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Sifting for Sapphires: Systematic Selection of Tidal Disruption Events in iPTF
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Number of Authors: 182018 (English)In: Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, ISSN 0067-0049, E-ISSN 1538-4365, Vol. 238, no 2, article id 15Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present results from a systematic selection of tidal disruption events (TDEs) in a wide-area (4800 deg(2)), g+ R band, Intermediate Palomar Transient Factory experiment. Our selection targets typical optically selected TDEs: bright (> 60% flux increase) and blue transients residing in the centers of red galaxies. Using photometric selection criteria to down-select from a total of 493 nuclear transients to a sample of 26 sources, we then use follow-up UV imaging with the Neil Gehrels Swift Telescope, ground-based optical spectroscopy, and light curve fitting to classify them as 14 Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia), 9 highly variable active galactic nuclei (AGNs), 2 confirmed TDEs, and 1 potential core-collapse supernova. We find it possible to filter AGNs by employing a more stringent transient color cut (g - r < -0.2 mag); further, UV imaging is the best discriminator for filtering SNe, since SNe Ia can appear as blue, optically, as TDEs in their early phases. However, when UV-optical color is unavailable, higher-precision astrometry can also effectively reduce SNe contamination in the optical. Our most stringent optical photometric selection criteria yields a 4.5: 1 contamination rate, allowing for a manageable number of TDE candidates for complete spectroscopic follow-up and real-time classification in the Zwicky Transient Facility era. We measure a TDE per galaxy rate of 1.7(-1.3)(+2.9) 10(-4) gal yr(-1) (90% CL in Poisson statistics). This does not account for TDEs outside our selection criteria, and thus may not reflect the total TDE population, which is yet to be fully mapped.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 238, no 2, article id 15
Keywords [en]
accretion, accretion disks, black hole physics, galaxies: nuclei, surveys, ultraviolet: general
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-161019DOI: 10.3847/1538-4365/aad8b1ISI: 000445958800001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-161019DiVA, id: diva2:1255866
Available from: 2018-10-15 Created: 2018-10-15 Last updated: 2019-12-04Bibliographically approved

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Lunnan, RagnhildRoy, Rupak
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Department of AstronomyThe Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC)Department of Physics
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Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology

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