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Cosmological Fast Optical Transients with the Zwicky Transient Facility: A Search for Dirty Fireballs

Ho, Anna Y. Q. and Perley, Daniel A. and Yao, Yuhan and Svinkin, Dmitry and Postigo, A. de Ugarte and Perley, R. A. and Kann, D. Alexander and Burns, Eric and Andreoni, Igor and Bellm, Eric C. and Bissaldi, Elisabetta and Bloom, Joshua S. and Brink, Thomas G. and Dekany, Richard and Drake, Andrew J. and Agüí Fernández, José Feliciano and Filippenko, Alexei V. and Frederiks, Dmitry and Graham, Matthew J. and Hristov, Boyan A. and Kasliwal, Mansi M. and Kulkarni, S. R. and Kumar, Harsh and Laher, Russ R. and Lysenko, Alexandra L. and Mailyan, Bagrat and Malacaria, Christian and Miller, A. A. and Poolakkil, S. and Riddle, Reed and Ridnaia, Anna and Rusholme, Ben and Savchenko, Volodymyr and Sollerman, Jesper and Thöne, Christina and Tsvetkova, Anastasia and Ulanov, Mikhail and von Kienlin, Andreas (2022) Cosmological Fast Optical Transients with the Zwicky Transient Facility: A Search for Dirty Fireballs. Astrophysical Journal, 938 (1). p. 85. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ac8bd0.

