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  1. Abstract We present the third discovery from the COol Companions ON Ultrawide orbiTS (COCONUTS) program, the COCONUTS-3 system, composed of the young M5 primary star UCAC4 374−046899 and the very red L6 dwarf WISEA J081322.19−152203.2. These two objects have a projected separation of 61 ′ ′ (1891 au) and are physically associated given their common proper motions and estimated distances. The primary star, COCONUTS-3A, has a mass of 0.123 ± 0.006 M ⊙ , and we estimate its age as 100 Myr to 1 Gyr based on its stellar activity (via H α and X-ray emission), kinematics, and spectrophotometric properties. We derive its bulk metallicity as 0.21 ± 0.07 dex using empirical calibrations established by older and higher-gravity M dwarfs and find that this [Fe/H] could be slightly underestimated according to PHOENIX models given COCONUTS-3A’s younger age. The companion, COCONUTS-3B, has a near-infrared spectral type of L6 ± 1 int-g , and we infer physical properties of T eff = 1362 − 73 + 48 K, log ( g ) = 4.96 − 0.34 + 0.15 dex, R = 1.03 − 0.06 + 0.12 R Jup , and M = 39 − 18 + 11 M Jup using its bolometricmore »luminosity, its host star’s age, and hot-start evolution models. We construct cloudy atmospheric model spectra at the evolution-based physical parameters and compare them to COCONUTS-3B’s spectrophotometry. We find that this companion possesses ample condensate clouds in its photosphere ( f sed = 1) with the data–model discrepancies likely due to the models using an older version of the opacity database. Compared to field-age L6 dwarfs, COCONUTS-3B has fainter absolute magnitudes and a 120 K cooler T eff . Also, the J − K color of this companion is among the reddest for ultracool benchmarks with ages older than a few hundred megayears. COCONUTS-3 likely formed in the same fashion as stellar binaries given the companion-to-host mass ratio of 0.3 and represents a valuable benchmark to quantify the systematics of substellar model atmospheres.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2023
  2. Abstract

    Using ultraviolet (UV) light curves, we constrain the circumstellar environments of 1080 Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) withinz< 0.5 from archival Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) observations. All SNe Ia are required to have pre- and post-explosion GALEX observations to ensure adequate subtraction of the host-galaxy flux. Using the late-time GALEX observations, we look for the UV excess expected from any interaction between the SN ejecta and circumstellar material (CSM). Four SNe Ia are detected near maximum light, and we compare the GALEX photometry to archival data. However, we find that none of our targets show convincing evidence of CSM interaction. A recent Hubble Space Telescope (HST) survey estimates that ∼6% of SNe Ia may interact with distant CSM, but statistical inferences are complicated by the small sample size and selection effects. By injecting model light curves into our data and then recovering them, we constrain a broad range of CSM interactions based on the CSM interaction start time and the maximum luminosity. Combining our GALEX nondetections with the HST results, we constrain occurrence of late-onset CSM interaction among SNe Ia with moderate CSM interaction, similar to that observed in PTF11kx, tofCSM≲ 5.1% between 0 and 500 days after discoverymore »and ≲2.7% between 500 and 1000 days after discovery at 90% confidence. For weaker CSM interactions similar to SN 2015cp, we obtain limits of ≲16% and ≲4.8%, respectively, for the same time ranges.

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  3. Abstract

    ASASSN-14ko is a recently discovered periodically flaring transient at the center of the active galactic nucleus (AGN) ESO 253−G003 with a slowly decreasing period. Here, we show that the flares originate from the northern, brighter nucleus in this dual-AGN, post-merger system. The light curves for the two flares that occurred in 2020 May and September are nearly identical over all wavelengths. For both events, Swift observations showed that the UV and optical wavelengths brightened in unison. The effective temperature of the UV/optical emission rises and falls with the increase and subsequent decline in the luminosity. The X-ray flux, by contrast, first rapidly drops over ∼2.6 days, rises for ∼5.8 days, drops again over ∼4.3 days, and then recovers. The X-ray spectral evolution of the two flares differ, however. During the 2020 May peak the spectrum softened with increases in the X-ray luminosity, while we observed the reverse for the 2020 September peak. We found a small change in the period derivative, which seems to indicate that the system does not have a static period derivative and there is some stochasticity in its evolution.

