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  1. ABSTRACT

    Extragalactic fast X-ray transients (FXTs) are a class of soft (0.3–10 keV) X-ray transients lasting a few hundred seconds to several hours. Several progenitor mechanisms have been suggested to produce FXTs, including supernova shock breakouts, binary neutron star mergers, or tidal disruptions involving an intermediate-mass black hole and a white dwarf. We present detailed host studies, including spectroscopic observations of the host galaxies of seven XMM-Newton-discovered FXTs. The candidate hosts lie at redshifts 0.0928 <z < 0.645 implying peak X-ray luminosities of 1043 erg s−1<LX < 1045 erg s−1 and physical offsets of 1 kpc < rproj < 22 kpc. These observations increase the number of FXTs with a spectroscopic redshift measurement by a factor of 2, although we note that one event is re-identified as a Galactic flare star. We infer host star formation rates and stellar masses by fitting the combined spectroscopic and archival photometric data. We also report on a contemporaneous optical counterpart search to the FXTs in Pan-STARRS and ATLAS by performing forced photometry at the position of the FXTs. We do not find any counterpart in our search. Given our constraints, including peak X-ray luminosities, optical limits, and host properties, we find that XRT 110 621 is consistent with an supernova shock breakout (SN SBO) event. Spectroscopic redshifts of likely host galaxies for four events imply peak X-ray luminosities that are too high to be consistent with SN SBOs, but we are unable to discard either the binary neutron star or white dwarf–intermediate-mass black hole tidal disruption event scenarios for these FXTs.

     
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  2. Abstract

    We present multiwavelength photometry and spectroscopy of SN 2022jli, an unprecedented Type Ic supernova discovered in the galaxy NGC 157 at a distance of ≈ 23 Mpc. The multiband light curves reveal many remarkable characteristics. Peaking at a magnitude ofg= 15.11 ± 0.02, the high-cadence photometry reveals periodic undulations of 12.5 ± 0.2 days superimposed on the 200-day supernova decline. This periodicity is observed in the light curves from nine separate filter and instrument configurations with peak-to-peak amplitudes of ≃ 0.1 mag. This is the first time that repeated periodic oscillations, over many cycles, have been detected in a supernova light curve. SN 2022jli also displays an extreme early excess that fades over ≈25 days, followed by a rise to a peak luminosity ofLopt= 1042.1erg s−1. Although the exact explosion epoch is not constrained by data, the time from explosion to maximum light is ≳ 59 days. The luminosity can be explained by a large ejecta mass (Mej≈ 12 ± 6M) powered by56Ni, but we find it difficult to quantitatively model the early excess with circumstellar interaction and cooling. Collision between the supernova ejecta and a binary companion is a possible source of this emission. We discuss the origin of the periodic variability in the light curve, including interaction of the SN ejecta with nested shells of circumstellar matter and neutron stars colliding with binary companions.

     
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  3. Abstract

    We present the discovery and extensive follow-up of a remarkable fast-evolving optical transient, AT 2022aedm, detected by the Asteroid Terrestrial impact Last Alert Survey (ATLAS). In the ATLASoband, AT 2022aedm exhibited a rise time of 9 ± 1 days, reaching a luminous peak withMg≈ −22 mag. It faded by 2 mag in thegband during the next 15 days. These timescales are consistent with other rapidly evolving transients, though the luminosity is extreme. Most surprisingly, the host galaxy is a massive elliptical with negligible current star formation. Radio and X-ray observations rule out a relativistic AT 2018cow–like explosion. A spectrum in the first few days after explosion showed short-lived Heiiemission resembling young core-collapse supernovae, but obvious broad supernova features never developed; later spectra showed only a fast-cooling continuum and narrow, blueshifted absorption lines, possibly arising in a wind withv≈ 2700 km s−1. We identify two further transients in the literature (Dougie in particular, as well as AT 2020bot) that share similarities in their luminosities, timescales, color evolution, and largely featureless spectra and propose that these may constitute a new class of transients: luminous fast coolers. All three events occurred in passive galaxies at offsets of ∼4–10 kpc from the nucleus, posing a challenge for progenitor models involving massive stars or black holes. The light curves and spectra appear to be consistent with shock breakout emission, though this mechanism is usually associated with core-collapse supernovae. The encounter of a star with a stellar-mass black hole may provide a promising alternative explanation.

