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  1. Abstract

    An intensive reverberation mapping campaign of the Seyfert 1 galaxy Mrk 817 using the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope revealed significant variations in the response of broad UV emission lines to fluctuations in the continuum emission. The response of the prominent UV emission lines changes over an ∼60 day duration, resulting in distinctly different time lags in the various segments of the light curve over the 14 month observing campaign. One-dimensional echo-mapping models fit these variations if a slowly varying background is included for each emission line. These variations are more evident in the Civlight curve, which is the line least affected by intrinsic absorption in Mrk 817 and least blended with neighboring emission lines. We identify five temporal windows with a distinct emission-line response, and measure their corresponding time delays, which range from 2 to 13 days. These temporal windows are plausibly linked to changes in the UV and X-ray obscuration occurring during these same intervals. The shortest time lags occur during periods with diminishing obscuration, whereas the longest lags occur during periods with rising obscuration. We propose that the obscuring outflow shields the broad UV lines from the ionizing continuum. The resulting change in the spectral energy distribution of the ionizing continuum, as seen by clouds at a range of distances from the nucleus, is responsible for the changes in the line response.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2025
  2. Abstract

    The AGN STORM 2 campaign is a large, multiwavelength reverberation mapping project designed to trace out the structure of Mrk 817 from the inner accretion disk to the broad emission line region and out to the dusty torus. As part of this campaign, Swift performed daily monitoring of Mrk 817 for approximately 15 months, obtaining observations in X-rays and six UV/optical filters. The X-ray monitoring shows that Mrk 817 was in a significantly fainter state than in previous observations, with only a brief flare where it reached prior flux levels. The X-ray spectrum is heavily obscured. The UV/optical light curves show significant variability throughout the campaign and are well correlated with one another, but uncorrelated with the X-rays. Combining the Swift UV/optical light curves with Hubble Space Telescope UV continuum light curves, we measure interband continuum lags,τ(λ), that increase with increasing wavelength roughly followingτ(λ) ∝λ4/3, the dependence expected for a geometrically thin, optically thick, centrally illuminated disk. Modeling of the light curves reveals a period at the beginning of the campaign where the response of the continuum is suppressed compared to later in the light curve—the light curves are not simple shifted and scaled versions of each other. The interval of suppressed response corresponds to a period of high UV line and X-ray absorption, and reduced emission line variability amplitudes. We suggest that this indicates a significant contribution to the continuum from the broad-line region gas that sees an absorbed ionizing continuum.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 27, 2024
  3. Abstract We present near-infrared (NIR) and optical observations of the Type Ic supernova (SN Ic) SN 2021krf obtained between days 13 and 259 at several ground-based telescopes. The NIR spectrum at day 68 exhibits a rising K -band continuum flux density longward of ∼2.0 μ m, and a late-time optical spectrum at day 259 shows strong [O i ] 6300 and 6364 Å emission-line asymmetry, both indicating the presence of dust, likely formed in the SN ejecta. We estimate a carbon-grain dust mass of ∼2 × 10 −5 M ⊙ and a dust temperature of ∼900–1200 K associated with this rising continuum and suggest the dust has formed in SN ejecta. Utilizing the one-dimensional multigroup radiation-hydrodynamics code STELLA, we present two degenerate progenitor solutions for SN 2021krf, characterized by C–O star masses of 3.93 and 5.74 M ⊙ , but with the same best-fit 56 Ni mass of 0.11 M ⊙ for early times (0–70 days). At late times (70–300 days), optical light curves of SN 2021krf decline substantially more slowly than those expected from 56 Co radioactive decay. Lack of H and He lines in the late-time SN spectrum suggests the absence of significant interaction of the ejecta with the circumstellar medium. We reproduce the entire bolometric light curve with a combination of radioactive decay and an additional powering source in the form of a central engine of a millisecond pulsar with a magnetic field smaller than that of a typical magnetar. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  4. Abstract

