skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Sokoloski, Jennifer L."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract We report the discovery of a bright ( $g = 14.5$ mag (AB), $K = 11.9$ mag (Vega)) quasar at redshift $z=0.83$ — the optically brightest (unbeamed) quasar at $z>0.4$ . SMSS J114447.77-430859.3, at a Galactic latitude of $b=+18.1^{\circ}$ , was identified by its optical colours from the SkyMapper Southern Survey (SMSS) during a search for symbiotic binary stars. Optical and near-infrared spectroscopy reveals broad Mg ii , H $\unicode{x03B2}$ , H $\unicode{x03B1}$ , and Pa $\unicode{x03B2}$ emission lines, from which we measure a black hole mass of $\log_{10}\! (M_{\mathrm{BH}}/\mathrm{M}_{\odot}) = 9.4 \pm 0.5$ . With its high luminosity, $L_{\mathrm{bol}} = (4.7\pm1.0)\times10^{47}\,\mathrm{erg\,s}^{-1}$ or $M_{i}(z=2) = -29.74$ mag (AB), we estimate an Eddington ratio of $\approx1.4$ . As the most luminous quasar known over the last ${\sim}$ 9 Gyr of cosmic history, having a luminosity $8\times$ greater than 3C 273, the source offers a range of potential follow-up opportunities.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  2. Abstract We present radio observations (1–40 GHz) for 36 classical novae, representing data from over five decades compiled from the literature, telescope archives, and our own programs. Our targets display a striking diversity in their optical parameters (e.g., spanning optical fading timescales, t 2 = 1–263 days), and we find a similar diversity in the radio light curves. Using a brightness temperature analysis, we find that radio emission from novae is a mixture of thermal and synchrotron emission, with nonthermal emission observed at earlier times. We identify high brightness temperature emission ( T B > 5 × 10 4 K) as an indication of synchrotron emission in at least nine (25%) of the novae. We find a class of synchrotron-dominated novae with mildly evolved companions, exemplified by V5589 Sgr and V392 Per, that appear to be a bridge between classical novae with dwarf companions and symbiotic binaries with giant companions. Four of the novae in our sample have two distinct radio maxima (the first dominated by synchrotron and the later by thermal emission), and in four cases the early synchrotron peak is temporally coincident with a dramatic dip in the optical light curve, hinting at a common site for particlemore »acceleration and dust formation. We publish the light curves in a machine-readable table and encourage the use of these data by the broader community in multiwavelength studies and modeling efforts.« less
  3. ABSTRACT X-ray observations of shocked gas in novae can provide a useful probe of the dynamics of the ejecta. Here we report on X-ray observations of the nova V959 Mon, which was also detected in GeV gamma-rays with the Fermi satellite. We find that the X-ray spectra are consistent with a two-temperature plasma model with non-solar abundances. We interpret the X-rays as due to shock interaction between the slow equatorial torus and the fast polar outflow that were inferred from radio observations of V959 Mon. We further propose that the hotter component, responsible for most of the flux, is from the reverse shock driven into the fast outflow. We find a systematic drop in the column density of the absorber between days 60 and 140, consistent with the expectations for such a picture. We present intriguing evidence for a delay of around 40 d in the expulsion of the ejecta from the central binary. Moreover, we infer a relatively small (a few times 10−6 M⊙) ejecta mass ahead of the shock, considerably lower than the mass of 104 K gas inferred from radio observations. Finally, we infer that the dominant X-ray shock was likely not radiative at the time of our observations, andmore »that the shock power was considerably higher than the observed X-ray luminosity. It is unclear why high X-ray luminosity, closer to the inferred shock power, is never seen in novae at early times, when the shock is expected to have high enough density to be radiative.« less
  4. Abstract The nova rate in the Milky Way remains largely uncertain, despite its vital importance in constraining models of Galactic chemical evolution as well as understanding progenitor channels for Type Ia supernovae. The rate has been previously estimated to be in the range of ≈10–300 yr −1 , either based on extrapolations from a handful of very bright optical novae or the nova rates in nearby galaxies; both methods are subject to debatable assumptions. The total discovery rate of optical novae remains much smaller (≈5–10 yr −1 ) than these estimates, even with the advent of all-sky optical time-domain surveys. Here, we present a systematic sample of 12 spectroscopically confirmed Galactic novae detected in the first 17 months of Palomar Gattini-IR (PGIR), a wide-field near-infrared time-domain survey. Operating in the J band (≈1.2 μ m), which is significantly less affected by dust extinction compared to optical bands, the extinction distribution of the PGIR sample is highly skewed to a large extinction values (>50% of events obscured by A V ≳ 5 mag). Using recent estimates for the distribution of Galactic mass and dust, we show that the extinction distribution of the PGIR sample is commensurate with dust models. The PGIRmore »extinction distribution is inconsistent with that reported in previous optical searches (null-hypothesis probability <0.01%), suggesting that a large population of highly obscured novae have been systematically missed in previous optical searches. We perform the first quantitative simulation of a 3 π time-domain survey to estimate the Galactic nova rate using PGIR, and derive a rate of ≈ 43.7 − 8.7 + 19.5 yr −1 . Our results suggest that all-sky near-infrared time-domain surveys are well poised to uncover the Galactic nova population.« less
  5. ABSTRACT Shocks in γ-ray emitting classical novae are expected to produce bright thermal and non-thermal X-rays. We test this prediction with simultaneous NuSTAR and Fermi/LAT observations of nova V906 Car, which exhibited the brightest GeV γ-ray emission to date. The nova is detected in hard X-rays while it is still γ-ray bright, but contrary to simple theoretical expectations, the detected 3.5–78 keV emission of V906 Car is much weaker than the simultaneously observed >100 MeV emission. No non-thermal X-ray emission is detected, and our deep limits imply that the γ-rays are likely hadronic. After correcting for substantial absorption (NH ≈ 2 × 1023 cm−2), the thermal X-ray luminosity (from a 9 keV optically thin plasma) is just ∼2 per cent of the γ-ray luminosity. We consider possible explanations for the low thermal X-ray luminosity, including the X-rays being suppressed by corrugated, radiative shock fronts or the X-rays from the γ-ray producing shock are hidden behind an even larger absorbing column (NH > 1025 cm−2). Adding XMM–Newton and Swift/XRT observations to our analysis, we find that the evolution of the intrinsic X-ray absorption requires the nova shell to be expelled 24 d after the outburst onset. The X-ray spectra show that the ejecta are enhanced in nitrogen and oxygen, and the nova occurredmore »on the surface of a CO-type white dwarf. We see no indication of a distinct supersoft phase in the X-ray light curve, which, after considering the absorption effects, may point to a low mass of the white dwarf hosting the nova.« less