skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: THE GALEX TIME DOMAIN SURVEY. I. SELECTION AND CLASSIFICATION OF OVER A THOUSAND ULTRAVIOLET VARIABLE SOURCES

Abstract

We present the selection and classification of over a thousand ultraviolet (UV) variable sources discovered in {approx}40 deg{sup 2} of GALEX Time Domain Survey (TDS) NUV images observed with a cadence of 2 days and a baseline of observations of {approx}3 years. The GALEX TDS fields were designed to be in spatial and temporal coordination with the Pan-STARRS1 Medium Deep Survey, which provides deep optical imaging and simultaneous optical transient detections via image differencing. We characterize the GALEX photometric errors empirically as a function of mean magnitude, and select sources that vary at the 5{sigma} level in at least one epoch. We measure the statistical properties of the UV variability, including the structure function on timescales of days and years. We report classifications for the GALEX TDS sample using a combination of optical host colors and morphology, UV light curve characteristics, and matches to archival X-ray, and spectroscopy catalogs. We classify 62% of the sources as active galaxies (358 quasars and 305 active galactic nuclei), and 10% as variable stars (including 37 RR Lyrae, 53 M dwarf flare stars, and 2 cataclysmic variables). We detect a large-amplitude tail in the UV variability distribution for M-dwarf flare stars and RR Lyrae,more » reaching up to |{Delta}m| = 4.6 mag and 2.9 mag, respectively. The mean amplitude of the structure function for quasars on year timescales is five times larger than observed at optical wavelengths. The remaining unclassified sources include UV-bright extragalactic transients, two of which have been spectroscopically confirmed to be a young core-collapse supernova and a flare from the tidal disruption of a star by dormant supermassive black hole. We calculate a surface density for variable sources in the UV with NUV < 23 mag and |{Delta}m| > 0.2 mag of {approx}8.0, 7.7, and 1.8 deg{sup -2} for quasars, active galactic nuclei, and RR Lyrae stars, respectively. We also calculate a surface density rate in the UV for transient sources, using the effective survey time at the cadence appropriate to each class, of {approx}15 and 52 deg{sup -2} yr{sup -1} for M dwarfs and extragalactic transients, respectively.« less

Authors:
 [1]; ; ; ; ;  [2]; ; ; ; ; ;  [3]; ;  [4];  [5];  [6];  [7]
  1. Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-2421 (United States)
  2. Astronomy Department, California Institute of Technology, MC 249-17, 1200 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)
  3. Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)
  4. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)
  5. Laboratory for Astronomy and Solar Physics, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)
  6. Observatories of the Carnegie Institute of Washington, Pasadena, CA 90095 (United States)
  7. Department of Astronomy, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22167540
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Astrophysical Journal
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 766; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Journal ID: ISSN 0004-637X
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; AMPLITUDES; BLACK HOLES; CATALOGS; CLASSIFICATION; COLOR; DENSITY; DETECTION; GALAXIES; GALAXY NUCLEI; MORPHOLOGY; QUASARS; SPECTROSCOPY; STRUCTURE FUNCTIONS; TRANSIENTS; ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION; VARIABLE STARS; X RADIATION

