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    We report the results of long-term reverberation mapping campaigns of the nearby active galactic nuclei (AGNs) NGC 4151, spanning from 1994 to 2022, based on archived observations of the FAST Spectrograph Publicly Archived Programs and our new observations with the 2.3 m telescope at the Wyoming Infrared Observatory. We reduce and calibrate all the spectra in a consistent way, and derive light curves of the broad H β line and 5100 Å continuum. Continuum light curves are also constructed using public archival photometric data to increase sampling cadences. We subtract the host galaxy contamination using Hubble Space Telescope imaging to correct fluxes of the calibrated light curves. Utilizing the long-term archival photometric data, we complete the absolute flux-calibration of the AGN continuum. We find that the H β time delays are correlated with the 5100 Å luminosities as $\tau _{\rm H\beta }\propto L_{5100}^{0.46\pm 0.16}$. This is remarkably consistent with Bentz et al. (2013)’s global size–luminosity relationship of AGNs. Moreover, the data sets for five of the seasons allow us to obtain the velocity-resolved delays of the H β line, showing diverse structures (outflows, inflows, and discs). Combining our results with previous independent measurements, we find the measured dynamics of the H β broad-line region (BLR) are possibly related to the long-term trend of the luminosity. There is also a possible additional ∼1.86 yr time lag between the variation in BLR radius and luminosity. These results suggest that dynamical changes in the BLR may be driven by the effects of radiation pressure.

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  2. Abstract

    Transmission spectroscopy offers an invaluable opportunity to characterize the atmospheres of exoplanets. We present new ground-based optical transmission spectra of the hot Jupiter HD 189733b, derived from nine transits observed over a six year time span (2016–2021) using near-simultaneousugribroadband observations. We achieve an average (best) precision of 435 (280) ppm by implementing an optical diffuser on the prime focus spectrograph from the 2.3 m Wyoming Infrared Observatory telescope. The data provide new measurements of the apparent planetary radius with respect to the stellar radius, the spectral index of atmospheric opacity, and the time variability of the two quantities. Our results indicate an enhanced spectral slope in the optical regime ≈2.4 times steeper than would be expected from canonical Rayleigh scattering and that is consistent with earlier measurements of a super-Rayleigh slope (SRS). While the effect of stellar activity on the transmission spectrum complicates the measurement of the spectral slope, our multiepoch data set over six years can measure and average over stellar variations, yielding a mean spectral index of −9.9 ± 4.4. The 1200 K equilibrium temperature of HD 189733b places it in a sweet spot for the formation of SRSs and is consistent with vigorously mixing hazes in the atmosphere. Additionally, we find variations in the depth of the lightcurve during two of the transits, explainable as an increase in occulted star spots during June 2021. Although the star is active, the mean level of stellar activity does not seem to vary dramatically over our six years of observations, leading us to conclude that the variability in stellar activity is modest at most.

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  3. Abstract

    We present the validation of two planets orbiting M dwarfs, TOI-1696b and TOI-2136b. Both planets are mini-Neptunes orbiting nearby stars, making them promising prospects for atmospheric characterization with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). We validated the planetary nature of both candidates using high-contrast imaging, ground-based photometry, and near-infrared radial velocities. Adaptive optics images were taken using the ShARCS camera on the 3 m Shane Telescope. Speckle images were taken using the NN-Explore Exoplanet Stellar Speckle Imager on the WIYN 3.5 m telescope. Radii and orbital ephemerides were refined using a combination of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, the diffuser-assisted Astrophysical Research Consortium (ARC) Telescope Imaging Camera (ARCTIC) imager on the 3.5 m ARC telescope at Apache Point Observatory, and the 0.6 m telescope at Red Buttes Observatory. We obtained radial velocities using the Habitable-Zone Planet Finder on the 10 m Hobby–Eberly Telescope, which enabled us to place upper limits on the masses of both transiting planets. TOI-1696b (P= 2.5 days;Rp= 3.24R;Mp< 56.6M) falls into a sparsely populated region of parameter space considering its host star’s temperature (Teff= 3168 K, M4.5), as planets of its size are quite rare around mid- to late-M dwarfs. On the other hand, TOI-2136b (P= 7.85 days;Rp= 2.09R;Mp< 15.0M) is an excellent candidate for atmospheric follow-up with the JWST.

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  4. Abstract In this third paper of the series reporting on the reverberation mapping campaign of active galactic nuclei with asymmetric H β emission-line profiles, we present results for 15 Palomar–Green quasars using spectra obtained between the end of 2016–2021 May. This campaign combines long time spans with relatively high cadence. For eight objects, both the time lags obtained from the entire light curves and the measurements from individual observing seasons are provided. Reverberation mapping of nine of our targets has been attempted for the first time, while the results for six others can be compared with previous campaigns. We measure the H β time lags over periods of years and estimate their black hole masses. The long duration of the campaign enables us to investigate their broad-line region (BLR) geometry and kinematics for different years by using velocity-resolved lags, which demonstrate signatures of diverse BLR geometry and kinematics. The BLR geometry and kinematics of individual objects are discussed. In this sample, the BLR kinematics of Keplerian/virialized motion and inflow is more common than that of outflow. 
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  5. ABSTRACT We present the results of photometric and spectroscopic monitoring campaigns of the changing look AGN NGC 3516 carried out in 2018 to 2020 covering the wavelength range from the X-ray to the optical. The facilities included the telescopes of the CMO SAI MSU, the 2.3-m WIRO telescope, and the XRT and UVOT of Swift. We found that NGC 3516 brightened to a high state and could be classified as Sy1.5 during the late spring of 2020. We have measured time delays in the responses of the Balmer and He ii λ4686 lines to continuum variations. In the case of the best-characterized broad H β line, the delay to continuum variability is about 17 d in the blue wing and is clearly shorter, 9 d, in the red, which is suggestive of inflow. As the broad lines strengthened, the blue side came to dominate the Balmer lines, resulting in very asymmetric profiles with blueshifted peaks during this high state. During the outburst the X-ray flux reached its maximum on 2020 April 1 and it was the highest value ever observed for NGC 3516 by the Swift observatory. The X-ray hard photon index became softer, ∼1.8 in the maximum on 2020 April 21 compared to the mean ∼0.7 during earlier epochs before 2020. We have found that the UV and optical variations correlated well (with a small time delay of 1–2 d) with the X-ray until the beginning of 2020 April, but later, until the end of 2020 June, these variations were not correlated. We suggest that this fact may be a consequence of partial obscuration by Compton-thick clouds crossing the line of sight. 
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