    We present high-cadence ultraviolet through near-infrared observations of the Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) 2023bee atD= 32 ± 3 Mpc, finding excess flux in the first days after explosion, particularly in our 10 minutes cadence TESS light curve and Swift UV data. Compared to a few other normal SNe Ia with early excess flux, the excess flux in SN 2023bee is redder in the UV and less luminous. We present optical spectra of SN 2023bee, including two spectra during the period where the flux excess is dominant. At this time, the spectra are similar to those of other SNe Ia but with weaker Siii, Cii,and Caiiabsorption lines, perhaps because the excess flux creates a stronger continuum. We compare the data to several theoretical models on the origin of early excess flux in SNe Ia. Interaction with either the companion star or close-in circumstellar material is expected to produce a faster evolution than observed. Radioactive material in the outer layers of the ejecta, either from double detonation explosion or from a56Ni clump near the surface, cannot fully reproduce the evolution either, likely due to the sensitivity of early UV observable to the treatment of the outer part of ejecta in simulation. We conclude that no current model can adequately explain the full set of observations. We find that a relatively large fraction of nearby, bright SNe Ia with high-cadence observations have some amount of excess flux within a few days of explosion. Considering potential asymmetric emission, the physical cause of this excess flux may be ubiquitous in normal SNe Ia.

     
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  5. Abstract

    We fit the UV/optical lightcurves of the Seyfert 1 galaxy Mrk 817 to produce maps of the accretion disk temperature fluctuationsδTresolved in time and radius. TheδTmaps are dominated by coherent radial structures that move slowly (vc) inward and outward, which conflicts with the idea that disk variability is driven only by reverberation. Instead, these slow-moving temperature fluctuations are likely due to variability intrinsic to the disk. We test how modifying the input lightcurves by smoothing and subtracting them changes the resultingδTmaps and find that most of the temperature fluctuations exist over relatively long timescales (hundreds of days). We show how detrending active galactic nucleus (AGN) lightcurves can be used to separate the flux variations driven by the slow-moving temperature fluctuations from those driven by reverberation. We also simulate contamination of the continuum emission from the disk by continuum emission from the broad-line region (BLR), which is expected to have spectral features localized in wavelength, such as the Balmer break contaminating theUband. We find that a disk with a smooth temperature profile cannot produce a signal localized in wavelength and that any BLR contamination should appear as residuals in our model lightcurves. Given the observed residuals, we estimate that only ∼20% of the variable flux in theUandulightcurves can be due to BLR contamination. Finally, we discus how these maps not only describe the data but can make predictions about other aspects of AGN variability.

     
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  6. Abstract

    We present an analysis of ground-based and JWST observations of SN 2022pul, a peculiar “03fg-like” (or “super-Chandrasekhar”) Type Ia supernova (SN Ia), in the nebular phase at 338 days postexplosion. Our combined spectrum continuously covers 0.4–14μm and includes the first mid-infrared spectrum of a 03fg-like SN Ia. Compared to normal SN Ia 2021aefx, SN 2022pul exhibits a lower mean ionization state, asymmetric emission-line profiles, stronger emission from the intermediate-mass elements (IMEs) argon and calcium, weaker emission from iron-group elements (IGEs), and the first unambiguous detection of neon in a SN Ia. A strong, broad, centrally peaked [Neii] line at 12.81μm was previously predicted as a hallmark of “violent merger” SN Ia models, where dynamical interaction between two sub-MChwhite dwarfs (WDs) causes disruption of the lower-mass WD and detonation of the other. The violent merger scenario was already a leading hypothesis for 03fg-like SNe Ia; in SN 2022pul it can explain the large-scale ejecta asymmetries seen between the IMEs and IGEs and the central location of narrow oxygen and broad neon. We modify extant models to add clumping of the ejecta to reproduce the optical iron emission better, and add mass in the innermost region (<2000 km s−1) to account for the observed narrow [Oi]λλ6300, 6364 emission. A violent WD–WD merger explains many of the observations of SN 2022pul, and our results favor this model interpretation for the subclass of 03fg-like SNe Ia.

