A Multiple Ejecta-Circumstellar Medium Interaction Model and Its Implications for Superluminous Supernovae iPTF15esb and iPTF13dcc [HEAP]


In this paper, we investigate two hydrogen-poor superluminous supernovae (SLSNe) iPTF15esb and iPTF13dcc whose light curves (LCs) show significant deviation from the smooth rise and fall. The LC of iPTF15esb exhibits two peaks and a post-peak plateau, and furthermore the late-time spectrum of iPTF15esb shows a strong, broad H$\alpha$ emission line. The early-time LC of iPTF13dcc shows a long duration bump followed by the second peak. Here we propose an ejecta-circumstellar medium (CSM) interaction model involving multiple shells/winds and use it to explain the LCs of iPTF15esb and iPTF13dcc. We find that the theoretical LCs reproduced by this model can well match the observations of iPTF15esb and iPTF13dcc. Based on our results, we infer that the progenitors have undergone multiple violent mass-loss processes before the SN explosion. In addition, we find that the variation trend of our inferred densities of the shells is consistent with that predicted by the stellar mass-loss history before an SN explosion. Further investigations for other bumpy SLSNe/SNe would shed light on their nature and provide a probe for the mass-loss history of their progenitors.

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L. Liu, L. Wang, S. Wang, et. al.
Fri, 23 Feb 18

Comments: 20 pages, 4 figures, 2 tables, accepted for publication in ApJ. arXiv admin note: substantial text overlap with arXiv:1706.01783

Single-pulse observations of the Galactic Center magnetar PSR J1745$-$2900 at 3.1 GHz [HEAP]


We report on single-pulse observations of the Galactic Center magnetar PSR J1745$-$2900 that were made using the Parkes 64-m radio telescope with a central frequency of 3.1 GHz at five observing epochs between 2013 July and August. The shape of the integrated pulse profiles was relatively stable across the five observations, indicating that the pulsar was in a stable state between MJDs 56475 and 56514. This extends the known stable state of this pulsar to 6.8 months. Short term pulse shape variations were also detected. It is shown that this pulsar switches between two emission modes frequently and that the typical duration of each mode is about ten minutes. No giant pulses or subpulse drifting were observed. Apparent nulls in the pulse emission were detected on MJD 56500. Although there are many differences between the radio emission of magnetars and normal radio pulsars, they also share some properties. The detection of mode changing and pulse nulling in PSR J1745$-$2900 suggests that the basic radio emission process for magnetars and normal pulsars is the same.

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W. Yan, N. Wang, R. Manchester, et. al.
Fri, 23 Feb 18

Comments: 11 pages, 16 figures, 1 table, accepted by MNRAS

The Environments of the Most Energetic Gamma-Ray Bursts [HEAP]


We analyze the properties of a sample of long gamma-ray bursts (LGRBs) detected by the Fermi satellite that have a spectroscopic redshift and good follow-up coverage at both X-ray and optical/nIR wavelengths. The evolution of LGRB afterglows depends on the density profile of the external medium, enabling us to separate wind or ISM-like environments based on the observations. We do this by identifying the environment that provides the best agreement between estimates of $p$, the index of the underlying power-law distribution of electron energies, as determined by the behavior of the afterglow in different spectral/temporal regimes. At 11 rest-frame hours after trigger, we find a roughly even split between ISM-like and wind-like environments. We further find a 2$\sigma$ separation in the prompt emission energy distributions of wind-like and ISM-like bursts. We investigate the underlying physical parameters of the shock, and calculate the (degenerate) product of density and magnetic field energy ($\epsilon_B$). We show that $\epsilon_B$ must be $\ll 10^{-2}$ to avoid implied densities comparable to the intergalactic medium. Finally, we find that the most precisely constrained observations disagree on $p$ by more than would be expected based on observational errors alone. This suggests additional sources of error that are not incorporated in the standard afterglow theory. For the first time, we provide a measurement of this intrinsic error which can be represented as an error in the estimate of $p$ of magnitude $0.25 \pm 0.04$. When this error is included in the fits, the number of LGRBs with an identified environment drops substantially, but the equal division between the two types remains.

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B. Gompertz, A. Fruchter and A. Peer
Fri, 23 Feb 18

Comments: 28 pages, 9 figures, 5 tables. Submitted to ApJ

Deep Chandra Observations of ESO 428-G014: II. Spectral Properties and Morphology of the Large-Scale Extended X-ray Emission [HEAP]


We present a deep Chandra spectral and spatial study of the kpc-scale diffuse X-ray emission of the Compton thick (CT) AGN ESO428-G014. The entire spectrum is best fit with composite photoionization + thermal models. The diffuse emission is more extended at the lower energies (<3 keV). The smaller extent of the hard continuum and Fe K{\alpha} profiles imply that the optically thicker clouds responsible for this scattering may be relatively more prevalent closer to the nucleus. These clouds must not prevent soft ionizing X-rays from the AGN escaping to larger radii, in order to have photoionized ISM at larger radii. This suggests that at smaller radii there may be a larger population of molecular clouds to scatter the hard X-rays, as in the Milky Way. The diffuse emission is also significantly extended in the cross-cone direction, where the AGN emission would be mostly obscured by the torus in the standard AGN model. Our results suggest that the transmission of the obscuring region in the cross-cone direction is ~10% than in the cone-direction. In the 0.3-1.5 keV band, the ratio of cross-cone to cone photons increases to ~84\%, suggesting an additional soft diffuse emission component, disjoint from the AGN. This could be due to hot ISM trapped in the potential of the galaxy. The luminosity of this component ~5 10^38 erg s^-1 is roughly consistent with the thermal component suggested by the spectral fits in the 170-900 pc annulus.

