. We present six new time-delay measurements obtained from R c -band monitoring data acquired at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPIA) 2.2 m telescope at La Silla observatory between October 2016 and February 2020. The lensed quasars HE 0047−1756, WG 0214−2105, DES 0407−5006, 2M 1134−2103, PSJ 1606−2333, and DES 2325−5229 were observed almost daily at high signal-to-noise ratio to obtain high-quality light curves where we can record fast and small-amplitude variations of the quasars. We measured time delays between all pairs of multiple images with only one or two seasons of monitoring with the exception of the time delaysmore »relative to image D of PSJ 1606−2333. The most precise estimate was obtained for the delay between image A and image B of DES 0407−5006, where τ AB = −128.4 −3.8 +3.5 d (2.8% precision) including systematics due to extrinsic variability in the light curves. For HE 0047−1756, we combined our high-cadence data with measurements from decade-long light curves from previous COSMOGRAIL campaigns, and reach a precision of 0.9 d on the final measurement. The present work demonstrates the feasibility of measuring time delays in lensed quasars in only one or two seasons, provided high signal-to-noise ratio data are obtained at a cadence close to daily.« less
  3. We present new measurements of the time delays of WFI2033−4723. The data sets used in this work include 14 years of data taken at the 1.2 m Leonhard Euler Swiss telescope, 13 years of data from the SMARTS 1.3 m telescope at Las Campanas Observatory and a single year of high-cadence and high-precision monitoring at the MPIA 2.2 m telescope. The time delays measured from these different data sets, all taken in the R -band, are in good agreement with each other and with previous measurements from the literature. Combining all the time-delay estimates from our data sets results inmore »Δ t AB = 36.2 +0.7 −0.8 days (2.1% precision), Δ t AC = −23.3 +1.2 −1.4 days (5.6%) and Δ t BC = −59.4 +1.3 −1.3 days (2.2%). In addition, the close image pair A1-A2 of the lensed quasars can be resolved in the MPIA 2.2 m data. We measure a time delay consistent with zero in this pair of images. We also explore the prior distributions of microlensing time-delay potentially affecting the cosmological time-delay measurements of WFI2033−4723. Our time-delay measurements are not precise enough to conclude that microlensing time delay is present or absent from the data. This work is part of a H0LiCOW series focusing on measuring the Hubble constant from WFI2033−4723.« less