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  1. 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 of z = 0.1641. The transient peaked at an absolute B -band magnitude of M B ,peak = −22.81, corresponding to a bolometric luminosity of L bol,peak = 8.3 × 10 44 erg s −1 , and exhibited late-time ultraviolet emission that was still ongoing in our latest observations. Integrating the full light curvemore »gives a total emitted energy of E tot = (1.36 ±0.08) × 10 52 erg, with (0.80 ± 0.02) × 10 52 erg 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 is 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.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  2. Abstract We have modeled the velocity-resolved reverberation response of the H β broad emission line in nine Seyfert 1 galaxies from the Lick Active Galactic Nucleus (AGN) Monitoring Project 2016 sample, drawing inferences on the geometry and structure of the low-ionization broad-line region (BLR) and the mass of the central supermassive black hole. Overall, we find that the H β BLR is generally a thick disk viewed at low to moderate inclination angles. We combine our sample with prior studies and investigate line-profile shape dependence, such as log 10 ( FWHM / σ ) , on BLR structure and kinematicsmore »and search for any BLR luminosity-dependent trends. We find marginal evidence for an anticorrelation between the profile shape of the broad H β emission line and the Eddington ratio, when using the rms spectrum. However, we do not find any luminosity-dependent trends, and conclude that AGNs have diverse BLR structure and kinematics, consistent with the hypothesis of transient AGN/BLR conditions rather than systematic trends.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  3. We present a new calibration of the peak absolute magnitude of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) based on the surface brightness fluctuations (SBF) method, aimed at measuring the value of the Hubble constant. We build a sample of calibrating anchors consisting of 24 SNe hosted in galaxies that have SBF distance measurements. Applying a hierarchical Bayesian approach, we calibrate the SN Ia peak luminosity and extend the Hubble diagram into the Hubble flow by using a sample of 96 SNe Ia in the redshift range 0.02 <  z  < 0.075, which was extracted from the Combined Pantheon Sample. We estimate a valuemore »of H 0  = 70.50 ± 2.37 (stat.) ± 3.38 (sys.) km s −1 Mpc −1 (i.e., 3.4% stat., 4.8% sys.), which is in agreement with the value obtained using the tip of the red giant branch calibration. It is also consistent, within errors, with the value obtained from SNe Ia calibrated with Cepheids or the value inferred from the analysis of the cosmic microwave background. We find that the SNe Ia distance moduli calibrated with SBF are on average larger by 0.07 mag than those calibrated with Cepheids. Our results point to possible differences among SNe in different types of galaxies, which could originate from different local environments and/or progenitor properties of SNe Ia. Sampling different host galaxy types, SBF offers a complementary approach to using Cepheids, which is important in addressing possible systematics. As the SBF method has the ability to reach larger distances than Cepheids, the impending entry of the Vera C. Rubin Observatory and JWST into operation will increase the number of SNe Ia hosted in galaxies where SBF distances can be measured, making SBF measurements attractive for improving the calibration of SNe Ia, as well as in the estimation of H 0 .« less
  4. ABSTRACT We carried out photometric and spectroscopic observations of the well-studied broad-line radio galaxy 3C 120 with the Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) global robotic telescope network from 2016 December to 2018 April as part of the LCO AGN Key Project on Reverberation Mapping of Accretion Flows. Here, we present both spectroscopic and photometric reverberation mapping results. We used the interpolated cross-correlation function to perform multiple-line lag measurements in 3C 120. We find the H γ, He ii λ4686, H β, and He i λ5876 lags of $\tau _{\text{cen}} = 18.8_{-1.0}^{+1.3}$, $2.7_{-0.8}^{+0.7}$, $21.2_{-1.0}^{+1.6}$, and $16.9_{-1.1}^{+0.9}$ d, respectively, relative to the V-band continuum. Using the measured lag andmore »rms velocity width of the H β emission line, we determine the mass of the black hole for 3C 120 to be $M=(6.3^{+0.5}_{-0.3})\times 10^7\, (f/5.5)$ M⊙. Our black hole mass measurement is consistent with similar previous studies on 3C 120, but with small uncertainties. In addition, velocity-resolved lags in 3C 120 show a symmetric pattern across the H β line, 25 d at line centre decreasing to 17 d in the line wings at ±4000 km s−1. We also investigate the inter-band continuum lags in 3C 120 and find that they are generally consistent with τ ∝ λ4/3 as predicted from a geometrically thin, optically thick accretion disc. From the continuum lags, we measure the best-fitting value τ0 = 3.5 ± 0.2 d at $\lambda _{\rm 0} = 5477\, \mathring{\rm A}$. It implies a disc size a factor of 1.6 times larger than prediction from the standard disc model with L/LEdd = 0.4. This is consistent with previous studies in which larger than expected disc sizes were measured.« less