skip to main content

Title: FIRST RESULTS FROM THE CATALINA REAL-TIME TRANSIENT SURVEY

We report on the results from the first six months of the Catalina Real-Time Transient Survey (CRTS). In order to search for optical transients (OTs) with timescales of minutes to years, the CRTS analyses data from the Catalina Sky Survey which repeatedly covers 26,000 of square degrees on the sky. The CRTS provides a public stream of transients that are bright enough to be followed up using small telescopes. Since the beginning of the survey, all CRTS transients have been made available to astronomers around the world in real time using HTML tables,RSS feeds, and VOEvents. As part of our public outreach program, the detections are now also available in Keyhole Markup Language through Google Sky. The initial discoveries include over 350 unique OTs rising more than 2 mag from past measurements. Sixty two of these are classified as supernovae (SNe), based on light curves, prior deep imaging and spectroscopic data. Seventy seven are due to cataclysmic variables (CVs; only 13 previously known), while an additional 100 transients were too infrequently sampled to distinguish between faint CVs and SNe. The remaining OTs include active galactic nucleus, blazars, high-proper-motions stars, highly variable stars (such as UV Ceti stars), and transients ofmore » an unknown nature. Our results suggest that there is a large population of SNe missed by many current SN surveys because of selection biases. These objects appear to be associated with faint host galaxies. We also discuss the unexpected discovery of white dwarf binary systems through dramatic eclipses.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1] ; ; ; ; ; ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. California Institute of Technology, 1200 E. California Blvd., CA 91225 (United States)
  2. Department of Planetary Sciences, University of Arizona, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, 1629 E. University Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States)
  3. Gemini Observatory, Casilla 603, La Serena (Chile)
  4. Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Departamento de AstronomIa y AstrofIsica, Av. Vicuna Mackena 4860, 782-0436 Macul, Santiago (Chile)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21296173
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 696; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/696/1/870; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS//MATHEMATICS, COMPUTING, AND INFORMATION SCIENCE; BL LACERTAE OBJECTS; ECLIPSE; GALAXIES; NOVAE; PROPER MOTION; SUPERNOVAE; TELESCOPES; TRANSIENTS; WHITE DWARF STARS