The discovery and nature of the optical transient CSS100217: 102913+404220

A. J. Drake, S. G. Djorgovski, A. Mahabal, J. Anderson, R. Roy, V. Mohan, S. Ravindranath, D. Frail, S. Gezari, James D. Neill, L. C. Ho, J. L. Prieto, D. Thompson, J. Thorstensen, M. Wagner, R. Kowalski, J. Chiang, J. E. Grove, F. K. Schinzel, D. L. WoodL. Carrasco, E. Recillas, L. Kewley, K. N. Archana, Aritra Basu, Yogesh Wadadekar, Brijesh Kumar, A. D. Myers, E. S. Phinney, R. Williams, M. J. Graham, M. Catelan, Edward C Beshore, S. Larson, E. Christensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

We report on the discovery and observations of the extremely luminous optical transient CSS100217:102913+404220 (CSS100217 hereafter). Spectroscopic observations showed that this transient was coincident with a galaxy at redshift z = 0.147 and reached an apparent magnitude of V 16.3. After correcting for foreground Galactic extinction we determine the absolute magnitude to be M V = -22.7 approximately 45 days after maximum light. Over a period of 287 rest-frame days, this event had an integrated bolometric luminosity of 1.3 × 1052erg based on time-averaged bolometric corrections of 15 from V- and R-band observations. Analysis of the pre-outburst Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) spectrum of the source shows features consistent with a narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxy. High-resolution Hubble Space Telescope and Keck follow-up observations show that the event occurred within 150pc of the nucleus of the galaxy, suggesting a possible link to the active nuclear region. However, the rapid outburst along with photometric and spectroscopic evolution are much more consistent with a luminous supernova. Line diagnostics suggest that the host galaxy is undergoing significant star formation. We use extensive follow-up of the event along with archival Catalina Sky Survey NEO search and SDSS data to investigate the three most likely sources of such an event: (1) an extremely luminous supernova, (2) the tidal disruption of a star by the massive nuclear black hole, and (3) variability of the central active galactic nucleus (AGN). We find that CSS100217 was likely an extremely luminous Type IIn supernova and occurred within the range of the narrow-line region of an AGN. We discuss how similar events may have been missed in past supernova surveys because of confusion with AGN activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume735
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 10 2011

Fingerprint

supernovae
active galactic nuclei
galaxies
outburst
near Earth objects
confusion
Hubble Space Telescope
extinction
star formation
luminosity
stars
nuclei
high resolution
analysis

Keywords

  • galaxies: active
  • galaxies: nuclei
  • galaxies: stellar content
  • supernovae: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Drake, A. J., Djorgovski, S. G., Mahabal, A., Anderson, J., Roy, R., Mohan, V., ... Christensen, E. (2011). The discovery and nature of the optical transient CSS100217: 102913+404220. Astrophysical Journal, 735(2), [106]. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/735/2/106

