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  1. Abstract

    We have extracted 636 spectra taken at the positions of 583 transient sources from the third data release of the Hobby–Eberly Telescope Dark Energy eXperiment (HETDEX). The transients were discovered by the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) during 2018–2022. The HETDEX spectra provide a potential means to obtain classifications for a large number of objects found by photometric surveys for free. We attempt to explore and classify the spectra by utilizing several template-matching techniques. We have identified two transient sources, ZTF20aatpoos = AT 2020fiz and ZTF19abdkelq, as supernova (SN) candidates. We classify AT 2020fiz as a Type IIP SN observed ∼10 days after explosion, and we propose ZTF19abdkelq as a likely Type Ia SN caught ∼40 days after maximum light. ZTF photometry of these two sources are consistent with their classifications as SNe. Beside these two objects, we have confirmed several ZTF transients as variable active galactic nuclei based on their spectral appearance, and determined the host galaxy types of several other ZTF transients.

     
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  2. ABSTRACT

    Optical spectropolarimetry of the normal thermonuclear supernova (SN) 2019np from −14.5 to +14.5 d relative to B-band maximum detected an intrinsic continuum polarization (pcont) of 0.21 ± 0.09 per cent at the first epoch. Between days −11.5 and  +0.5, pcont remained ∼0 and by day +14.5 was again significant at 0.19 ± 0.10 per cent. Not considering the first epoch, the dominant axis of ${\rm Si\, {\small II}}$ λ6355 was roughly constant staying close the continuum until both rotated in opposite directions on day  +14.5. Detailed radiation-hydrodynamical simulations produce a very steep density slope in the outermost ejecta so that the low first-epoch pcont ≈ 0.2 per cent nevertheless suggests a separate structure with an axis ratio ∼2 in the outer carbon-rich (3.5–4) × 10−3 M⊙. Large-amplitude fluctuations in the polarization profiles and a flocculent appearance of the polar diagram for the ${\rm Ca\, {\small II}}$ near-infrared triplet (NIR3) may be related by a common origin. The temporal evolution of the polarization spectra agrees with an off-centre delayed detonation. The late-time increase in polarization and the possible change in position angle are also consistent with an aspherical 56Ni core. The pcont and the absorptions due to ${\rm Si\, {\small II}}$ λ6355 and ${\rm Ca\, {\small II}}$ NIR3 form in the same region of the extended photosphere, with an interplay between line occultation and thermalization producing p. Small-scale polarization features may be due to small-scale structures, but many could be related to atomic patterns of the quasi-continuum; they hardly have an equivalent in the total-flux spectra. We compare SN 2019np to other SNe and develop future objectives and strategies for SN Ia spectropolarimetry.

     
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  3. Abstract

    We present photometric and spectroscopic observations of the extraordinary gamma-ray burst (GRB) 221009A in search of an associated supernova. Some past GRBs have shown bumps in the optical light curve that coincide with the emergence of supernova spectral features, but we do not detect any significant light-curve features in GRB 221009A, nor do we detect any clear sign of supernova spectral features. Using two well-studied GRB-associated supernovae (SN 2013dx,Mr,max=19.54;SN 2016jca,Mr,max=19.04) at a similar redshift as GRB 221009A (z= 0.151), we modeled how the emergence of a supernova would affect the light curve. If we assume the GRB afterglow to decay at the same rate as the X-ray data, the combination of afterglow and a supernova component is fainter than the observed GRB brightness. For the case where we assume the best-fit power law to the optical data as the GRB afterglow component, a supernova contribution should have created a clear bump in the light curve, assuming only extinction from the Milky Way. If we assume a higher extinction ofE(BV) = 1.74 mag (as has been suggested elsewhere), the supernova contribution would have been hard to detect, with a limit on the associated supernova ofMr,max19.54. We do not observe any clear supernova features in our spectra, which were taken around the time of expected maximum light. The lack of a bright supernova associated with GRB 221009A may indicate that the energy from the explosion is mostly concentrated in the jet, leaving a lower energy budget available for the supernova.