     
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  4. Abstract We present extensive optical photometry of the afterglow of GRB 221009A. Our data cover 0.9–59.9 days from the time of Swift and Fermi gamma-ray burst (GRB) detections. Photometry in rizy -band filters was collected primarily with Pan-STARRS and supplemented by multiple 1–4 m imaging facilities. We analyzed the Swift X-ray data of the afterglow and found a single decline rate power law f ( t ) ∝ t −1.556±0.002 best describes the light curve. In addition to the high foreground Milky Way dust extinction along this line of sight, the data favor additional extinction to consistently model the optical to X-ray flux with optically thin synchrotron emission. We fit the X-ray-derived power law to the optical light curve and find good agreement with the measured data up to 5−6 days. Thereafter we find a flux excess in the riy bands that peaks in the observer frame at ∼20 days. This excess shares similar light-curve profiles to the Type Ic broad-lined supernovae SN 2016jca and SN 2017iuk once corrected for the GRB redshift of z = 0.151 and arbitrarily scaled. This may be representative of an SN emerging from the declining afterglow. We measure rest-frame absolute peak AB magnitudes of M g = −19.8 ± 0.6 and M r = − 19.4 ± 0.3 and M z = −20.1 ± 0.3. If this is an SN component, then Bayesian modeling of the excess flux would imply explosion parameters of M ej = 7.1 − 1.7 + 2.4 M ⊙ , M Ni = 1.0 − 0.4 + 0.6 M ⊙ , and v ej = 33,900 − 5700 + 5900 km s −1 , for the ejecta mass, nickel mass, and ejecta velocity respectively, inferring an explosion energy of E kin ≃ 2.6–9.0 × 10 52 erg. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  5. Abstract We present the Young Supernova Experiment Data Release 1 (YSE DR1), comprised of processed multicolor PanSTARRS1 griz and Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) gr photometry of 1975 transients with host–galaxy associations, redshifts, spectroscopic and/or photometric classifications, and additional data products from 2019 November 24 to 2021 December 20. YSE DR1 spans discoveries and observations from young and fast-rising supernovae (SNe) to transients that persist for over a year, with a redshift distribution reaching z ≈ 0.5. We present relative SN rates from YSE’s magnitude- and volume-limited surveys, which are consistent with previously published values within estimated uncertainties for untargeted surveys. We combine YSE and ZTF data, and create multisurvey SN simulations to train the ParSNIP and SuperRAENN photometric classification algorithms; when validating our ParSNIP classifier on 472 spectroscopically classified YSE DR1 SNe, we achieve 82% accuracy across three SN classes (SNe Ia, II, Ib/Ic) and 90% accuracy across two SN classes (SNe Ia, core-collapse SNe). Our classifier performs particularly well on SNe Ia, with high (>90%) individual completeness and purity, which will help build an anchor photometric SNe Ia sample for cosmology. We then use our photometric classifier to characterize our photometric sample of 1483 SNe, labeling 1048 (∼71%) SNe Ia, 339 (∼23%) SNe II, and 96 (∼6%) SNe Ib/Ic. YSE DR1 provides a training ground for building discovery, anomaly detection, and classification algorithms, performing cosmological analyses, understanding the nature of red and rare transients, exploring tidal disruption events and nuclear variability, and preparing for the forthcoming Vera C. Rubin Observatory Legacy Survey of Space and Time. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2024
  6. We present photometric and spectroscopic data on three extragalactic luminous red novae (LRNe): AT 2018bwo , AT 2021afy , and AT 2021blu . AT 2018bwo was discovered in NGC 45 (at about 6.8 Mpc) a few weeks after the outburst onset. During the monitoring period, the transient reached a peak luminosity of 10 40 erg s −1 . AT 2021afy , hosted by UGC 10043 (∼49.2 Mpc), showed a double-peaked light curve, with the two peaks reaching a similar luminosity of 2.1(±0.6)×10 41 erg s −1 . Finally, for AT 2021blu in UGC 5829 (∼8.6 Mpc), the pre-outburst phase was well-monitored by several photometric surveys, and the object showed a slow luminosity rise before the outburst. The light curve of AT 2021blu was sampled with an unprecedented cadence until the object disappeared behind the Sun, and it was then recovered at late phases. The light curve of LRN AT 2021blu shows a double peak, with a prominent early maximum reaching a luminosity of 6.5 × 10 40 erg s −1 , which is half of that of AT 2021afy . The spectra of AT 2021afy and AT 2021blu display the expected evolution for LRNe: a blue continuum dominated by prominent Balmer lines in emission during the first peak, and a redder continuum consistent with that of a K-type star with narrow absorption metal lines during the second, broad maximum. The spectra of AT 2018bwo are markedly different, with a very red continuum dominated by broad molecular features in absorption. As these spectra closely resemble those of LRNe after the second peak, AT 2018bwo was probably discovered at the very late evolutionary stages. This would explain its fast evolution and the spectral properties compatible with that of an M-type star. From the analysis of deep frames of the LRN sites years before the outburst, and considerations of the light curves, the quiescent progenitor systems of the three LRNe were likely massive, with primaries ranging from about 13 M ⊙ for AT 2018bwo , to 14 −1 +4 M ⊙ for AT 2021blu , and over 40 M ⊙ for AT 2021afy . 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  7. Abstract We present panchromatic observations and modeling of supernova (SN) 2020tlf, the first normal Type II-P/L SN with confirmed precursor emission, as detected by the Young Supernova Experiment transient survey. Pre-SN activity was detected in riz -bands at −130 days and persisted at relatively constant flux until first light. Soon after discovery, “flash” spectroscopy of SN 2020tlf revealed narrow, symmetric emission lines that resulted from the photoionization of circumstellar material (CSM) shed in progenitor mass-loss episodes before explosion. Surprisingly, this novel display of pre-SN emission and associated mass loss occurred in a red supergiant (RSG) progenitor with zero-age main-sequence mass of only 10–12 M ⊙ , as inferred from nebular spectra. Modeling of the light curve and multi-epoch spectra with the non-LTE radiative-transfer code CMFGEN and radiation-hydrodynamical code HERACLES suggests a dense CSM limited to r ≈ 10 15 cm, and mass-loss rate of 10 −2 M ⊙ yr −1 . The luminous light-curve plateau and persistent blue excess indicates an extended progenitor, compatible with an RSG model with R ⋆ = 1100 R ⊙ . Limits on the shock-powered X-ray and radio luminosity are consistent with model conclusions and suggest a CSM density of ρ < 2 × 10 −16 g cm −3 for distances from the progenitor star of r ≈ 5 × 10 15 cm, as well as a mass-loss rate of M ̇ < 1.3 × 10 − 5 M ☉ yr − 1 at larger distances. A promising power source for the observed precursor emission is the ejection of stellar material following energy disposition into the stellar envelope as a result of gravity waves emitted during either neon/oxygen burning or a nuclear flash from silicon combustion. 
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  8. ABSTRACT

