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Palomar Transient Factory Sky2Night programme

van Roestel, J. and Groot, P. J. and Kupfer, T. and Verbeek, K. and van Velzen, S. and Bours, M. and Nugent, P. and Prince, T. and Levitan, D. and Nissanke, S. and Kulkarni, S. R. and Laher, R. R. (2019) Palomar Transient Factory Sky2Night programme. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 484 (4). pp. 4507-4528. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/stz241.

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We present results of the Sky2Night project: a systematic, unbiased search for fast optical transients with the Palomar Transient Factory. We have observed 407deg^2 in R-band for eight nights at a cadence of 2 h. During the entire duration of the project, the 4.2 m William Herschel Telescope on La Palma was dedicated to obtaining identification spectra for the detected transients. During the search, we found 12 supernovae, 10 outbursting cataclysmic variables, nine flaring M-stars, three flaring active galactic nuclei, and no extragalactic fast optical transients. Using this systematic survey for transients, we have calculated robust observed rates for the detected types of transients, and upper limits of the rate of extragalactic fast optical transients of R < 37×10^(-4) deg^(-2) d^(-1) and R < 9.3×10^(-4) deg^(-2) d^(-1) for time-scales of 4 h and 1 d and a limiting magnitude of R ≈ 19.7. We use the results of this project to determine what kind of and how many astrophysical false positives we can expect when following up gravitational wave detections in search for kilonovae.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
van Roestel, J.0000-0002-2626-2872
Groot, P. J.0000-0002-4488-726X
Kupfer, T.0000-0002-6540-1484
van Velzen, S.0000-0002-3859-8074
Nugent, P.0000-0002-3389-0586
Prince, T.0000-0002-8850-3627
Kulkarni, S. R.0000-0001-5390-8563
Laher, R. R.0000-0003-2451-5482
Additional Information:© 2019 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model ( Accepted 2019 January 21. Received 2019 January 9; in original form 2018 August 5. Published: 28 January 2019. We thank the referee for thoroughly reading the manuscript and providing us with useful comments and suggestions. JvR acknowledges support from the Netherlands Research School of Astronomy (NOVA) and Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM), and also the California Institute of Technology where a large part of this work was conducted. Based on observations made with the William Herschel Telescope (WHT) operated on the island of La Palma by the Isaac Newton Group in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias. The Palomar Transient Factory project is a scientific collaboration between the California Institute of Technology, Columbia University, Las Cumbres Observatory, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, the University of Oxford, and the Weizmann Institute of Science. We thank E. Hsiao, N. Suzuki, and J. Botyanszki for the spectra of PTF10zbk and PTF10zdk observed with the Lick telescope. We thank I. Arcavi, D. Xu, and T. Matheson for observing PTF10zbk and PTF10zdk with the KPNO Mayall telescope. We thank E. Hsiao, N. Suzuki, J. Botyanszki, and B. Cenko for the LRIS spectra of PTF10zdk, PTF10aaho, and PTF10aaey. This research has made use of the SIMBAD data base, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France. This research made use of Astropy, a community-developed core Python package for Astronomy (Astropy Collaboration et al. 2013) Funding for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey IV has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, and the Participating Institutions. SDSS-IV acknowledges support and resources from the Center for High-Performance Computing at the University of Utah. The SDSS web site is SDSS-IV is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium for the Participating Institutions of the SDSS Collaboration including the Brazilian Participation Group, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Carnegie Mellon University, the Chilean Participation Group, the French Participation Group, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, The Johns Hopkins University, Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (IPMU) / University of Tokyo, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Leibniz Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP), Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie (MPIA Heidelberg), Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik (MPA Garching), Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik (MPE), National Astronomical Observatories of China, New Mexico State University, New York University, University of Notre Dame, Observatário Nacional / MCTI, The Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, United Kingdom Participation Group, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, University of Arizona, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Oxford, University of Portsmouth, University of Utah, University of Virginia, University of Washington, University of Wisconsin, Vanderbilt University, and Yale University. The Pan-STARRS1 Surveys (PS1) have been made possible through contributions of the Institute for Astronomy, the University of Hawaii, the Pan-STARRS Project Office, the Max-Planck Society and its participating institutes, the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg and the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, The Johns Hopkins University, Durham University, the University of Edinburgh, Queen’s University Belfast, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network Incorporated, the National Central University of Taiwan, the Space Telescope Science Institute, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Grant No. NNX08AR22G issued through the Planetary Science Division of the NASA Science Mission Directorate, the National Science Foundation under Grant No. AST-1238877, the University of Maryland, and Eotvos Lorand University (ELTE). This research made use of matplotlib, a Python library for publication quality graphics (Hunter 2007).
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Nederlandse Onderzoekschool Voor Astronomie (NOVA)UNSPECIFIED
Stichting voor Fundamenteel Onderzoek der Materie (FOM)UNSPECIFIED
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)UNSPECIFIED
Participating InstitutionsUNSPECIFIED
University of MarylandUNSPECIFIED
Eotvos Lorand University (ELTE)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:stars: dwarf novae – supernovae: general
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190412-110611478
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:J van Roestel, P J Groot, T Kupfer, K Verbeek, S van Velzen, M Bours, P Nugent, T Prince, D Levitan, S Nissanke, S R Kulkarni, R R Laher, The Palomar Transient Factory Sky2Night programme, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 484, Issue 4, April 2019, Pages 4507–4528,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:94693
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:12 Apr 2019 22:13
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:06

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