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  • 1
    ISSN: 1476-4687
    Source: Nature Archives 1869 - 2009
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
    Notes: [Auszug] Despite a rich phenomenology, γ-ray bursts (GRBs) are divided into two classes based on their duration and spectral hardness—the long-soft and the short-hard bursts. The discovery of afterglow emission from long GRBs was a watershed event, pinpointing their origin to star-forming ...
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1476-4687
    Source: Nature Archives 1869 - 2009
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
    Notes: [Auszug] The final chapter in the long-standing mystery of the γ-ray bursts (GRBs) centres on the origin of the short-hard class of bursts, which are suspected on theoretical grounds to result from the coalescence of neutron-star or black-hole binary systems. Numerous searches for the afterglows of ...
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1476-4687
    Source: Nature Archives 1869 - 2009
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
    Notes: [Auszug] Over the past decade, long-duration γ-ray bursts (GRBs)—including the subclass of X-ray flashes (XRFs)—have been revealed to be a rare variety of type Ibc supernova. Although all these events result from the death of massive stars, the electromagnetic luminosities of GRBs and ...
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019-07-12
    Description: We report on the discovery of SN 2014J in the nearby galaxy M 82. Given its proximity, it offers the best opportunity to date to study a thermonuclear supernova over a wide range of the electromagnetic spectrum. Optical, near-IR and mid-IR observations on the rising lightcurve, orchestrated by the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF), show that SN 2014J is a spectroscopically normal Type Ia supernova, albeit exhibiting high-velocity features in its spectrum and heavily reddened by dust in the host galaxy. Our earliest detections start just hours after the fitted time of explosion. We use high-resolution optical spectroscopy to analyze the dense intervening material and do not detect any evolution in the resolved absorption features during the lightcurve rise. Similarly to other highly reddened Type Ia supernovae, a low value of total-to-selective extinction, R (sub V) less than or approximately equal to 2, provides the best match to our observations. We also study pre-explosion optical and near-IR images from HST with special emphasis on the sources nearest to the SN location.
    Keywords: Astronomy; Astrophysics
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN23299
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019-07-12
    Description: We present optical photometry and spectroscopy of the broad-lined Type Ic supernova (SN Ic-BL) PTF10qts, which was discovered as part of the Palomar Transient Factory. The supernova was located in a dwarf galaxy of magnitude r = 21.1 at a redshift z = 0.0907.We find that the R-band light curve is a poor proxy for bolometric data and use photometric and spectroscopic data to construct and constrain the bolometric light curve. The derived bolometric magnitude at maximum light is Mbol = 18.51 +/- 0.2 mag, comparable to that of SN1998bw (Mbol = -18.7 mag) which was associated with a gamma-ray burst (GRB). PTF10qts is one of the most luminous SN Ic-BL observed without an accompanying GRB. We estimate the physical parameters of the explosion using data from our programme of follow-up observations, finding that it produced a larger mass of radioactive nickel compared to other SNeIc-BL with similar inferred ejecta masses and kinetic energies. The progenitor of the event was likely a approximately 20 solar mass star.
    Keywords: Astrophysics
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN23177
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019-07-12
    Description: The optical light curve of some supernovae (SNe) may be powered by the outward diffusion of the energy deposited by the explosion shock (so-called shock breakout) in optically thick (tau approx 〉 30) circumstellar matter (CSM). Recently, it was shown that the radiation-mediated and -dominated shock in an optically thick wind must transform into 8. collisionless shock and can produce hard X-rays. The X-rays are expected to peak at late times, relative to maximum visible light. Here we report on a search, using Swift-XRT and Chandra, for X-ray emission from 28 SNe that belong to classes whose progenitors are suspected to be embedded in dense CSM. Our sample includes 19 type-IIn SNe, one type-Ibn SN and ei~ht hydrogen-poor super-luminous SNe (SLSN-I; SN 2005ap like). Two SNe (SN 2006jc and SN 2010jl) have X-ray properties that are roughly consistent with the expectation for X-rays from a collisionless shock in optically thick CSl\l. Therefore, we suggest that their optical light curves are powered by shock breakout in CSM. We show that two other events (SN 2010al and SN 2011ht) were too X-ray bright during the SN maximum optical light to be explained by the shock breakout model. We conclude that the light curves of some, but not all, type-IIn/Ibn SNe are powered by shock breakout in CSM. For the rest of the SNe in our sample, including all the SLSN-I events, our X-ray limits are not deep enough and were typically obtained at too early times (i.e., near the SN maximum light) to conclude about their nature. Late time X-ray observations are required in order to further test if these SNe are indeed embedded in dense CSM. We review the conditions required for a shock breakOut in a wind profile. We argue that the time scale, relative to maximum light, for the SN to peak in X-rays is a probe of the column density and the density profile above the shock region. The optical light curves of SNe, for which the X-ray emission peaks at late times, are likely powered by the diffusion of shock energy from a dense CSM. We note that if the CSM density profile falls faster than a constant-rate wind density profile, then X-rays may escape at earlier times than estimated for the wind profile case. Furthermore, if the CSM have a region in which the density profile is very steep, relative to a steady wind density profile, or the CSM is neutral, then the radio free-free absorption may be low enough, and radio emission may be detected.