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G. Fabbiano, A. Paggi, M. Karovska, et. al.
Fri, 23 Feb 18

Comments: 38 pages, 12 figure, ApJ in press

The X-shooter GRB afterglow legacy sample (XS-GRB) [HEAP]


In this work we present spectra of all $\gamma$-ray burst (GRB) afterglows that have been promptly observed with the X-shooter spectrograph until 31-03-2017. In total, we obtained spectroscopic observations of 103 individual GRBs observed within 48 hours of the GRB trigger. Redshifts have been measured for 97 per cent of these, covering a redshift range from 0.059 to 7.84. Based on a set of observational selection criteria that minimize biases with regards to intrinsic properties of the GRBs, the follow-up effort has been focused on producing a homogeneous sample of 93 afterglow spectra for GRBs discovered by the Swift satellite. We here provide a public release of all the reduced spectra, including continuum estimates and telluric absorption corrections. For completeness, we also provide reductions for the 18 late-time observations of the underlying host galaxies. We provide an assessment of the degree of completeness with respect to the parent GRB population, in terms of the X-ray properties of the bursts in the sample and find that the sample presented here is representative of the full Swift sample. We constrain the fraction of dark bursts to be < 28 per cent and we confirm previous results that higher optical darkness is correlated with increased X-ray absorption. For the 42 bursts for which it is possible, we provide a measurement of the neutral hydrogen column density, increasing the total number of published HI column density measurements by $\sim$ 33 per cent. This dataset provides a unique resource to study the ISM across cosmic time, from the local progenitor surroundings to the intervening universe.

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J. Selsing, D. Malesani, P. Goldoni, et. al.
Fri, 23 Feb 18

Comments: 41 pages, 10 Figures, 4 Tables. Submitted to A&A. Paper and code also available at this https URL

A Coincidence Search for Cosmic Neutrino and Gamma-Ray Emitting Sources Using IceCube and Fermi LAT Public Data [HEAP]


We present results of an archival coincidence analysis between Fermi LAT gamma-ray data and public neutrino data from the IceCube neutrino observatory’s 40-string (IC40) and 59-string (IC59) observing runs. Our analysis has the potential to detect either a statistical excess of neutrino + gamma-ray ($\nu$+$\gamma$) emitting transients or, alternatively, individual high gamma-multiplicity events, as might be produced by a neutrino observed by IceCube coinciding with a LAT-detected gamma-ray burst. Dividing the neutrino data into three datasets by hemisphere (IC40, IC59-North, and IC59-South), we construct uncorrelated null distributions by Monte Carlo scrambling of the neutrino datasets. We carry out signal-injection studies against these null distributions, demonstrating sensitivity to individual $\nu$+$\gamma$ events of sufficient gamma-ray multiplicity, and to $\nu$+$\gamma$ transient populations responsible for $>$14\% (IC40), $>$9\% (IC59-North), or $>$8\% (IC59-South) of the gamma-coincident neutrinos observed in these datasets, respectively. Analyzing the unscrambled neutrino data, we identify no individual high-significance neutrino + high gamma-multiplicity events, and no significant deviations from the test statistic null distributions. However, we observe a similar and unexpected pattern in the IC59-North and IC59-South residual distributions that we conclude reflects a possible correlation ($p=7.0\%$) between IC59 neutrino positions and persistently bright portions of the Fermi gamma-ray sky. This possible correlation should be readily testable using eight years of further data already collected by IceCube. We are currently working with Astrophysical Multimessenger Observatory Network (AMON) partner facilities to generate low-latency $\nu$+$\gamma$ alerts from Fermi LAT gamma-ray, IceCube and ANTARES neutrino data and distribute these in real time to AMON follow-up partners.

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C. Turley, D. Fox, A. Keivani, et. al.
Fri, 23 Feb 18

Comments: 10 pages, 9 figures, 1 table

Searching for propeller-phase ULXs in the XMM-Newton Serendipitous Source Catalogue [HEAP]


We search for transient sources in a sample of ULXs from the 3XMM-DR4 release of the XMM-Newton Serendipitous Source Catalogue in order to find candidate neutron star ULXs alternating between an accreting state and the propeller regime, in which the luminosity drops dramatically. By examining their fluxes and flux upper limits, we identify five ULXs that demonstrate long-term variability of over an order of magnitude. Using Chandra and Swift data to further characterise their light curves, we find that two of these sources are detected only once and could be X-ray binaries in outburst that only briefly reach ULX luminosities. Two others are consistent with being super-Eddington accreting sources with high levels of inter-observation variability. One source, M51 ULX-4, demonstrates apparent bimodal flux behaviour that could indicate the propeller regime. It has a hard X-ray spectrum, but no significant pulsations in its timing data, although with an upper limit of 10% of the signal pulsed at ~1.5 Hz a pulsating ULX cannot be excluded, particularly if the pulsations are transient. By simulating XMM-Newton observations of a population of pulsating ULXs, we predict that there could be approximately 200 other bimodal ULXs that have not been observed sufficiently well by XMM-Newton to be identified as transient.

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H. Earnshaw, T. Roberts and R. Sathyaprakash
Fri, 23 Feb 18

Comments: 6 pages, 3 figures, 1 table. Accepted for publication by MNRAS