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  1. Abstract

    We present the first estimate of the Galactic nova rate based on optical transient surveys covering the entire sky. Using data from the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN) and Gaia—the only two all-sky surveys to report classical nova candidates—we find 39 confirmed Galactic novae and 7 additional unconfirmed candidates discovered from 2019 to 2021, yielding a nova discovery rate of ≈14 yr−1. Using accurate Galactic stellar mass models and three-dimensional dust maps and incorporating realistic nova light curves, we have built a sophisticated Galactic nova model to estimate the fraction of Galactic novae discovered by these surveys over this time period. The observing capabilities of each survey are distinct: the high cadence of ASAS-SN makes it sensitive to fast novae, while the broad observing filter and high spatial resolution of Gaia make it more sensitive to highly reddened novae across the entire Galactic plane and bulge. Despite these differences, we find that ASAS-SN and Gaia give consistent Galactic nova rates, with a final joint nova rate of 26 ± 5 yr−1. This inferred nova rate is substantially lower than found by many other recent studies. Critically assessing the systematic uncertainties in the Galactic nova rate, we argue thatmore »the role of faint, fast-fading novae has likely been overestimated, but that subtle details in the operation of transient alert pipelines can have large, sometimes unappreciated effects on transient recovery efficiency. Our predicted nova rate can be directly tested with forthcoming red/near-infrared transient surveys in the southern hemisphere.