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Dirty fireballs are a hypothesized class of relativistic massive-star explosions with an initial Lorentz factor Γᵢₙᵢₜ below the Γᵢₙᵢₜ ∼ 100 required to produce a long-duration gamma-ray burst (LGRB), but which could still produce optical emission resembling LGRB afterglows. Here we present the results of a search for on-axis optical afterglows using the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF). Our search yielded seven optical transients that resemble on-axis LGRB afterglows in terms of their red colors (g − r > 0 mag), faint host galaxies (r > 23 mag), rapid fading (dr/dt > 1 mag day⁻¹), and in some cases X-ray and radio emission. Spectroscopy of the transient emission within a few days of discovery established cosmological distances (redshift z = 0.876 to 2.9) for six of the seven events, tripling the number of afterglows with redshift measurements discovered by optical surveys without a γ-ray trigger. A likely associated LGRB (GRB 200524A, GRB 210204A, GRB 210212B, and GRB 210610B) was identified for four events (ZTF 20abbiixp/AT 2020kym, ZTF 21aagwbjr/AT 2021buv, ZTF 21aakruew/AT 2021cwd, and ZTF 21abfmpwn/AT 2021qbd) post facto, while three (ZTF 20aajnksq/AT 2020blt, ZTF 21aaeyldq/AT 2021any, and ZTF 21aayokph/AT 2021lfa) had no detected LGRB counterpart. The simplest explanation for the three "orphan" events is that they were regular LGRBs missed by high-energy satellites owing to detector sensitivity and duty cycle, although it is possible that they were intrinsically subluminous in γ-rays or viewed slightly off-axis. We rule out a scenario in which dirty fireballs have a similar energy per solid angle to LGRBs and are an order of magnitude more common. In addition, we set the first direct constraint on the ratio of the opening angles of the material producing γ-rays and the material producing early optical afterglow emission, finding that they must be comparable.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription ItemDiscussion Paper
Ho, Anna Y. Q.0000-0002-9017-3567
Perley, Daniel A.0000-0001-8472-1996
Yao, Yuhan0000-0001-6747-8509
Svinkin, Dmitry0000-0002-2208-2196
Postigo, A. de Ugarte0000-0001-7717-5085
Perley, R. A.0000-0001-7097-8360
Kann, D. Alexander0000-0003-2902-3583
Burns, Eric0000-0002-2942-3379
Andreoni, Igor0000-0003-3768-7515
Bellm, Eric C.0000-0001-8018-5348
Bissaldi, Elisabetta0000-0001-9935-8106
Bloom, Joshua S.0000-0002-7777-216X
Brink, Thomas G.0000-0001-5955-2502
Dekany, Richard0000-0002-5884-7867
Agüí Fernández, José Feliciano0000-0001-6991-7616
Filippenko, Alexei V.0000-0003-3460-0103
Frederiks, Dmitry0000-0002-1153-6340
Graham, Matthew J.0000-0002-3168-0139
Hristov, Boyan A.0000-0001-9556-7576
Kasliwal, Mansi M.0000-0002-5619-4938
Kulkarni, S. R.0000-0001-5390-8563
Kumar, Harsh0000-0003-0871-4641
Laher, Russ R.0000-0003-2451-5482
Lysenko, Alexandra L.0000-0002-3942-8341
Mailyan, Bagrat0000-0002-2531-3703
Malacaria, Christian0000-0002-0380-0041
Miller, A. A.0000-0001-9515-478X
Poolakkil, S.0000-0002-6269-0452
Riddle, Reed0000-0002-0387-370X
Ridnaia, Anna0000-0001-9477-5437
Rusholme, Ben0000-0001-7648-4142
Savchenko, Volodymyr0000-0001-6353-0808
Sollerman, Jesper0000-0003-1546-6615
Thöne, Christina0000-0002-7978-7648
Tsvetkova, Anastasia0000-0003-0292-6221
Ulanov, Mikhail0000-0002-0076-5228
von Kienlin, Andreas0000-0002-0221-5916
Additional Information:The authors would like to thank WeiKang Zheng at U.C. Berkeley for assistance with Keck observations. A.Y.Q.H. would like to thank Ragnhild Lunnan for helpful comments on the manuscript; and Eliot Quataert, Dan Kasen, Andrew MacFadyen, and Paul Duffell for fruitful discussions about jet structure and dirty fireballs. D.A.P.'s contribution was performed in part at the Aspen Center for Physics, which is supported by National Science Foundation (NSF) grant PHY-1607611. This work was partially supported by a grant from the Simons Foundation. D.F., A.T., and M.U. acknowledge support from RSF grant 21-12-00250. D.A.K. and J.F.A.F acknowledges support from Spanish National Research Project RTI2018-098104-J-I00 (GRBPhot). H.K. thanks the LSSTC Data Science Fellowship Program, which is funded by LSSTC, NSF Cybertraining Grant #1829740, Brinson and Moore Foundations. J.F.A.F. acknowledges support from the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades through the grant PRE2018-086507. A.V.F.'s group at U.C. Berkeley is grateful for assistance from the Christopher R. Redlich Fund and many individual donors. Based on observations obtained with the Samuel Oschin Telescope 48 inch and the 60 inch Telescope at the Palomar Observatory as part of the Zwicky Transient Facility project. ZTF is supported by the NSF under grants AST-1440341 and AST-2034437 and a collaboration including current partners Caltech, IPAC, the Weizmann Institute for Science, the Oskar Klein Center at Stockholm University, the University of Maryland, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron and Humboldt University, the TANGO Consortium of Taiwan, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Trinity College Dublin, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, IN2P3, University of Warwick, Ruhr University Bochum, Northwestern University and former partners the University of Washington, Los Alamos National Laboratories, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. Operations are conducted by COO, IPAC, and UW. The Liverpool Telescope is operated on the island of La Palma by Liverpool John Moores University in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias with financial support from the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council. SED Machine is based upon work supported by the NSF under grant 1106171. Based on observations obtained at the international Gemini Observatory, a program of NSF's NOIRLab, which is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc., under a cooperative agreement with the NSF on behalf of the Gemini Observatory partnership: the NSF (U.S.), National Research Council (Canada), Agencia Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo (Chile), Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (Argentina), Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia, Inovações e Comunicações (Brazil), and Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (Republic of Korea). Partially based on observations made with the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), installed at the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, on the island of La Palma. Partially based on observations collected at the Centro Astronómico Hispano en Andalucía (CAHA) at Calar Alto, operated jointly by Junta de Andalucía and Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (IAA-CSIC). The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the NSF operated under cooperative agreement by AURA, Inc. Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. The authors wish to recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit of Maunakea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain.
Group:Astronomy Department, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC), Zwicky Transient Facility
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Simons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Russian Science Foundation21-12-00250
Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (MCINN)RTI2018-098104-J-I00
Large Synoptic Survey Telescope CorporationUNSPECIFIED
Brinson FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades (MICIU)PRE2018-086507
Christopher R. Redlich FundUNSPECIFIED
ZTF partner institutionsUNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20221024-125854800.19
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:117550
Deposited By: Research Services Depository
Deposited On:01 Nov 2022 21:01
Last Modified:01 Nov 2022 21:01

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