Citation Formats

Gezari, S., Martin, D. C., Forster, K., Neill, J. D., Morrissey, P., Wyder, T. K., Huber, M., Burgett, W. S., Chambers, K. C., Kaiser, N., Magnier, E. A., Tonry, J. L., Heckman, T., Bianchi, L., Neff, S. G., Seibert, M., Schiminovich, D., and Price, P. A., E-mail: suvi@astro.umd.edu. THE GALEX TIME DOMAIN SURVEY. I. SELECTION AND CLASSIFICATION OF OVER A THOUSAND ULTRAVIOLET VARIABLE SOURCES. United States: N. p., 2013. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/766/1/60.
Gezari, S., Martin, D. C., Forster, K., Neill, J. D., Morrissey, P., Wyder, T. K., Huber, M., Burgett, W. S., Chambers, K. C., Kaiser, N., Magnier, E. A., Tonry, J. L., Heckman, T., Bianchi, L., Neff, S. G., Seibert, M., Schiminovich, D., & Price, P. A., E-mail: suvi@astro.umd.edu. THE GALEX TIME DOMAIN SURVEY. I. SELECTION AND CLASSIFICATION OF OVER A THOUSAND ULTRAVIOLET VARIABLE SOURCES. United States. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/766/1/60
Gezari, S., Martin, D. C., Forster, K., Neill, J. D., Morrissey, P., Wyder, T. K., Huber, M., Burgett, W. S., Chambers, K. C., Kaiser, N., Magnier, E. A., Tonry, J. L., Heckman, T., Bianchi, L., Neff, S. G., Seibert, M., Schiminovich, D., and Price, P. A., E-mail: suvi@astro.umd.edu. Wed . "THE GALEX TIME DOMAIN SURVEY. I. SELECTION AND CLASSIFICATION OF OVER A THOUSAND ULTRAVIOLET VARIABLE SOURCES". United States. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/766/1/60.
@article{osti_22167540,
title = {THE GALEX TIME DOMAIN SURVEY. I. SELECTION AND CLASSIFICATION OF OVER A THOUSAND ULTRAVIOLET VARIABLE SOURCES},
author = {Gezari, S. and Martin, D. C. and Forster, K. and Neill, J. D. and Morrissey, P. and Wyder, T. K. and Huber, M. and Burgett, W. S. and Chambers, K. C. and Kaiser, N. and Magnier, E. A. and Tonry, J. L. and Heckman, T. and Bianchi, L. and Neff, S. G. and Seibert, M. and Schiminovich, D. and Price, P. A., E-mail: suvi@astro.umd.edu},
abstractNote = {We present the selection and classification of over a thousand ultraviolet (UV) variable sources discovered in {approx}40 deg{sup 2} of GALEX Time Domain Survey (TDS) NUV images observed with a cadence of 2 days and a baseline of observations of {approx}3 years. The GALEX TDS fields were designed to be in spatial and temporal coordination with the Pan-STARRS1 Medium Deep Survey, which provides deep optical imaging and simultaneous optical transient detections via image differencing. We characterize the GALEX photometric errors empirically as a function of mean magnitude, and select sources that vary at the 5{sigma} level in at least one epoch. We measure the statistical properties of the UV variability, including the structure function on timescales of days and years. We report classifications for the GALEX TDS sample using a combination of optical host colors and morphology, UV light curve characteristics, and matches to archival X-ray, and spectroscopy catalogs. We classify 62% of the sources as active galaxies (358 quasars and 305 active galactic nuclei), and 10% as variable stars (including 37 RR Lyrae, 53 M dwarf flare stars, and 2 cataclysmic variables). We detect a large-amplitude tail in the UV variability distribution for M-dwarf flare stars and RR Lyrae, reaching up to |{Delta}m| = 4.6 mag and 2.9 mag, respectively. The mean amplitude of the structure function for quasars on year timescales is five times larger than observed at optical wavelengths. The remaining unclassified sources include UV-bright extragalactic transients, two of which have been spectroscopically confirmed to be a young core-collapse supernova and a flare from the tidal disruption of a star by dormant supermassive black hole. We calculate a surface density for variable sources in the UV with NUV < 23 mag and |{Delta}m| > 0.2 mag of {approx}8.0, 7.7, and 1.8 deg{sup -2} for quasars, active galactic nuclei, and RR Lyrae stars, respectively. We also calculate a surface density rate in the UV for transient sources, using the effective survey time at the cadence appropriate to each class, of {approx}15 and 52 deg{sup -2} yr{sup -1} for M dwarfs and extragalactic transients, respectively.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-637X/766/1/60},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/22167540}, journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
issn = {0004-637X},
number = 1,
volume = 766,
place = {United States},
year = {2013},
month = {3}
}