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  1. ABSTRACT ASASSN-18am/SN 2018gk is a newly discovered member of the rare group of luminous, hydrogen-rich supernovae (SNe) with a peak absolute magnitude of MV ≈ −20 mag that is in between normal core-collapse SNe and superluminous SNe. These SNe show no prominent spectroscopic signatures of ejecta interacting with circumstellar material (CSM), and their powering mechanism is debated. ASASSN-18am declines extremely rapidly for a Type II SN, with a photospheric-phase decline rate of ∼6.0 mag (100 d)−1. Owing to the weakening of H i and the appearance of He i in its later phases, ASASSN-18am is spectroscopically a Type IIb SN with a partially stripped envelope. However, its photometric and spectroscopic evolution shows significant differences from typical SNe IIb. Using a radiative diffusion model, we find that the light curve requires a high synthesized 56Ni mass $M_{\rm Ni} \sim 0.4\, \rm {M_{\odot }}$ and ejecta with high kinetic energy Ekin = (7–10) × 1051 erg. Introducing a magnetar central engine still requires $M_{\rm Ni} \sim 0.3\, \rm {M_{\odot }}$ and Ekin = 3 × 1051 erg. The high 56Ni mass is consistent with strong iron-group nebular lines in its spectra, which are also similar to several SNe Ic-BL with high 56Ni yields. The earliest spectrum shows ‘flash ionization’ features, from which we estimatemore »a mass-loss rate of $\dot{M}\approx 2\times 10^{-4} \, \rm \rm {M_{\odot }}\,yr^{-1}$. This wind density is too low to power the luminous light curve by ejecta–CSM interaction. We measure expansion velocities as high as 17 000 $\rm {\, km\, s^{-1}}$ for Hα, which is remarkably high compared to other SNe II. We estimate an oxygen core mass of 1.8–3.4 M⊙ using the [O i] luminosity measured from a nebular-phase spectrum, implying a progenitor with a zero-age main-sequence mass of 19–26 M⊙.« less
  2. Aims . We present a comprehensive dataset of optical and near-infrared photometry and spectroscopy of type Ia supernova (SN) 2016hnk, combined with integral field spectroscopy (IFS) of its host galaxy, MCG -01-06-070, and nearby environment. Our goal with this complete dataset is to understand the nature of this peculiar object. Methods . Properties of the SN local environment are characterized by means of single stellar population synthesis applied to IFS observations taken two years after the SN exploded. We performed detailed analyses of SN photometric data by studying its peculiar light and color curves. SN 2016hnk spectra were compared to other 1991bg-like SNe Ia, 2002es-like SNe Ia, and Ca-rich transients. In addition, we used abundance stratification modeling to identify the various spectral features in the early phase spectral sequence and also compared the dataset to a modified non-LTE model previously produced for the sublumnious SN 1999by. Results . SN 2016hnk is consistent with being a subluminous ( M B  = −16.7 mag, s B V =0.43 ± 0.03), highly reddened object. The IFS of its host galaxy reveals both a significant amount of dust at the SN location, residual star formation, and a high proportion of old stellar populations in themore »local environment compared to other locations in the galaxy, which favors an old progenitor for SN 2016hnk. Inspection of a nebular spectrum obtained one year after maximum contains two narrow emission lines attributed to the forbidden [Ca  II ] λ λ 7291,7324 doublet with a Doppler shift of 700 km s −1 . Based on various observational diagnostics, we argue that the progenitor of SN 2016hnk was likely a near Chandrasekhar-mass ( M Ch ) carbon-oxygen white dwarf that produced 0.108 M ⊙ of 56 Ni. Our modeling suggests that the narrow [Ca  II ] features observed in the nebular spectrum are associated with 48 Ca from electron capture during the explosion, which is expected to occur only in white dwarfs that explode near or at the M Ch limit.« less
  3. Gaia16aye was a binary microlensing event discovered in the direction towards the northern Galactic disc and was one of the first microlensing events detected and alerted to by the Gaia space mission. Its light curve exhibited five distinct brightening episodes, reaching up to I  = 12 mag, and it was covered in great detail with almost 25 000 data points gathered by a network of telescopes. We present the photometric and spectroscopic follow-up covering 500 days of the event evolution. We employed a full Keplerian binary orbit microlensing model combined with the motion of Earth and Gaia around the Sun to reproduce the complex light curve. The photometric data allowed us to solve the microlensing event entirely and to derive the complete and unique set of orbital parameters of the binary lensing system. We also report on the detection of the first-ever microlensing space-parallax between the Earth and Gaia located at L2. The properties of the binary system were derived from microlensing parameters, and we found that the system is composed of two main-sequence stars with masses 0.57 ± 0.05 M ⊙ and 0.36 ± 0.03 M ⊙ at 780 pc, with an orbital period of 2.88 years and an eccentricitymore »of 0.30. We also predict the astrometric microlensing signal for this binary lens as it will be seen by Gaia as well as the radial velocity curve for the binary system. Events such as Gaia16aye indicate the potential for the microlensing method of probing the mass function of dark objects, including black holes, in directions other than that of the Galactic bulge. This case also emphasises the importance of long-term time-domain coordinated observations that can be made with a network of heterogeneous telescopes.« less