Minutes-duration optical flares with supernova luminosities

Anna Y.Q. Ho, Daniel A. Perley, Ping Chen, Steve Schulze, Vik Dhillon, Harsh Kumar, Aswin Suresh, Vishwajeet Swain, Michael Bremer, Stephen J. Smartt, Joseph P. Anderson, G. C. Anupama, Supachai Awiphan, Sudhanshu Barway, Eric C. Bellm, Sagi Ben-Ami, Varun Bhalerao, Thomas de Boer, Thomas G. Brink, Rick BurrussPoonam Chandra, Ting Wan Chen, Wen Ping Chen, Jeff Cooke, Michael W. Coughlin, Kaustav K. Das, Andrew J. Drake, Alexei V. Filippenko, James Freeburn, Christoffer Fremling, Michael D. Fulton, Avishay Gal-Yam, Lluís Galbany, Hua Gao, Matthew J. Graham, Mariusz Gromadzki, Claudia P. Gutiérrez, K. Ryan Hinds, Cosimo Inserra, Nayana A J, Viraj Karambelkar, Mansi M. Kasliwal, Shri Kulkarni, Tomás E. Müller-Bravo, Eugene A. Magnier, Ashish A. Mahabal, Thomas Moore, Chow Choong Ngeow, Matt Nicholl, Eran O. Ofek, Conor M.B. Omand, Francesca Onori, Yen Chen Pan, Priscila J. Pessi, Glen Petitpas, David Polishook, Saran Poshyachinda, Miika Pursiainen, Reed Riddle, Antonio C. Rodriguez, Ben Rusholme, Enrico Segre, Yashvi Sharma, Ken W. Smith, Jesper Sollerman, Shubham Srivastav, Nora Linn Strotjohann, Mark Suhr, Dmitry Svinkin, Yanan Wang, Philip Wiseman, Avery Wold, Sheng Yang, Yi Yang, Yuhan Yao, David R. Young, Wei Kang Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

In recent years, certain luminous extragalactic optical transients have been observed to last only a few days1. Their short observed duration implies a different powering mechanism from the most common luminous extragalactic transients (supernovae), whose timescale is weeks2. Some short-duration transients, most notably AT2018cow (ref. 3), show blue optical colours and bright radio and X-ray emission4. Several AT2018cow-like transients have shown hints of a long-lived embedded energy source5, such as X-ray variability6,7, prolonged ultraviolet emission8, a tentative X-ray quasiperiodic oscillation9,10 and large energies coupled to fast (but subrelativistic) radio-emitting ejecta11,12. Here we report observations of minutes-duration optical flares in the aftermath of an AT2018cow-like transient, AT2022tsd (the ‘Tasmanian Devil’). The flares occur over a period of months, are highly energetic and are probably nonthermal, implying that they arise from a near-relativistic outflow or jet. Our observations confirm that, in some AT2018cow-like transients, the embedded energy source is a compact object, either a magnetar or an accreting black hole.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)927-931
Number of pages5
JournalNature
Volume623
Issue number7989
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 30 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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