The discovery and nature of the optical transient CSS100217 : 102913+404220. / Drake, A. J.; Djorgovski, S. G.; Mahabal, A.; Anderson, J.; Roy, R.; Mohan, V.; Ravindranath, S.; Frail, D.; Gezari, S.; Neill, James D.; Ho, L. C.; Prieto, J. L.; Thompson, D.; Thorstensen, J.; Wagner, M.; Kowalski, R.; Chiang, J.; Grove, J. E.; Schinzel, F. K.; Wood, D. L.; Carrasco, L.; Recillas, E.; Kewley, L.; Archana, K. N.; Basu, Aritra; Wadadekar, Yogesh; Kumar, Brijesh; Myers, A. D.; Phinney, E. S.; Williams, R.; Graham, M. J.; Catelan, M.; Beshore, Edward C; Larson, S.; Christensen, E.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 735, No. 2, 106, 10.07.2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Drake, AJ, Djorgovski, SG, Mahabal, A, Anderson, J, Roy, R, Mohan, V, Ravindranath, S, Frail, D, Gezari, S, Neill, JD, Ho, LC, Prieto, JL, Thompson, D, Thorstensen, J, Wagner, M, Kowalski, R, Chiang, J, Grove, JE, Schinzel, FK, Wood, DL, Carrasco, L, Recillas, E, Kewley, L, Archana, KN, Basu, A, Wadadekar, Y, Kumar, B, Myers, AD, Phinney, ES, Williams, R, Graham, MJ, Catelan, M, Beshore, EC, Larson, S & Christensen, E 2011, 'The discovery and nature of the optical transient CSS100217: 102913+404220', Astrophysical Journal, vol. 735, no. 2, 106. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/735/2/106
Drake AJ, Djorgovski SG, Mahabal A, Anderson J, Roy R, Mohan V et al. The discovery and nature of the optical transient CSS100217: 102913+404220. Astrophysical Journal. 2011 Jul 10;735(2). 106. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/735/2/106
Drake, A. J. ; Djorgovski, S. G. ; Mahabal, A. ; Anderson, J. ; Roy, R. ; Mohan, V. ; Ravindranath, S. ; Frail, D. ; Gezari, S. ; Neill, James D. ; Ho, L. C. ; Prieto, J. L. ; Thompson, D. ; Thorstensen, J. ; Wagner, M. ; Kowalski, R. ; Chiang, J. ; Grove, J. E. ; Schinzel, F. K. ; Wood, D. L. ; Carrasco, L. ; Recillas, E. ; Kewley, L. ; Archana, K. N. ; Basu, Aritra ; Wadadekar, Yogesh ; Kumar, Brijesh ; Myers, A. D. ; Phinney, E. S. ; Williams, R. ; Graham, M. J. ; Catelan, M. ; Beshore, Edward C ; Larson, S. ; Christensen, E. / The discovery and nature of the optical transient CSS100217 : 102913+404220. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2011 ; Vol. 735, No. 2.
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abstract = "We report on the discovery and observations of the extremely luminous optical transient CSS100217:102913+404220 (CSS100217 hereafter). Spectroscopic observations showed that this transient was coincident with a galaxy at redshift z = 0.147 and reached an apparent magnitude of V 16.3. After correcting for foreground Galactic extinction we determine the absolute magnitude to be M V = -22.7 approximately 45 days after maximum light. Over a period of 287 rest-frame days, this event had an integrated bolometric luminosity of 1.3 × 1052erg based on time-averaged bolometric corrections of 15 from V- and R-band observations. Analysis of the pre-outburst Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) spectrum of the source shows features consistent with a narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxy. High-resolution Hubble Space Telescope and Keck follow-up observations show that the event occurred within 150pc of the nucleus of the galaxy, suggesting a possible link to the active nuclear region. However, the rapid outburst along with photometric and spectroscopic evolution are much more consistent with a luminous supernova. Line diagnostics suggest that the host galaxy is undergoing significant star formation. We use extensive follow-up of the event along with archival Catalina Sky Survey NEO search and SDSS data to investigate the three most likely sources of such an event: (1) an extremely luminous supernova, (2) the tidal disruption of a star by the massive nuclear black hole, and (3) variability of the central active galactic nucleus (AGN). We find that CSS100217 was likely an extremely luminous Type IIn supernova and occurred within the range of the narrow-line region of an AGN. We discuss how similar events may have been missed in past supernova surveys because of confusion with AGN activity.",
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AU - Anderson, J.

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AU - Mohan, V.

AU - Ravindranath, S.

AU - Frail, D.

AU - Gezari, S.

AU - Neill, James D.

AU - Ho, L. C.

AU - Prieto, J. L.

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AU - Thorstensen, J.

AU - Wagner, M.

AU - Kowalski, R.

AU - Chiang, J.

AU - Grove, J. E.

AU - Schinzel, F. K.

AU - Wood, D. L.

AU - Carrasco, L.

AU - Recillas, E.

AU - Kewley, L.

AU - Archana, K. N.

AU - Basu, Aritra

AU - Wadadekar, Yogesh

AU - Kumar, Brijesh

AU - Myers, A. D.

AU - Phinney, E. S.

AU - Williams, R.

AU - Graham, M. J.

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AU - Beshore, Edward C

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