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The Palomar Transient Factory: system overview, performance and first results
The Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) is a fully-automated, wide-field survey aimed at a systematic exploration of the optical transient sky. The transient survey is performed using a new 8.1 square
Hydrogen-poor superluminous stellar explosions
Observations of a class of luminous supernovae whose properties cannot be explained by any of the following processes: radioactive decay of freshly synthesized elements, explosion shock in the envelope of a supergiant star, and interaction between the debris and slowly moving, hydrogen-rich circumstellar material.
An Extremely Luminous Panchromatic Outburst from the Nucleus of a Distant Galaxy
Multiwavelength observations of a unique γ-ray–selected transient detected by the Swift satellite, accompanied by bright emission across the electromagnetic spectrum, and whose properties are unlike any previously observed source are presented.
Relativistic ejecta from X-ray flash XRF 060218 and the rate of cosmic explosions
Radio and X-ray observations of XRF 060218 (associated with supernova SN 2006aj), the second-nearest GRB identified until now, are reported, showing that this event is a hundred times less energetic but ten times more common than cosmological GRBs.
Supernova SN 2011fe from an exploding carbon–oxygen white dwarf star
Early observations of type Ia supernova SN 2011fe in the galaxy M101 at a distance from Earth of 6.4 megaparsecs find that the exploding star was probably a carbon–oxygen white dwarf, and from the lack of an early shock it is concluded that the companion was likely a main-sequence star.
An extremely luminous X-ray outburst at the birth of a supernova
This work reports the serendipitous discovery of a supernova at the time of the explosion, marked by an extremely luminous X-ray outburst, and attributes the outburst to the ‘break-out’ of the supernova shock wave from the progenitor star, and shows that the inferred rate of such events agrees with that of all core-collapse supernovae.
A continuum of H- to He-rich tidal disruption candidates with a preference for E+A galaxies
We present the results of a Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) archival search for blue transients that lie in the magnitude range between "normal" core-collapse and superluminous supernovae (i.e., with
Illuminating gravitational waves: A concordant picture of photons from a neutron star merger
It is demonstrated that merging neutron stars are a long-sought production site forging heavy elements by r-process nucleosynthesis, which is dissimilar to classical short gamma-ray bursts with ultrarelativistic jets.
Supernova 2007bi as a pair-instability explosion
Observations of supernova SN 2007bi are reported, a luminous, slowly evolving object located within a dwarf galaxy, and it is shown that >3 of radioactive 56Ni was synthesized during the explosion and that the observations are well fitted by models of pair-instability supernovae.
Exclusion of a luminous red giant as a companion star to the progenitor of supernova SN 2011fe
The luminosity of the progenitor system (especially the companion star) is 10–100 times fainter than previous limits on other type Ia supernova progenitors systems, allowing us to rule out luminous red giants and almost all helium stars as the mass-donating companion to the exploding white dwarf.