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Title: Science with a wide-field UV transient explorer

The time-variable electromagnetic sky has been well-explored at a wide range of wavelengths. In contrast, the ultra-violet (UV) variable sky is relatively poorly explored, even though it offers exciting scientific prospects. Here, we review the potential scientific impact of a wide-field UV survey on the study of explosive and other transient events, as well as known classes of variable objects, such as active galactic nuclei and variable stars. We quantify our predictions using a fiducial set of observational parameters which are similar to those envisaged for the proposed ULTRASAT mission. We show that such a mission would be able to revolutionize our knowledge about massive star explosions by measuring the early UV emission from hundreds of events, revealing key physical parameters of the exploding progenitor stars. Such a mission would also detect the UV emission from many tens of tidal-disruption events of stars by supermassive black holes at galactic nuclei and enable a measurement of the rate of such events. The overlap of such a wide-field UV mission with existing and planned gravitational-wave and high-energy neutrino telescopes makes it especially timely.
Authors:
; ; ; ; ;  [1] ;  [2] ; ;  [3] ; ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7]
  1. Benoziyo Center for Astrophysics, Weizmann Institute of Science, 76100 Rehovot (Israel)
  2. Helen Kimmel Center for Planetary Science, Weizmann Institute of Science, 76100 Rehovot (Israel)
  3. Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)
  4. School of Physics and Astronomy, Tel Aviv University, 93387 Tel Aviv (Israel)
  5. Division of Geophysics and Planetary Science, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91105 (United States)
  6. Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Koramangala, Bangalore 560034 (India)
  7. NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22340136
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astronomical Journal (New York, N.Y. Online); Journal Volume: 147; Journal Issue: 4; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; BLACK HOLES; ECLIPSE; EMISSION; EXPLOSIONS; EXPLOSIVES; FORECASTING; GALAXY NUCLEI; GRAVITATIONAL WAVES; NEUTRINOS; SUPERNOVAE; TELESCOPES; TRANSIENTS; ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION