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Title: Intermediate Palomar Transient Factory: Realtime Image Subtraction Pipeline

Abstract

A fast-turnaround pipeline for realtime data reduction plays an essential role in discovering and permitting followup observations to young supernovae and fast-evolving transients in modern time-domain surveys. In this paper, we present the realtime image subtraction pipeline in the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory. By using highperformance computing, efficient databases, and machine-learning algorithms, this pipeline manages to reliably deliver transient candidates within 10 minutes of images being taken. Our experience in using high-performance computing resources to process big data in astronomy serves as a trailblazer to dealing with data from large-scale time-domain facilities in the near future.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1]
  1. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States)
  2. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1398434
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 128; Journal Issue: 969; Journal ID: ISSN 0004-6280
Publisher:
Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; Surveys; Methods: observational; Supernovae: general

Citation Formats

Cao, Yi, Nugent, Peter E., and Kasliwal, Mansi M.. Intermediate Palomar Transient Factory: Realtime Image Subtraction Pipeline. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1088/1538-3873/128/969/114502.
Cao, Yi, Nugent, Peter E., & Kasliwal, Mansi M.. Intermediate Palomar Transient Factory: Realtime Image Subtraction Pipeline. United States. doi:10.1088/1538-3873/128/969/114502.
Cao, Yi, Nugent, Peter E., and Kasliwal, Mansi M.. 2016. "Intermediate Palomar Transient Factory: Realtime Image Subtraction Pipeline". United States. doi:10.1088/1538-3873/128/969/114502. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1398434.
@article{osti_1398434,
title = {Intermediate Palomar Transient Factory: Realtime Image Subtraction Pipeline},
author = {Cao, Yi and Nugent, Peter E. and Kasliwal, Mansi M.},
abstractNote = {A fast-turnaround pipeline for realtime data reduction plays an essential role in discovering and permitting followup observations to young supernovae and fast-evolving transients in modern time-domain surveys. In this paper, we present the realtime image subtraction pipeline in the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory. By using highperformance computing, efficient databases, and machine-learning algorithms, this pipeline manages to reliably deliver transient candidates within 10 minutes of images being taken. Our experience in using high-performance computing resources to process big data in astronomy serves as a trailblazer to dealing with data from large-scale time-domain facilities in the near future.},
doi = {10.1088/1538-3873/128/969/114502},
journal = {Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific},
number = 969,
volume = 128,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 9
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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  • In order to look for large super-fast rotators, in late 2014 and early 2015, five dedicated surveys covering ∼188 deg{sup 2} in the ecliptic plane have been carried out in the R -band, with ∼10 minute cadence using the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory. Among 1029 reliable rotation periods obtained from the surveys, we discovered 1 new large super-fast rotator, (40511) 1999 RE88, and 18 other candidates. (40511) 1999 RE88 is an S-type inner main-belt asteroid with a diameter of D  = 1.9 ± 0.3 km, a rotation period of P  = 1.96 ± 0.01 hr, and a light curve amplitude of Δ m  ∼ 1.0 mag. To maintainmore » such fast rotation, an internal cohesive strength of ∼780 Pa is required. Combining all known large super-fast rotators, their cohesive strengths all fall in the range of 100–1000 Pa of lunar regolith. However, the number of large super-fast rotators seems to be far less than the whole asteroid population. This might indicate a peculiar asteroid group for them. Although the detection efficiency for a long rotation period is greatly reduced due to our two-day observation time span, the spin-rate distributions of this work show consistent results with Chang et al. (2015), after considering the possible observational bias in our surveys. It shows a number decrease with an increase of spin rate for asteroids with a diameter of 3 ⩽  D  ⩽ 15 km, and a number drop at a spin rate of f  = 5 rev day{sup −1} for asteroids with D  ⩽ 3 km.« less
  • In this paper, we present the transient source detection efficiencies of the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF), parameterizing the number of transients that PTF found versus the number of similar transients that occurred over the same period in the survey search area but were missed. PTF was an optical sky survey carried out with the Palomar 48 inch telescope over 2009–2012, observing more than 8000 square degrees of sky with cadences of between one and five days, locating around 50,000 non-moving transient sources, and spectroscopically confirming around 1900 supernovae. We assess the effectiveness with which PTF detected transient sources, by insertingmore » $$\simeq 7$$ million artificial point sources into real PTF data. We then study the efficiency with which the PTF real-time pipeline recovered these sources as a function of the source magnitude, host galaxy surface brightness, and various observing conditions (using proxies for seeing, sky brightness, and transparency). The product of this study is a multi-dimensional recovery efficiency grid appropriate for the range of observing conditions that PTF experienced and that can then be used for studies of the rates, environments, and luminosity functions of different transient types using detailed Monte Carlo simulations. Finally, we illustrate the technique using the observationally well-understood class of type Ia supernovae.« less