     
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  7. Abstract Here we present 1701 light curves of 1550 unique, spectroscopically confirmed Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) that will be used to infer cosmological parameters as part of the Pantheon+ SN analysis and the Supernovae and H 0 for the Equation of State of dark energy distance-ladder analysis. This effort is one part of a series of works that perform an extensive review of redshifts, peculiar velocities, photometric calibration, and intrinsic-scatter models of SNe Ia. The total number of light curves, which are compiled across 18 different surveys, is a significant increase from the first Pantheon analysis (1048 SNe), particularly at low redshift ( z ). Furthermore, unlike in the Pantheon analysis, we include light curves for SNe with z < 0.01 such that SN systematic covariance can be included in a joint measurement of the Hubble constant ( H 0 ) and the dark energy equation-of-state parameter ( w ). We use the large sample to compare properties of 151 SNe Ia observed by multiple surveys and 12 pairs/triplets of “SN siblings”—SNe found in the same host galaxy. Distance measurements, application of bias corrections, and inference of cosmological parameters are discussed in the companion paper by Brout et al., and the determination of H 0 is discussed by Riess et al. These analyses will measure w with ∼3% precision and H 0 with ∼1 km s −1 Mpc −1 precision. 
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  8. Abstract The AGN STORM 2 Collaboration targeted the Seyfert 1 galaxy Mrk 817 for a year-long multiwavelength, coordinated reverberation mapping campaign including Hubble Space Telescope, Swift, XMM-Newton, NICER, and ground-based observatories. Early observations with NICER and XMM revealed an X-ray state 10 times fainter than historical observations, consistent with the presence of a new dust-free, ionized obscurer. The following analysis of NICER spectra attributes variability in the observed X-ray flux to changes in both the column density of the obscurer by at least one order of magnitude ( N H ranges from 2.85 − 0.33 + 0.48 × 10 22 cm − 2 to 25.6 − 3.5 + 3.0 × 10 22 cm − 2 ) and the intrinsic continuum brightness (the unobscured flux ranges from 10 −11.8 to 10 −10.5 erg s −1 cm −2 ). While the X-ray flux generally remains in a faint state, there is one large flare during which Mrk 817 returns to its historical mean flux. The obscuring gas is still present at lower column density during the flare, but it also becomes highly ionized, increasing its transparency. Correlation between the column density of the X-ray obscurer and the strength of UV broad absorption lines suggests that the X-ray and UV continua are both affected by the same obscuration, consistent with a clumpy disk wind launched from the inner broad-line region. 
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  9. Abstract

    We present observations of a peculiar hydrogen- and helium-poor stripped-envelope (SE) supernova (SN) 2020wnt, primarily in the optical and near-infrared (near-IR). Its peak absolute bolometric magnitude of −20.9 mag (Lbol, peak= (6.8 ± 0.3) × 1043erg s−1) and a rise time of 69 days are reminiscent of hydrogen-poor superluminous SNe (SLSNe I), luminous transients potentially powered by spinning-down magnetars. Before the main peak, there is a brief peak lasting <10 days post explosion, likely caused by interaction with circumstellar medium (CSM) ejected ∼years before the SN explosion. The optical spectra near peak lack a hot continuum and Oiiabsorptions, which are signs of heating from a central engine; they quantitatively resemble those of radioactivity-powered hydrogen/helium-poor Type Ic SESNe. At ∼1 yr after peak, nebular spectra reveal a blue pseudo-continuum and narrow Oirecombination lines associated with magnetar heating. Radio observations rule out strong CSM interactions as the dominant energy source at +266 days post peak. Near-IR observations at +200–300 days reveal carbon monoxide and dust formation, which causes a dramatic optical light-curve dip. Pair-instability explosion models predict slow light curve and spectral features incompatible with observations. SN 2020wnt is best explained as a magnetar-powered core-collapse explosion of a 28Mpre-SN star. The explosion kinetic energy is significantly larger than the magnetar energy at peak, effectively concealing the magnetar-heated inner ejecta until well after peak. SN 2020wnt falls into a continuum between normal SNe Ic and SLSNe I, and demonstrates that optical spectra at peak alone cannot rule out the presence of a central engine.

     
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