     
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  4. Abstract

    SN 2014C was originally classified as a Type Ib supernova, but at phaseϕ= 127 days, post-explosion strong Hαemission was observed. SN 2014C has since been observed in radio, infrared, optical and X-ray bands. Here we present new optical spectroscopic and photometric data spanningϕ= 947–2494 days post-explosion. We address the evolution of the broadened Hαemission line, as well as broad [Oiii] emission and other lines. We also conduct a parallel analysis of all publicly available multiwavelength data. From our spectra, we find a nearly constant HαFWHM velocity width of ∼2000 km s−1that is significantly lower than that of other broadened atomic transitions (∼3000–7000 km s−1) present in our spectra ([Oi]λ6300; [Oiii]λλ4959, 5007; Heiλ7065; [Caii]λλ7291, 7324). The late radio data demand a fast forward shock (∼10,000 km s−1atϕ= 1700 days) in rarified matter that contrasts with the modest velocity of the Hα. We propose that the infrared flux originates from a toroidal-like structure of hydrogen surrounding the progenitor system, while later emission at other wavelengths (radio, X-ray) likely originates predominantly from the reverse shock in the ejecta and the forward shock in the quasi-spherical progenitor He-wind. We propose that the Hαemission arises in the boundary layer between the ejecta and torus. We also consider the possible roles of a pulsar and a binary companion.

     
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  5. ABSTRACT

    SN 2018hti was a very nearby (z = 0.0614) superluminous supernova with an exceedingly bright absolute magnitude of −21.7 mag in r band at maximum. The densely sampled pre-maximum light curves of SN 2018hti show a slow luminosity evolution and constrain the rise time to ∼50 rest-frame d. We fitted synthetic light curves to the photometry to infer the physical parameters of the explosion of SN 2018hti for both the magnetar and the CSM-interaction scenarios. We conclude that one of two mechanisms could be powering the luminosity of SN 2018hti; interaction with ∼10 M⊙ of circumstellar material or a magnetar with a magnetic field of Bp∼ 1.3 × 1013 G, and initial period of Pspin∼ 1.8 ms. From the nebular spectrum modelling we infer that SN 2018hti likely results from the explosion of a ${\sim}40\, \mathrm{M}_\odot$ progenitor star.

     
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  6. ABSTRACT

    The observed diversity in Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) – the thermonuclear explosions of carbon–oxygen white dwarf stars used as cosmological standard candles – is currently met with a variety of explosion models and progenitor scenarios. To help improve our understanding of whether and how often different models contribute to the occurrence of SNe Ia and their assorted properties, we present a comprehensive analysis of seven nearby SNe Ia. We obtained one to two epochs of optical spectra with Gemini Observatory during the nebular phase (>200 d past peak) for each of these events, all of which had time series of photometry and spectroscopy at early times (the first ∼8 weeks after explosion). We use the combination of early- and late-time observations to assess the predictions of various models for the explosion (e.g. double-detonation, off-centre detonation, stellar collisions), progenitor star (e.g. ejecta mass, metallicity), and binary companion (e.g. another white dwarf or a non-degenerate star). Overall, we find general consistency in our observations with spherically symmetric models for SN Ia explosions, and with scenarios in which the binary companion is another degenerate star. We also present an in-depth analysis of SN 2017fzw, a member of the subgroup of SNe Ia which appear to be transitional between the subluminous ‘91bg-like’ events and normal SNe Ia, and for which nebular-phase spectra are rare.

