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Title: THE DISCOVERY AND NATURE OF THE OPTICAL TRANSIENT CSS100217:102913+404220

Abstract

We report on the discovery and observations of the extremely luminous optical transient CSS100217:102913+404220 (CSS100217 hereafter). Spectroscopic observations showed that this transient was coincident with a galaxy at redshift z = 0.147 and reached an apparent magnitude of V {approx} 16.3. After correcting for foreground Galactic extinction we determine the absolute magnitude to be M{sub V} = -22.7 approximately 45 days after maximum light. Over a period of 287 rest-frame days, this event had an integrated bolometric luminosity of 1.3 x 10{sup 52} erg based on time-averaged bolometric corrections of {approx}15 from V- and R-band observations. Analysis of the pre-outburst Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) spectrum of the source shows features consistent with a narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxy. High-resolution Hubble Space Telescope and Keck follow-up observations show that the event occurred within 150 pc of the nucleus of the galaxy, suggesting a possible link to the active nuclear region. However, the rapid outburst along with photometric and spectroscopic evolution are much more consistent with a luminous supernova. Line diagnostics suggest that the host galaxy is undergoing significant star formation. We use extensive follow-up of the event along with archival Catalina Sky Survey NEO search and SDSS data to investigate themore » three most likely sources of such an event: (1) an extremely luminous supernova, (2) the tidal disruption of a star by the massive nuclear black hole, and (3) variability of the central active galactic nucleus (AGN). We find that CSS100217 was likely an extremely luminous Type IIn supernova and occurred within the range of the narrow-line region of an AGN. We discuss how similar events may have been missed in past supernova surveys because of confusion with AGN activity.« less

Authors:
; ; ;  [1];  [2];  [3]; ;  [4];  [5];  [6]; ;  [7]; ;  [8];  [9];  [10];  [11]; ;  [12];  [13]
  1. California Institute of Technology, 1200 E. California Blvd., CA 91225 (United States)
  2. STScI, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)
  3. Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences, Manora Peak, Nainital 263129, Uttarakhand (India)
  4. IUCAA, Postbag 4, Ganeshkhind, Pune 411007 (India)
  5. NRAO, Campus Building 65, 949 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721-0655 (United States)
  6. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, 366 Bloomberg Center, 3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)
  7. Carnegie Observatories, 813 Santa Barbara Street, Pasadena, CA 91101 (United States)
  8. LBT, University of Arizona, 933 N. Cherry Ave, Room 552, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States)
  9. Dartmouth College, 6127 Wilder Laboratory, Hanover, NH 03755-3528 (United States)
  10. Department of Planetary Sciences, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, 1629 E. University Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States)
  11. W. W. Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory, Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, Standford, CA 94305 (United States)
  12. Space Science Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375 (United States)
  13. Max-Planck-Institut fuer Radioastronomie, Auf dem Huegel 69, 53121 Bonn (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21578395
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Astrophysical Journal
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 735; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/735/2/106; Journal ID: ISSN 0004-637X
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; GALAXIES; GALAXY NUCLEI; SUPERNOVAE; TRANSIENTS; BINARY STARS; ERUPTIVE VARIABLE STARS; STARS; VARIABLE STARS

Citation Formats

Drake, A. J., Djorgovski, S. G., Mahabal, A., Neill, James D., Anderson, J., Roy, R., Mohan, V., Ravindranath, S., Frail, D., Gezari, S., Ho, L. C., Prieto, J. L., Thompson, D., Wagner, M., Thorstensen, J., Kowalski, R., Chiang, J., Grove, J. E., Wood, D. L., and Schinzel, F. K. THE DISCOVERY AND NATURE OF THE OPTICAL TRANSIENT CSS100217:102913+404220. United States: N. p., 2011. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/735/2/106.
Drake, A. J., Djorgovski, S. G., Mahabal, A., Neill, James D., Anderson, J., Roy, R., Mohan, V., Ravindranath, S., Frail, D., Gezari, S., Ho, L. C., Prieto, J. L., Thompson, D., Wagner, M., Thorstensen, J., Kowalski, R., Chiang, J., Grove, J. E., Wood, D. L., & Schinzel, F. K. THE DISCOVERY AND NATURE OF THE OPTICAL TRANSIENT CSS100217:102913+404220. United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/735/2/106.
Drake, A. J., Djorgovski, S. G., Mahabal, A., Neill, James D., Anderson, J., Roy, R., Mohan, V., Ravindranath, S., Frail, D., Gezari, S., Ho, L. C., Prieto, J. L., Thompson, D., Wagner, M., Thorstensen, J., Kowalski, R., Chiang, J., Grove, J. E., Wood, D. L., and Schinzel, F. K. Sun . "THE DISCOVERY AND NATURE OF THE OPTICAL TRANSIENT CSS100217:102913+404220". United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/735/2/106.
@article{osti_21578395,
title = {THE DISCOVERY AND NATURE OF THE OPTICAL TRANSIENT CSS100217:102913+404220},
author = {Drake, A. J. and Djorgovski, S. G. and Mahabal, A. and Neill, James D. and Anderson, J. and Roy, R. and Mohan, V. and Ravindranath, S. and Frail, D. and Gezari, S. and Ho, L. C. and Prieto, J. L. and Thompson, D. and Wagner, M. and Thorstensen, J. and Kowalski, R. and Chiang, J. and Grove, J. E. and Wood, D. L. and Schinzel, F. K.},
abstractNote = {We report on the discovery and observations of the extremely luminous optical transient CSS100217:102913+404220 (CSS100217 hereafter). Spectroscopic observations showed that this transient was coincident with a galaxy at redshift z = 0.147 and reached an apparent magnitude of V {approx} 16.3. After correcting for foreground Galactic extinction we determine the absolute magnitude to be M{sub V} = -22.7 approximately 45 days after maximum light. Over a period of 287 rest-frame days, this event had an integrated bolometric luminosity of 1.3 x 10{sup 52} erg based on time-averaged bolometric corrections of {approx}15 from V- and R-band observations. Analysis of the pre-outburst Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) spectrum of the source shows features consistent with a narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxy. High-resolution Hubble Space Telescope and Keck follow-up observations show that the event occurred within 150 pc of the nucleus of the galaxy, suggesting a possible link to the active nuclear region. However, the rapid outburst along with photometric and spectroscopic evolution are much more consistent with a luminous supernova. Line diagnostics suggest that the host galaxy is undergoing significant star formation. We use extensive follow-up of the event along with archival Catalina Sky Survey NEO search and SDSS data to investigate the three most likely sources of such an event: (1) an extremely luminous supernova, (2) the tidal disruption of a star by the massive nuclear black hole, and (3) variability of the central active galactic nucleus (AGN). We find that CSS100217 was likely an extremely luminous Type IIn supernova and occurred within the range of the narrow-line region of an AGN. We discuss how similar events may have been missed in past supernova surveys because of confusion with AGN activity.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-637X/735/2/106},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
issn = {0004-637X},
number = 2,
volume = 735,
place = {United States},
year = {2011},
month = {7}
}