  4. Abstract

    We present observations of ASASSN-20hx, a nearby ambiguous nuclear transient (ANT) discovered in NGC 6297 by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN). We observed ASASSN-20hx from −30 to 275 days relative to the peak UV/optical emission using high-cadence, multiwavelength spectroscopy and photometry. From Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite data, we determine that the ANT began to brighten on 2020 June 22.8 with a linear rise in flux for at least the first week. ASASSN-20hx peaked in the UV/optical 30 days later on 2020 July 22.8 (MJD = 59052.8) at a bolometric luminosity ofL= (3.15 ± 0.04) × 1043erg s−1. The subsequent decline is slower than any TDE observed to date and consistent with many other ANTs. Compared to an archival X-ray detection, the X-ray luminosity of ASASSN-20hx increased by an order of magnitude toLx∼ 1.5 × 1042erg s−1and then slowly declined over time. The X-ray emission is well fit by a power law with a photon index of Γ ∼ 2.3–2.6. Both the optical and near-infrared spectra of ASASSN-20hx lack emission lines, unusual for any known class of nuclear transient. While ASASSN-20hx has some characteristics seen in both tidal disruption events and active galactic nuclei, it cannot be definitivelymore »classified with current data.

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  5. Abstract

    We present observations of the extremely luminous but ambiguous nuclear transient (ANT) ASASSN-17jz, spanning roughly 1200 days of the object’s evolution. ASASSN-17jz was discovered by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN) in the galaxy SDSS J171955.84+414049.4 on UT 2017 July 27 at a redshift ofz= 0.1641. The transient peaked at an absoluteB-band magnitude ofMB,peak= −22.81, corresponding to a bolometric luminosity ofLbol,peak= 8.3 × 1044erg s−1, and exhibited late-time ultraviolet emission that was still ongoing in our latest observations. Integrating the full light curve gives a total emitted energy ofEtot= (1.36 ±0.08) × 1052erg, with (0.80 ± 0.02) × 1052erg of this emitted within 200 days of peak light. This late-time ultraviolet emission is accompanied by increasing X-ray emission that becomes softer as it brightens. ASASSN-17jz exhibited a large number of spectral emission lines most commonly seen in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with little evidence of evolution. It also showed transient Balmer features, which became fainter and broader over time, and are still being detected >1000 days after peak brightness. We consider various physical scenarios for the origin of the transient, including supernovae (SNe), tidal disruption events, AGN outbursts, and ANTs. We find that the most likely explanation ismore »that ASASSN-17jz was a SN IIn occurring in or near the disk of an existing AGN, and that the late-time emission is caused by the AGN transitioning to a more active state.

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  6. We examine the early phase intrinsic (B - V)0 color evolution of a dozen SNe Ia discovered within three days of the inferred time of first light (t first) and have (B - V)0 color information beginning within five days of t first. The sample indicates there are two distinct early populations. The first is a population exhibiting blue colors that slowly evolve, and the second population exhibits red colors and evolves more rapidly. We find that the early blue events are all 1991T/1999aa-like with more luminous, slower declining light curves than those exhibiting early red colors. Placing the first sample on the Branch diagram (i.e., ratio of Si II λλ5972, 6355 pseudo-Equivalent widths) indicates that all blue objects are of the Branch shallow silicon (SS) spectral type, while all early red events except for the 2000cx-like SN 2012fr are of the Branch Core Normal (CN) or CooL (CL) type. A number of potential processes contributing to the early emission are explored, and we find that, in general, the viewing-angle dependance inherent in the companion collision model is inconsistent with all of the SS objects with early-time observations being blue and exhibiting an excess. We caution that great care mustmore »be taken when interpreting early phase light curves as there may be a variety of physical processes that are possibly at play and significant theoretical work remains to be done.« less