    Keywords: Astronomy
    Type: GSFC.JA.7119.2012 , GSFC.JA.7127.2012
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: The optical light curve of some supernovae (SNe) may be powered by the outward diffusion of the energy deposited by the explosion shock (the so-called shock breakout) in optically thick (Tau approx 〉 30) circumstellar matter (CSM). Recently, it was shown that the radiation-mediated and radiation-dominated shock in an optically thick wind must transform into a collisionless shock and can produce hard X-rays. The X-rays are expected to peak at late times, relative to maximum visible light. Here we report on a search, using Swift/XRT and Chandra, for X-ray emission from 28 SNe that belong to classes whose progenitors are suspected to be embedded in dense CSM. Our sample includes 19 Type IIn SNe, one Type Ibn SN, and eight hydrogen-poor superluminous SNe (SLSN-I such as SN 2005ap). Two SNe (SN 2006jc and SN 2010jl) have X-ray properties that are roughly consistent with the expectation for X-rays from a collisionless shock in optically thick CSM. However, the X-ray emission from SN 2006jc can also be explained as originating in an optically thin region. Thus, we propose that the optical light curve of SN 2010jl is powered by shock breakout in CSM. We suggest that two other events (SN 2010al and SN 2011ht) were too X-ray bright during the SN maximum optical light to be explained by the shock-breakout model.We conclude that the light curves of some, but not all, SNe IIn/Ibn are powered by shock breakout in CSM. For the rest of the SNe in our sample, including all of the SLSN-I events, our X-ray limits are not deep enough and were typically obtained too early (i.e., near the SN maximum light) for definitive conclusions about their nature. Late-time X-ray observations are required in order to further test whether these SNe are indeed embedded in dense CSM. We review the conditions required for a shock breakout in a wind profile. We argue that the timescale, relative to maximum light, for the SN to peak in X-rays is a probe of the column density and the density profile above the shock region. In SNe whose X-ray emission slowly rises, and peaks at late times, the optical light curve is likely powered by the diffusion of shock energy in a dense CSM. We note that if the CSM density profile falls faster than a constant-rate wind-density profile, then X-rays may escape at earlier times than estimated for the wind-profile case. Furthermore, if the CSM has a region in which the density profile is very steep relative to a steady wind-density profile, or if the CSM is neutral, then the radio free-free absorption may be sufficiently low for radio emission to be detected.
    Keywords: Astrophysics
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN10533 , The Astrophysical Journal; 763; 1; 42
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: GRB 070610 is a typical high-energy event with a duration of 5s.Yet within the burst localization we detect a highly unusual X-ray and optical transient, SwiftJ195509.6+261406. We see high amplitude X-ray and optical variability on very short time scares even at late times. Using near-infrared imaging assisted by a laser guide star and adaptive optics, we identified the counterpart of SwiftJl95509.6+261406. Late-time optical and near-infrared imaging constrain the spectral type of the counterpart to be fainter than a K-dwarf assuming it is of Galactic origin. It is possible that GRB 070610 and Swift J195509.6+261406 are unrelated sources. However, the absence of a typical X-ray afterglow from GRB 070610 in conjunction with the spatial and temporal coincidence of the two motivate us to suggest that the sources are related. The closest (imperfect) analog to Swift J195509.6+261406 is V4641 Sgr, an unusual black hole binary. We suggest that Swift J195509.6+261406 along with V4641 Sgr define a sub-class of stellar black hole binaries -- the fast X-ray novae. We further suggest that fast X-ray novae are associated with bursts of gamma-rays. If so, GRB 070610 defines a new class of celestial gamma-ray bursts and these bursts dominate the long-duration GRB demographics
    Keywords: Astronomy
    Type: The Astrophysical Journal; 678; 2; 112-1135
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: With the first direct detection of merging black holes in 2015, the era of gravitational wave (GW) astrophysics began. A complete picture of compact object mergers, however, requires the detection of an electromagnetic (EM) counterpart. We report ultraviolet (UV) and x-ray observations by Swift and the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array of the EM counter part of the binary neutron star merger GW170817.The bright, rapidly fading UV emission indicates a high mass (0.03 solar masses) wind-driven outflow with moderate electron fraction (Ye 0.27). Combined with the x-ray limits, we favor an observer viewing angle of 30 away from the orbital rotation axis, which avoids both obscuration from the heaviest elements in the orbital plane and a direct view of any ultra relativistic, highly collimated ejecta (a gamma-ray burst afterglow).
    Keywords: Astrophysics
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN67019 , Science (ISSN 0036-8075) (e-ISSN 1095-9203); 358; 6370; 1565-1570
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Merging neutron stars offer an excellent laboratory for simultaneously studying strong-field gravity and matter in extreme environments. We establish the physical association of an electromagnetic counterpart (EM170817) with gravitational waves (GW170817) detected from merging neutron stars. By synthesizing a panchromatic data set, we demonstrate that merging neutron stars are a long-sought production site forging heavy elements by r-process nucleosynthesis. The weak gamma rays seen in EM170817 are dissimilar to classical short gamma-ray bursts with ultrarelativistic jets. Instead, we suggest that breakout of a wide-angle, mildly relativistic cocoon engulfing the jet explains the low-luminosity gamma rays, the high-luminosity ultraviolet-optical-infrared, and the delayed radio and x-ray emission. We posit that all neutron star mergers may lead to a wide-angle cocoon breakout, sometimes accompanied by a successful jet and sometimes by a choked jet.
    Keywords: Astronomy
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN53451 , Science (ISSN 0036-8075) (e-ISSN 1095-9203); 358; 6370; 1559-1565
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