  • We use the first compilation of 72 core-collapse supernovae (SNe) from the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) to study their observed subtype distribution in dwarf galaxies compared to giant galaxies. Our sample is the largest single-survey, untargeted, spectroscopically classified, homogeneous collection of core-collapse events ever assembled, spanning a wide host-galaxy luminosity range (down to M{sub r} {approx} -14 mag) and including a substantial fraction (>20%) of dwarf (M{sub r} {>=} -18 mag) hosts. We find more core-collapse SNe in dwarf galaxies than expected and several interesting trends emerge. We use detailed subclassifications of stripped-envelope core-collapse SNe and find that all Typemore » I core-collapse events occurring in dwarf galaxies are either SNe Ib or broad-lined SNe Ic (SNe Ic-BL), while 'normal' SNe Ic dominate in giant galaxies. We also see a significant excess of SNe IIb in dwarf hosts. We hypothesize that in lower metallicity hosts, metallicity-driven mass loss is reduced, allowing massive stars that would have appeared as 'normal' SNe Ic in metal-rich galaxies to retain some He and H, exploding as Ib/IIb events. At the same time, another mechanism allows some stars to undergo extensive stripping and explode as SNe Ic-BL (and presumably also as long-duration gamma-ray bursts). Our results are still limited by small-number statistics, and our measurements of the observed N(Ib/c)/N(II) number ratio in dwarf and giant hosts (0.25{sup +0.3}{sub -0.15} and 0.23{sup +0.11}{sub -0.08}, respectively; 1{sigma} uncertainties) are consistent with previous studies and theoretical predictions. As additional PTF data accumulate, more robust statistical analyses will be possible, allowing the evolution of massive stars to be probed via the dwarf-galaxy SN population.« less
  • The Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) is an optical wide-field variability survey carried out using a camera with a 7.8 deg{sup 2} field of view mounted on the 48 inch Oschin Schmidt telescope at Palomar Observatory. One of the key goals of this survey is to conduct high-cadence monitoring of the sky in order to detect optical transient sources shortly after they occur. Here, we describe the real-time capabilities of the PTF and our related rapid multiwavelength follow-up programs, extending from the radio to the {gamma}-ray bands. We present as a case study observations of the optical transient PTF10vdl (SN 2010id),more » revealed to be a very young core-collapse (Type II-P) supernova having a remarkably low luminosity. Our results demonstrate that the PTF now provides for optical transients the real-time discovery and rapid-response follow-up capabilities previously reserved only for high-energy transients like gamma-ray bursts.« less
  • The Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) Orion project is one of the experiments within the broader PTF survey, a systematic automated exploration of the sky for optical transients. Taking advantage of the wide (3.{sup 0}5 x 2.{sup 0}3) field of view available using the PTF camera installed at the Palomar 48 inch telescope, 40 nights were dedicated in 2009 December to 2010 January to perform continuous high-cadence differential photometry on a single field containing the young (7-10 Myr) 25 Ori association. Little is known empirically about the formation of planets at these young ages, and the primary motivation for the projectmore » is to search for planets around young stars in this region. The unique data set also provides for much ancillary science. In this first paper, we describe the survey and the data reduction pipeline, and present some initial results from an inspection of the most clearly varying stars relating to two of the ancillary science objectives: detection of eclipsing binaries and young stellar objects. We find 82 new eclipsing binary systems, 9 of which are good candidate 25 Ori or Orion OB1a association members. Of these, two are potential young W UMa type systems. We report on the possible low-mass (M-dwarf primary) eclipsing systems in the sample, which include six of the candidate young systems. Forty-five of the binary systems are close (mainly contact) systems, and one of these shows an orbital period among the shortest known for W UMa binaries, at 0.2156509 {+-} 0.0000071 days, with flat-bottomed primary eclipses, and a derived distance that appears consistent with membership in the general Orion association. One of the candidate young systems presents an unusual light curve, perhaps representing a semi-detached binary system with an inflated low-mass primary or a star with a warped disk, and may represent an additional young Orion member. Finally, we identify 14 probable new classical T-Tauri stars in our data, along with one previously known (CVSO 35) and one previously reported as a candidate weak-line T-Tauri star (SDSS J052700.12+010136.8).« less