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Science with a Wide-field UV Transient Explorer

Sagiv, I. and Gal-Yam, A. and Ofek, E. O. and Waxman, E. and Aharonson, O. and Kulkarni, S. R. and Nakar, E. and Maoz, D. and Trakhtenbrot, B. and Phinney, E. S. and Topaz, J. and Beichman, C. and Murthy, J. and Worden, S. P. (2014) Science with a Wide-field UV Transient Explorer. Astronomical Journal, 147 (4). Art. No. 79. ISSN 0004-6256.

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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.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Gal-Yam, A.0000-0002-3653-5598
Ofek, E. O.0000-0002-6786-8774
Waxman, E.0000-0002-9038-5877
Aharonson, O.0000-0001-9930-2495
Kulkarni, S. R.0000-0001-5390-8563
Nakar, E.0000-0002-4534-7089
Trakhtenbrot, B.0000-0002-3683-7297
Beichman, C.0000-0002-5627-5471
Additional Information:© 2014 American Astronomical Society. Received 2013 May 20; accepted 2014 January 13; published 2014 March 11. We thank M. Van Kerkwijk and B. E. Schaefer for useful discussions. This research has been supported by grants from the Israeli Space Agency and the Keck Institute for Space Science (KISS).
Group:Keck Institute for Space Studies, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC), Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Israel Space AgencyUNSPECIFIED
Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:binaries: eclipsing; methods: observational; supernovae: general; surveys; ultraviolet: general
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140501-131643496
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Science with a Wide-field UV Transient Explorer I. Sagiv et al. 2014 The Astronomical Journal 147 79
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:45429
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:01 May 2014 20:41
Last Modified:19 Nov 2019 05:06

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