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  1. Abstract

    We present the first estimate of the Galactic nova rate based on optical transient surveys covering the entire sky. Using data from the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN) and Gaia—the only two all-sky surveys to report classical nova candidates—we find 39 confirmed Galactic novae and 7 additional unconfirmed candidates discovered from 2019 to 2021, yielding a nova discovery rate of ≈14 yr−1. Using accurate Galactic stellar mass models and three-dimensional dust maps and incorporating realistic nova light curves, we have built a sophisticated Galactic nova model to estimate the fraction of Galactic novae discovered by these surveys over this time period. The observing capabilities of each survey are distinct: the high cadence of ASAS-SN makes it sensitive to fast novae, while the broad observing filter and high spatial resolution of Gaia make it more sensitive to highly reddened novae across the entire Galactic plane and bulge. Despite these differences, we find that ASAS-SN and Gaia give consistent Galactic nova rates, with a final joint nova rate of 26 ± 5 yr−1. This inferred nova rate is substantially lower than found by many other recent studies. Critically assessing the systematic uncertainties in the Galactic nova rate, we argue thatmore »the role of faint, fast-fading novae has likely been overestimated, but that subtle details in the operation of transient alert pipelines can have large, sometimes unappreciated effects on transient recovery efficiency. Our predicted nova rate can be directly tested with forthcoming red/near-infrared transient surveys in the southern hemisphere.

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    We report on the search for optical counterparts to IceCube neutrino alerts released between 2016 April and 2021 August with the All-Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN). Despite the discovery of a diffuse astrophysical high-energy neutrino flux in 2013, the source of those neutrinos remains largely unknown. Since 2016, IceCube has published likely astrophysical neutrinos as public real-time alerts. Through a combination of normal survey and triggered target-of-opportunity observations, ASAS-SN obtained images within 1 h of the neutrino detection for 20 per cent (11) of all observable IceCube alerts and within one day for another 57 per cent (32). For all observable alerts, we obtained images within at least two weeks from the neutrino alert. ASAS-SN provides the only optical follow-up for about 17 per cent of IceCube’s neutrino alerts. We recover the two previously claimed counterparts to neutrino alerts, the flaring-blazar TXS 0506 + 056 and the tidal disruption event AT2019dsg. We investigate the light curves of previously detected transients in the alert footprints, but do not identify any further candidate neutrino sources. We also analysed the optical light curves of Fermi 4FGL sources coincident with high-energy neutrino alerts, but do not identify any contemporaneous flaring activity. Finally, we derive constraints on the luminosity functions of neutrinomore »sources for a range of assumed evolution models.

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  3. Abstract

    Low luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGN) probe accretion physics in the low Eddington regime can provide additional clues about galaxy evolution. AGN variability is ubiquitous and thus provides a reliable tool for finding AGN. We analyze the All-Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae light curves of 1218 galaxies withg< 14 mag and Sloan Digital Sky Survey spectra in search of AGN. We find 37 objects that are both variable and have AGN-like structure functions, which is about 3% of the sample. The majority of the variability selected AGN are LLAGN with Eddington ratios ranging from 10−4to 10−2. We thus estimate the fraction of LLAGN in the population of galaxies as 2% down to a median Eddington ratio of 2 × 10−3. Combining the BPT line ratio AGN diagnostics and the broad-line AGN, up to ∼60% of the AGN candidates are confirmed spectroscopically. The BPT diagnostics also classified 10%–30% of the candidates as star-forming galaxies rather than AGN.


    As part of an All-Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN) search for sources with large flux decrements, we discovered a transient where the quiescent, stellar source ASASSN-V J192114.84+624950.8 rapidly decreased in flux by $\sim 55{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ (∼0.9 mag) in the g band. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite light curve revealed that the source is a highly eccentric, eclipsing binary. Fits to the light curve using phoebe find the binary orbit to have e = 0.79, Porb = 18.462 d, and i = 88.6°, and the ratios of the stellar radii and temperatures to be R2/R1 = 0.71 and Te,2/Te,1 = 0.82. Both stars are chromospherically active, allowing us to determine their rotational periods of P1 = 1.52 d and P2 = 1.79 d, respectively. A Large Binocular Telescope/Multi-Object Double Spectrograph spectrum shows that the primary is a late-G- or early-K-type dwarf. Fits to the spectral energy distribution show that the luminosities and temperatures of the two stars are L1 = 0.48 L⊙, $T_1= 5050\, \mathrm{K}$, L2 = 0.12 L⊙, and $T_{2} = 4190\, \mathrm{K}$. We conclude that ASASSN-V J192114.84+624950.8 consists of two chromospherically active, rotational variable stars in a highly elliptical eclipsing orbit.

  5. Abstract

    ASASSN-14ko is a recently discovered periodically flaring transient at the center of the active galactic nucleus (AGN) ESO 253−G003 with a slowly decreasing period. Here, we show that the flares originate from the northern, brighter nucleus in this dual-AGN, post-merger system. The light curves for the two flares that occurred in 2020 May and September are nearly identical over all wavelengths. For both events, Swift observations showed that the UV and optical wavelengths brightened in unison. The effective temperature of the UV/optical emission rises and falls with the increase and subsequent decline in the luminosity. The X-ray flux, by contrast, first rapidly drops over ∼2.6 days, rises for ∼5.8 days, drops again over ∼4.3 days, and then recovers. The X-ray spectral evolution of the two flares differ, however. During the 2020 May peak the spectrum softened with increases in the X-ray luminosity, while we observed the reverse for the 2020 September peak. We found a small change in the period derivative, which seems to indicate that the system does not have a static period derivative and there is some stochasticity in its evolution.

