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PTF 10fqs: A Luminous Red Nova in the Spiral Galaxy Messier 99

Kasliwal, Mansi M. and Kulkarni, Shri R. and Arcavi, I. and Quimby, Robert M. and Ofek, Eran O. and Nugent, Peter E. and Jacobsen, Janet and Gal-Yam, Avishay and Green, Yoav and Yaron, Ofer and Fox, Derek B. and Howell, Jacob L. and Cenko, S. Bradley and Kleiser, Io K. W. and Bloom, Joshua S. and Miller, Adam and Li, Weidong and Filippenko, Alexei V. and Starr, Dan and Poznanski, Dovi and Law, Nicholas M. and Helou, George and Frail, Dale A. and Neill, James D. and Forster, Karl and Martin, Christopher and Tendulkar, Shriharsh P. and Gehrels, Neil and Kennea, Jamie and Sullivan, Mark and Bildsten, Lars and Dekany, Richard and Rahmer, Gustavo and Hale, David and Smith, Roger M. and Zolkower, Jeff and Velur, Viswa and Walters, Richard and Henning, John and Bui, Khanh and McKenna, Dan and Blake, Cullen (2011) PTF 10fqs: A Luminous Red Nova in the Spiral Galaxy Messier 99. Astrophysical Journal, 730 (2). Art. No. 134. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/730/2/134.

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The Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) is systematically charting the optical transient and variable sky. A primary science driver of PTF is building a complete inventory of transients in the local universe (distance less than 200 Mpc). Here, we report the discovery of PTF 10fqs, a transient in the luminosity “gap” between novae and supernovae. Located on a spiral arm of Messier 99, PTF 10fqs has a peak luminosity of M_r = −12.3, red color (g − r = 1.0), and is slowly evolving (decayed by 1 mag in 68 days). It has a spectrum dominated by intermediate-width Hα (≈930 km s^(−1)) and narrow calcium emission lines. The explosion signature (the light curve and spectra) is overall similar to that of M85 OT2006-1, SN 2008S, and NGC 300 OT. The origin of these events is shrouded in mystery and controversy (and in some cases, in dust). PTF 10fqs shows some evidence of a broad feature (around 8600 Å) that may suggest very large velocities (≈10,000 km s^(−1)) in this explosion. Ongoing surveys can be expected to find a few such events per year. Sensitive spectroscopy, infrared monitoring, and statistics (e.g., disk versus bulge) will eventually make it possible for astronomers to unravel the nature of these mysterious explosions.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Kasliwal, Mansi M.0000-0002-5619-4938
Kulkarni, Shri R.0000-0001-5390-8563
Arcavi, I.0000-0001-7090-4898
Quimby, Robert M.0000-0001-9171-5236
Ofek, Eran O.0000-0002-6786-8774
Nugent, Peter E.0000-0002-3389-0586
Gal-Yam, Avishay0000-0002-3653-5598
Yaron, Ofer0000-0002-0301-8017
Fox, Derek B.0000-0002-3714-672X
Cenko, S. Bradley0000-0003-1673-970X
Bloom, Joshua S.0000-0002-7777-216X
Miller, Adam0000-0001-9515-478X
Filippenko, Alexei V.0000-0003-3460-0103
Law, Nicholas M.0000-0001-9380-6457
Helou, George0000-0003-3367-3415
Neill, James D.0000-0002-0466-1119
Forster, Karl0000-0001-5800-5531
Martin, Christopher0000-0002-8650-1644
Tendulkar, Shriharsh P.0000-0003-2548-2926
Kennea, Jamie0000-0002-6745-4790
Sullivan, Mark0000-0001-9053-4820
Walters, Richard0000-0002-1835-6078
Additional Information:© 2011 American Astronomical Society. Received 2010 July 20; accepted 2011 February 4; published 2011 March 14. M.M.K. thanks the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for a Hale Fellowship in support of graduate study. The Weizmann Institute PTF participation is supported in part by the Israel Science Foundation via grants to A.G.Y. The Weizmann-Caltech collaborative PTF effort is supported by the US–Israel Binational Science Foundation. A.G.Y. and M.S. are jointly supported by the “making connections” Weizmann–UK program. A.G.Y. further acknowledges support by a Marie Curie IRG fellowship and the Peter and Patricia Gruber Award, as well as funding by the Benoziyo Center for Astrophysics and the Yeda-Sela center at the Weizmann Institute. A.V.F.’s group and KAIT are supported by National Science Foundation (NSF) grant AST-0908886, the Sylvia & Jim Katzman Foundation, the Richard & Rhoda Goldman Fund, Gary and Cynthia Bengier, and the TABASGO Foundation; additional funding was provided by NASA through Spitzer grant 1322321, as well as HST grant AR-11248 from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by Associated Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. J.S.B. and his group are partially funded by a DOE SciDAC grant. E.O.O. and D.P. are supported by the Einstein fellowship. L.B. is supported by the National Science Foundation under grants PHY 05-51164 and AST 07-07633. We are grateful to the staff of the Gemini Observatory for their promptness and high efficiency in attending to our TOO request. Likewise, we thank the staff of the Very Large Array and the Hobby–Eberly Telescope. We acknowledge the following internet repositories: SEDS (Messier Objects) and GOLDMine (Virgo Cluster), Finally, as always, we are grateful to the librarians who maintain the ADS, the NED, and SIMBAD data systems. The Hobby–Eberly Telescope (HET) is a joint project of the University of Texas at Austin, the Pennsylvania State University, Stanford University, Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität München, and Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. The HET is named in honor of its principal benefactors,William P. Hobby and Robert E. Eberly. The Marcario LRS is named for Mike Marcario of High Lonesome Optics, who fabricated several optics for the instrument but died before its completion; it is a joint project of the Hobby–Eberly Telescope partnership and the Instituto de Astronomía de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. GALEX (Galaxy Evolution Explorer) is a NASA Small Explorer, launched in 2003 April. We gratefully acknowledge NASA’s support for construction, operation, and science analysis for the GALEX mission, developed in cooperation with the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales of France and the Korean Ministry of Science and Technology. PAIRITEL is operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) and was made possible by a grant from the Harvard University Milton Fund, the camera loan from the University of Virginia, and the continued support of the SAO and UC Berkeley. The Expanded Very Large Array is operated by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, a facility of the NSF operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.
Group:Space Radiation Laboratory, TAPIR, Palomar Transient Factory, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC), Space Astrophysics Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Israel Science FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Binational Science Foundation (USA-Israel)UNSPECIFIED
Marie Curie FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Peter and Patricia Gruber FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Benoziyo Center for AstrophysicsUNSPECIFIED
Weizmann InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Sylvia and Jim Katzman FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Richard and Rhoda Goldman FundUNSPECIFIED
Gary and Cynthia BengierUNSPECIFIED
NASA Einstein FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
NSFPHY 05-51164
NSFAST 07-07633
Space Telescope Science InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:stars: AGB and post-AGB; stars: mass-loss; supernovae: general; supernovae: individual (PTF 10fqs); surveys
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:PACS: 97.30.Qt; 95.30.Ky; 98.52.Nr; 98.62.Hr; 97.60.Bw; 97.20.Li
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110412-115639625
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:PTF 10fqs: A Luminous Red Nova in the Spiral Galaxy Messier 99 Mansi M. Kasliwal et al. 2011 ApJ 730 134
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:23284
Deposited On:13 Apr 2011 20:09
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 16:13

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