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The mystery of photometric twins DES17X1boj and DES16E2bjy

Wester, W., Tarle, G., Swanson, M. E. C., Suchyta, E., Sevilla-Noarbe, I., Serrano, S., Schubnell, M., Scarpine, V., Sanchez, E., Roodman, A., Plazas, A. A., Paz-Chinchón, F., Palmese, A., Ogando, R. L. C., Miquel, R., Menanteau, F., Marshall, J. L., Maia, M. A. G., Kuehn, K., Krause, E., Kim, A. G., James, D. J., Honscheid, K., Hollowood, D. L., Gutierrez, G., Gschwend, J., Gruendl, R. A., Gruen, D., Gerdes, D. W., Gaztanaga, E., García-Bellido, J., Frieman, J., Flaugher, B., Everett, S., Eifler, T. F., Doel, P., Diehl, H. T., Desai, S., De Vicente, J., da Costa, L. N., Carrasco Kind, M., Carnero Rosell, A., Burke, D. L., Buckley-Geer, E., Brooks, D., Bertin, E., Avila, S., Annis, J., Allam, S., Abbott, T. M. C., Vincenzi, M., Tucker, B. E., Thomas, B. P., Swann, E., Sommer, N. E., Scolnic, D., Müller, T., Möller, A., March, M., Macaulay, E., Lidman, C., Lewis, G. F., Kessler, R., Inserra, C., Hinton, S. R., Grayling, M., Foley, R. J., Davis, T. M., D'Andrea, C. B., Carollo, D., Brout, D., Bassett, B. A., Nugent, P., Galbany, L., Sullivan, M., Kelsey, L., Castro Segura, N., Angus, C., Frohmaier, C., Smith, M., Childress, M., Wiseman, P., Gutiérrez, C. P. and Pursiainen, M. 2020. The mystery of photometric twins DES17X1boj and DES16E2bjy. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 494 (4) , pp. 5576-5589. 10.1093/mnras/staa995

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We present an analysis of DES17X1boj and DES16E2bjy, two peculiar transients discovered by the Dark Energy Survey (DES). They exhibit nearly identical double-peaked light curves that reach very different maximum luminosities (Mr = −15.4 and −17.9, respectively). The light-curve evolution of these events is highly atypical and has not been reported before. The transients are found in different host environments: DES17X1boj was found near the nucleus of a spiral galaxy, while DES16E2bjy is located in the outskirts of a passive red galaxy. Early photometric data are well fitted with a blackbody and the resulting moderate photospheric expansion velocities (1800  km s−1 for DES17X1boj and 4800  km s−1 for DES16E2bjy) suggest an explosive or eruptive origin. Additionally, a feature identified as high-velocity Ca II absorption (⁠v ≈ 9400 km s−1) in the near-peak spectrum of DES17X1boj may imply that it is a supernova. While similar light-curve evolution suggests a similar physical origin for these two transients, we are not able to identify or characterize the progenitors.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0035-8711
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 June 2020
Date of Acceptance: 7 April 2020
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 11:18

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