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  2. Abstract We present the first results from Citizen ASAS-SN, a citizen science project for the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN) hosted on the Zooniverse platform. Citizen ASAS-SN utilizes the newer, deeper, higher cadence ASAS-SN g -band data and tasks volunteers to classify periodic variable star candidates based on their phased light curves. We started from 40,640 new variable candidates from an input list of ∼7.4 million stars with δ < −60° and the volunteers identified 10,420 new discoveries which they classified as 4234 pulsating variables, 3132 rotational variables, 2923 eclipsing binaries, and 131 variables flagged as Unknown. They classified known variable stars with an accuracy of 89% for pulsating variables, 81% for eclipsing binaries, and 49% for rotational variables. We examine user performance, agreement between users, and compare the citizen science classifications with our machine learning classifier updated for the g -band light curves. In general, user activity correlates with higher classification accuracy and higher user agreement. We used the user’s “Junk” classifications to develop an effective machine learning classifier to separate real from false variables, and there is a clear path for using this “Junk” training set to significantly improve our primary machine learning classifier. We also illustratemore »the value of Citizen ASAS-SN for identifying unusual variables with several examples.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  3. Abstract There is a long-standing discrepancy between the observed Galactic classical nova rate of ∼10 yr −1 and the predicted rate from Galactic models of ∼30–50 yr −1 . One explanation for this discrepancy is that many novae are hidden by interstellar extinction, but the degree to which dust can obscure novae is poorly constrained. We use newly available all-sky three-dimensional dust maps to compare the brightness and spatial distribution of known novae to that predicted from relatively simple models in which novae trace Galactic stellar mass. We find that only half (53%) of the novae are expected to be easily detectable ( g ≲ 15) with current all-sky optical surveys such as the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN). This fraction is much lower than previously estimated, showing that dust does substantially affect nova detection in the optical. By comparing complementary survey results from the ASAS-SN, OGLE-IV, and Palomar Gattini IR surveys using our modeling, we find a tentative Galactic nova rate of ∼30 yr −1 , though this could be as high as ∼40 yr −1 , depending on the assumed distribution of novae within the Galaxy. These preliminary estimates will be improved in future work through moremore »sophisticated modeling of nova detection in ASAS-SN and other surveys.« less
  4. We present optical photometry and spectroscopy of the Type II supernova ASASSN-14jb, together with Very Large Telescope (VLT) Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) integral field observations of its host galaxy and a nebular-phase spectrum. This supernova, in the nearby galaxy ESO 467-G051 ( z  = 0.006), was discovered and followed-up by the all-sky automated survey for supernovae (ASAS-SN). We obtained well-sampled las cumbres network (LCOGTN) B V g r i and Swift w 2 m 1 w 1 u b v optical, near-UV/optical light curves, and several optical spectra in the early photospheric phases. The transient ASASSN-14jb exploded ∼2 kpc above the star-forming disk of ESO 467-G051, an edge-on disk galaxy. The large projected distance from the disk of the supernova position and the non-detection of any H II region in a 1.4 kpc radius in projection are in conflict with the standard environment of core-collapse supernova progenitors and suggests the possible scenario that the progenitor received a kick in a binary interaction. We present analysis of the optical light curves and spectra, from which we derived a distance of 25 ± 2 Mpc using state-of-the-art empirical methods for Type II SNe, physical properties of the SN explosion ( 56 Ni mass, explosionmore »energy, and ejected mass), and properties of the progenitor; namely the progenitor radius, mass, and metallicity. Our analysis yields a 56 Ni mass of 0.0210  ±  0.0025  M ⊙ , an explosion energy of ≈0.25 × 10 51 ergs, and an ejected mass of ≈6  M ⊙ . We also constrained the progenitor radius to be R *  = 580  ±  28  R ⊙ which seems to be consistent with the sub-Solar metallicity of 0.3  ±  0.1  Z ⊙ derived from the supernova Fe II λ 5018 line. The nebular spectrum constrains strongly the progenitor mass to be in the range 10–12 M ⊙ . From the Spitzer data archive we detect ASASSN-14jb ≈330 days past explosion and we derived a total dust mass of 10 −4   M ⊙ from the 3.6 μ m and 4.5 μ m photometry. Using the F U V , N U V , B V g r i , K s , 3.6 μ m, and 4.5 μ m total magnitudes for the host galaxy, we fit stellar population synthesis models, which give an estimate of M *  ≈ 1 × 10 9   M ⊙ , an age of 3.2 Gyr, and a SFR ≈0.07  M ⊙ yr −1 . We also discuss the low oxygen abundance of the host galaxy derived from the MUSE data, having an average of 12 + log(O/H) = 8.27 +0.16 −0.20 using the O 3 N 2 diagnostic with strong line methods. We compared it with the supernova spectra, which is also consistent with a sub-Solar metallicity progenitor. Following recent observations of extraplanar H II regions in nearby edge-on galaxies, we derived the metallicity offset from the disk, being positive, but consistent with zero at 2 σ , suggesting enrichment from disk outflows. We finally discuss the possible scenarios for the unusual environment for ASASSN-14jb and conclude that either the in-situ star formation or runaway scenario would imply a low-mass progenitor, agreeing with our estimate from the supernova nebular spectrum. Regardless of the true origin of ASASSN-14jb, we show that the detailed study of the environment roughly agree with the stronger constraints from the observation of the transient.« less
  5. ABSTRACT We present the discovery of ASASSN-18jd (AT 2018bcb), a luminous optical/ultraviolet(UV)/X-ray transient located in the nucleus of the galaxy 2MASX J22434289–1659083 at z = 0.1192. Over the year after discovery, Swift UltraViolet and Optical Telescope (UVOT) photometry shows the UV spectral energy distribution of the transient to be well modelled by a slowly shrinking blackbody with temperature $T \sim 2.5 \times 10^{4} \, {\rm K}$, a maximum observed luminosity of $L_{\rm max} = 4.5^{+0.6}_{-0.3}\times 10^{44} \, {\rm erg \,s}^{-1}$, and a radiated energy of $E = 9.6^{+1.1}_{-0.6} \times 10^{51} \, {\rm erg}$. X-ray data from Swift X-Ray Telescope (XRT) and XMM–Newton show a transient, variable X-ray flux with blackbody and power-law components that fade by nearly an order of magnitude over the following year. Optical spectra show strong, roughly constant broad Balmer emission and transient features attributable to He ii, N iii–v, O iii, and coronal Fe. While ASASSN-18jd shares similarities with tidal disruption events (TDEs), it is also similar to the newly discovered nuclear transients seen in quiescent galaxies and faint active galactic nuclei (AGNs).
  6. ABSTRACT

    The All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN) provides long baseline (∼4 yr) light curves for sources brighter than V ≲ 17 mag across the whole sky. As part of our effort to characterize the variability of all the stellar sources visible in ASAS-SN, we have produced ∼30.1 million V-band light curves for sources in the Southern hemisphere using the APASS DR9 (AAVSO Photometric All-Sky Survey Data Release) catalogue as our input source list. We have systematically searched these sources for variability using a pipeline based on random forest classifiers. We have identified ${\sim } 220\, 000$ variables, including ${\sim } 88\, 300$ new discoveries. In particular, we have discovered ${\sim }48\, 000$ red pulsating variables, ${\sim }23\, 000$ eclipsing binaries, ∼2200 δ-Scuti variables, and ${\sim }10\, 200$ rotational variables. The light curves and characteristics of the variables are all available through the ASAS-SN variable stars data base (https://asas-sn.osu.edu/variables). The pre-computed ASAS-SN V-band light curves for all the ∼30.1 million sources are available through the ASAS-SN photometry data base (https://asas-sn.osu.edu/photometry). This effort will be extended to provide ASAS-SN light curves for sources in the Northern hemisphere and for V ≲ 17 mag sources across the whole sky that are not included inmore »APASS DR9.

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