    We present optical and near-infrared (NIR) observations of the Type Icn supernova (SN Icn) 2022ann, the fifth member of its newly identified class of SNe. Its early optical spectra are dominated by narrow carbon and oxygen P-Cygni features with absorption velocities of ∼800 km s−1; slower than other SNe Icn and indicative of interaction with a dense, H/He-poor circumstellar medium (CSM) that is outflowing slower than typical Wolf–Rayet wind velocities of >1000 km s−1. We identify helium in NIR spectra 2 weeks after maximum and in optical spectra at 3 weeks, demonstrating that the CSM is not fully devoid of helium. Unlike other SNe Icn, the spectra of SN 2022ann never develop broad features from SN ejecta, including in the nebular phase. Compared to other SNe Icn, SN 2022ann has a low luminosity (o-band absolute magnitude of ∼−17.7), and evolves slowly. The bolometric light curve is well-modelled by 4.8 M⊙ of SN ejecta interacting with 1.3 M⊙ of CSM. We place an upper limit of 0.04 M⊙ of 56Ni synthesized in the explosion. The host galaxy is a dwarf galaxy with a stellar mass of 107.34 M⊙ (implied metallicity of log(Z/Z⊙) ≈ 0.10) and integrated star-formation rate of log (SFR) = −2.20 M⊙ yr−1; both lower than 97 per cent of galaxies observed to produce core-collapse supernovae, although consistent with star-forming galaxies on the galaxy Main Sequence. The low CSM velocity, nickel and ejecta masses, and likely low-metallicity environment disfavour a single Wolf–Rayet progenitor star. Instead, a binary companion is likely required to adequately strip the progenitor and produce a low-velocity outflow.

     
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  9. We present an observational study of the luminous red nova (LRN) AT 2021biy in the nearby galaxy NGC 4631. The field of the object was routinely imaged during the pre-eruptive stage by synoptic surveys, but the transient was detected only at a few epochs from ∼231 days before maximum brightness. The LRN outburst was monitored with unprecedented cadence both photometrically and spectroscopically. AT 2021biy shows a short-duration blue peak, with a bolometric luminosity of ∼1.6 × 10 41 erg s −1 , followed by the longest plateau among LRNe to date, with a duration of 210 days. A late-time hump in the light curve was also observed, possibly produced by a shell-shell collision. AT 2021biy exhibits the typical spectral evolution of LRNe. Early-time spectra are characterised by a blue continuum and prominent H emission lines. Then, the continuum becomes redder, resembling that of a K-type star with a forest of metal absorption lines during the plateau phase. Finally, late-time spectra show a very red continuum ( T BB  ≈ 2050 K) with molecular features (e.g., TiO) resembling those of M-type stars. Spectropolarimetric analysis indicates that AT 2021biy has local dust properties similar to those of V838 Mon in the Milky Way Galaxy. Inspection of archival Hubble Space Telescope data taken on 2003 August 3 reveals a ∼20 M ⊙ progenitor candidate with log ( L / L ⊙ ) = 5.0 dex and T eff  = 5900 K at solar metallicity. The above luminosity and colour match those of a luminous yellow supergiant. Most likely, this source is a close binary, with a 17–24 M ⊙ primary component. 
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  10. null (Ed.)
    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 narrow 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. 
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