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  1. ABSTRACT Rapidly evolving transients (RETs), also termed fast blue optical transients, are a recently discovered group of astrophysical events that display rapid luminosity evolution. RETs typically rise to peak in less than 10 d and fade within 30, a time-scale unlikely to be compatible with the decay of Nickel-56 that drives conventional supernovae (SNe). Their peak luminosity spans a range of −15 < Mg < −22.5, with some events observed at redshifts greater than 1. Their evolution on fast time-scales has hindered high-quality follow-up observations, and thus their origin and explosion/emission mechanism remains unexplained. In this paper, we present the largestmore »sample of RETs to date, comprising 106 objects discovered by the Dark Energy Survey, and perform the most comprehensive analysis of RET host galaxies. Using deep-stacked photometry and emission lines from OzDES spectroscopy, we derive stellar masses and star formation rates (SFRs) for 49 host galaxies, and metallicities ([O/H]) for 37. We find that RETs explode exclusively in star-forming galaxies and are thus likely associated with massive stars. Comparing RET hosts to samples of host galaxies of other explosive transients as well as field galaxies, we find that RETs prefer galaxies with high specific SFRs (〈log (sSFR)〉 ∼ −9.6), indicating a link to young stellar populations, similar to stripped-envelope SNe. RET hosts appear to show a lack of chemical enrichment, their metallicities akin to long-duration gamma-ray bursts and superluminous SN host galaxies (〈12 + log (O/H)〉 ∼ 9.4). There are no clear relationships between mass or SFR of the host galaxies and the peak magnitudes or decline rates of the transients themselves.« less
  2. ABSTRACT We present an analysis of DES17X1boj and DES16E2bjy, two peculiar transients discovered by the Dark Energy Survey (DES). They exhibit nearly identical double-peaked light curves that reach very different maximum luminosities (Mr = −15.4 and −17.9, respectively). The light-curve evolution of these events is highly atypical and has not been reported before. The transients are found in different host environments: DES17X1boj was found near the nucleus of a spiral galaxy, while DES16E2bjy is located in the outskirts of a passive red galaxy. Early photometric data are well fitted with a blackbody and the resulting moderate photospheric expansion velocities (1800more » km s−1 for DES17X1boj and 4800  km s−1 for DES16E2bjy) suggest an explosive or eruptive origin. Additionally, a feature identified as high-velocity Ca ii absorption ($v$ ≈ 9400 km s−1) in the near-peak spectrum of DES17X1boj may imply that it is a supernova. While similar light-curve evolution suggests a similar physical origin for these two transients, we are not able to identify or characterize the progenitors.« less
  3. ABSTRACT We present improved photometric measurements for the host galaxies of 206 spectroscopically confirmed type Ia supernovae discovered by the Dark Energy Survey Supernova Program (DES-SN) and used in the first DES-SN cosmological analysis. For the DES-SN sample, when considering a 5D (z, x1, c, α, β) bias correction, we find evidence of a Hubble residual ‘mass step’, where SNe Ia in high-mass galaxies (>1010M⊙) are intrinsically more luminous (after correction) than their low-mass counterparts by $\gamma =0.040\pm 0.019$ mag. This value is larger by 0.031 mag than the value found in the first DES-SN cosmological analysis. This difference is duemore »to a combination of updated photometric measurements and improved star formation histories and is not from host-galaxy misidentification. When using a 1D (redshift-only) bias correction the inferred mass step is larger, with $\gamma =0.066\pm 0.020$ mag. The 1D−5D γ difference for DES-SN is $0.026\pm 0.009$ mag. We show that this difference is due to a strong correlation between host galaxy stellar mass and the x1 component of the 5D distance-bias correction. Including an intrinsic correlation between the observed properties of SNe Ia, stretch and colour, and stellar mass in simulated SN Ia samples, we show that a 5D fit recovers γ with −9 mmag bias compared to a +2 mmag bias for a 1D fit. This difference can explain part of the discrepancy seen in the data. Improvements in modelling correlations between galaxy properties and SN is necessary to ensure unbiased precision estimates of the dark energy equation of state as we enter the era of LSST.« less