  6. 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 ofz= 0.1641. The transient peaked at an absoluteB-band magnitude ofMB,peak= −22.81, corresponding to a bolometric luminosity ofLbol,peak= 8.3 × 1044erg s−1, and exhibited late-time ultraviolet emission that was still ongoing in our latest observations. Integrating the full light curve gives a total emitted energy ofEtot= (1.36 ±0.08) × 1052erg, with (0.80 ± 0.02) × 1052erg 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 ismore »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.

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  7. Abstract

    We present optical and near-infrared photometric and spectroscopic observations of the fast-declining Type Ia supernova (SN) 2015bo. SN 2015bo is underluminous (MB= −17.50 ± 0.15 mag) and has a fast-evolving light curve (Δm15(B) = 1.91 ± 0.01 mag andsBV= 0.48 ± 0.01). It has a unique morphology in the observedVrcolor curve, where it is bluer than all other supernovae (SNe) in the comparison sample. A56Ni mass of 0.17 ± 0.03Mwas derived from the peak bolometric luminosity, which is consistent with its location on the luminosity–width relation. Spectroscopically, SN 2015bo is a cool SN in the Branch classification scheme. The velocity evolution measured from spectral features is consistent with 1991bg-like SNe. SN 2015bo has a SN twin (similar spectra)andsibling (same host galaxy), SN 1997cn. Distance moduli ofμ= 34.33 ± 0.01 (stat) ±0.11 (sys) mag andμ= 34.34 ± 0.04 (stat) ± 0.12 (sys) mag are derived for SN 2015bo and SN 1997cn, respectively. These distances are consistent at the 0.06σlevel with each other, and they are also consistent with distances derived using surface-brightness fluctuations and redshift-corrected cosmology. This suggests that fast-declining SNe could be accurate distance indicators, which should not be excluded from future cosmological analyses.

  8. Abstract

    We present observations of ASASSN-20hx, a nearby ambiguous nuclear transient (ANT) discovered in NGC 6297 by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN). We observed ASASSN-20hx from −30 to 275 days relative to the peak UV/optical emission using high-cadence, multiwavelength spectroscopy and photometry. From Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite data, we determine that the ANT began to brighten on 2020 June 22.8 with a linear rise in flux for at least the first week. ASASSN-20hx peaked in the UV/optical 30 days later on 2020 July 22.8 (MJD = 59052.8) at a bolometric luminosity ofL= (3.15 ± 0.04) × 1043erg s−1. The subsequent decline is slower than any TDE observed to date and consistent with many other ANTs. Compared to an archival X-ray detection, the X-ray luminosity of ASASSN-20hx increased by an order of magnitude toLx∼ 1.5 × 1042erg s−1and then slowly declined over time. The X-ray emission is well fit by a power law with a photon index of Γ ∼ 2.3–2.6. Both the optical and near-infrared spectra of ASASSN-20hx lack emission lines, unusual for any known class of nuclear transient. While ASASSN-20hx has some characteristics seen in both tidal disruption events and active galactic nuclei, it cannot be definitivelymore »classified with current data.

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  9. Abstract

    The CNIa0.02 project aims to collect a complete, nearby sample of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) light curves, and the SNe are volume-limited with host-galaxy redshiftszhost< 0.02. The main scientific goal is to infer the distributions of key properties (e.g., the luminosity function) of local SNe Ia in a complete and unbiased fashion in order to study SN explosion physics. We spectroscopically classify any SN candidate detected by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN) that reaches a peak brightness <16.5 mag. Since ASAS-SN scans the full sky and does not target specific galaxies, our target selection is effectively unbiased by host-galaxy properties. We perform multiband photometric observations starting from the time of discovery. In the first data release (DR1), we present the optical light curves obtained for 247 SNe from our project (including 148 SNe in the complete sample), and we derive parameters such as the peak fluxes, Δm15, andsBV.


    We present the bolometric light curve, identification and analysis of the progenitor candidate, and preliminary modelling of AT 2016jbu (Gaia16cfr). We find a progenitor consistent with a ∼ 22–25 M⊙ yellow hypergiant surrounded by a dusty circumstellar shell, in agreement with what has been previously reported. We see evidence for significant photometric variability in the progenitor, as well as strong Hα emission consistent with pre-existing circumstellar material. The age of the environment, as well as the resolved stellar population surrounding AT 2016jbu, supports a progenitor age of >10 Myr, consistent with a progenitor mass of ∼22 M⊙. A joint analysis of the velocity evolution of AT 2016jbu and the photospheric radius inferred from the bolometric light curve shows the transient is consistent with two successive outbursts/explosions. The first outburst ejected material with velocity ∼650 km s−1, while the second, more energetic event ejected material at ∼4500 km s−1. Whether the latter is the core collapse of the progenitor remains uncertain. We place a limit on the ejected 56Ni mass of <0.016 M⊙. Using the Binary Population And Spectral Synthesis (BPASS) code, we explore a wide range of possible progenitor systems and find that the majority of these are in binaries, some of which are undergoing mass transfer or common-envelope evolution immediatelymore »prior to explosion. Finally, we use the SuperNova Explosion Code (SNEC) to demonstrate that the low-energy explosions within some of these binary systems, together with sufficient circumstellar material, can reproduce the overall morphology of the light curve of AT 2016jbu.

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