     
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  7. ABSTRACT

    Spectropolarimetry enables us to measure the geometry and chemical structure of the ejecta in supernova explosions, which is fundamental for the understanding of their explosion mechanism(s) and progenitor systems. We collected archival data of 35 Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia), observed with Focal Reducer and Low-Dispersion Spectrograph (FORS) on the Very Large Telescope at 127 epochs in total. We examined the polarization of the Si ii λ6355 Å line ($p_{\rm Si\, \small {II}}$) as a function of time, which is seen to peak at a range of various polarization degrees and epochs relative to maximum brightness. We reproduced the $\Delta m_{15}\!-\!p_{\rm Si\, \small {II}}$ relationship identified in a previous study, and show that subluminous and transitional objects display polarization values below the $\Delta m_{15}\!-\!p_{\rm Si\, \small {II}}$ relationship for normal SNe Ia. We found a statistically significant linear relationship between the polarization of the Si ii λ6355 Å line before maximum brightness and the Si ii line velocity and suggest that this, along with the $\Delta m_{15}\!-\!p_{\rm Si\, \small {II}}$ relationship, may be explained in the context of a delayed-detonation model. In contrast, we compared our observations to numerical predictions in the $\Delta m_{15}\!-\!v_{\rm Si\, \small {II}}$ plane and found a dichotomy in the polarization properties between Chandrasekhar and sub-Chandrasekhar mass explosions, which supports the possibility of two distinct explosion mechanisms. A subsample of SNe displays evolution of loops in the q–u plane that suggests a more complex Si structure with depth. This insight, which could not be gleaned from total flux spectra, presents a new constraint on explosion models. Finally, we compared our statistical sample of the Si ii polarization to quantitative predictions of the polarization levels for the double-detonation, delayed-detonation, and violent-merger models.

     
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  8. Abstract: Detecting gravitationally lensed supernovae is among the biggest challenges in astronomy. It involves a combination of two very rare phenomena: catching the transient signal of a stellar explosion in a distant galaxy and observing it through a nearly perfectly aligned foreground galaxy that deflects light towards the observer. Here we describe how high-cadence optical observations with the Zwicky Transient Facility, with its unparalleled large field of view, led to the detection of a multiply imaged type Ia supernova, SN Zwicky, also known as SN 2022qmx. Magnified nearly 25-fold, the system was found thanks to the standard candle nature of type Ia supernovae. High-spatial-resolution imaging with the Keck telescope resolved four images of the supernova with very small angular separation, corresponding to an Einstein radius of only θ E  = 0.167″ and almost identical arrival times. The small θ E and faintness of the lensing galaxy are very unusual, highlighting the importance of supernovae to fully characterize the properties of galaxy-scale gravitational lenses, including the impact of galaxy substructures. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 12, 2024
  9. Abstract Was Betelgeuse once in a binary star system? What causes it to vary over a vast range of timescales? Why did it dim dramatically in 2020? When and how will it explode? J. Craig Wheeler and Manos Chatzopoulos present a host of challenges to both observers and theorists. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  10. We present linear polarimetry for seven hydrogen-poor superluminous supernovae (SLSNe-I) of which only one has previously published polarimetric data. The best-studied event is SN 2017gci, for which we present two epochs of spectropolarimetry at +3 d and +29 d post-peak in rest frame, accompanied by four epochs of imaging polarimetry up to +108 d. The spectropolarimetry at +3 d shows increasing polarisation degree P towards the redder wavelengths and exhibits signs of axial symmetry, but at +29 d, P  ∼ 0 throughout the spectrum, implying that the photosphere of SN 2017gci evolved from a slightly aspherical configuration to a more spherical one in the first month post-peak. However, an increase of P to ∼0.5% at ∼ + 55 d accompanied by a different orientation of the axial symmetry compared to +3 d implies the presence of additional sources of polarisation at this phase. The increase in polarisation is possibly caused by interaction with circumstellar matter (CSM), as already suggested by a knee in the light curve and a possible detection of broad H α emission at the same phase. We also analysed the sample of all 16 SLSNe-I with polarimetric measurements to date. The data taken during the early spectroscopic phase show consistently low polarisation, indicating at least nearly spherical photospheres. No clear relation between the polarimetry and spectral phase was seen when the spectra resemble Type Ic SNe during the photospheric and nebular phases. The light-curve decline rate, which spans a factor of eight, also shows no clear relation with the polarisation properties. While only slow-evolving SLSNe-I have shown non-zero polarisation, the fast-evolving ones have not been observed at sufficiently late times to conclude that none of them exhibit changing P . However, the four SLSNe-I with increasing polarisation degree also have irregular light-curve declines. For up to half of them, the photometric, spectroscopic, and polarimetric properties are affected by CSM interaction. As such, CSM interaction clearly plays an important role in understanding the polarimetric evolution of SLSNe-I. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024