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Massive stars end their short lives in spectacular explosions--supernovae--that synthesize new elements and drive galaxy evolution. Historically, supernovae were discovered mainly through their 'delayed' optical light (some days after the burst of neutrinos that marks the actual event), preventing observations in the first moments following the explosion.(More)
We assess the relative merits of weak lensing surveys, using overlapping imaging data from the ground-based Subaru telescope and the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Our tests complement similar studies undertaken with simulated data. From observations of 230,000 matched objects in the 2 square degree COSMOS field, we identify the limit at which faint galaxy(More)
The final chapter in the long-standing mystery of the gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) centres on the origin of the short-hard class of bursts, which are suspected on theoretical grounds to result from the coalescence of neutron-star or black-hole binary systems. Numerous searches for the afterglows of short-hard bursts have been made, galvanized by the revolution(More)
Variable x-ray and γ-ray emission is characteristic of the most extreme physical processes in the universe. We present 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. We(More)
Despite a rich phenomenology, gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are divided into two classes based on their duration and spectral hardness--the long-soft and the short-hard bursts. The discovery of afterglow emission from long GRBs was a watershed event, pinpointing their origin to star-forming galaxies, and hence the death of massive stars, and indicating an energy(More)
Over the past decade, long-duration gamma-ray bursts (GRBs)--including the subclass of X-ray flashes (XRFs)--have been revealed to be a rare variety of type Ibc supernova. Although all these events result from the death of massive stars, the electromagnetic luminosities of GRBs and XRFs exceed those of ordinary type Ibc supernovae by many orders of(More)
The Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) is an optical wide-field variability survey carried out using a camera with a 7.8 deg 2 field of view mounted on the 48 inch Oschin Schmidt telescope at Palomar Observatory. One of the key goals of this survey is to conduct high-cadence monitoring of the sky in order to detect optical transient sources shortly after they(More)
Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and their afterglows are the most brilliant transient events in the Universe. Both the bursts themselves and their afterglows have been predicted to be visible out to redshifts of z approximately 20, and therefore to be powerful probes of the early Universe. The burst GRB 000131, at z = 4.50, was hitherto the most distant such event(More)