Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 587A, 147-147 (2016/3-1)
A time domain experiment with Swift: monitoring of seven nearby galaxies.
ANDREONI I., D'AVANZO P., CAMPANA S., BRANCHESI M., BERNARDINI M.G., DELLA VALLE M., MANNUCCI F., MELANDRI A. and TAGLIAFERRI G.
Abstract (from CDS):
Focused on the study of transient sources, time domain astronomy today is one of the most active and growing areas of research in astronomy. Most of the present and planned surveys aimed at carrying out time domain studies work in the optical band and founded their searching strategies on fixed cadences. Although nothing similar currently exists in the X-ray and ultraviolet (UV) bands, the Swift satellite is certainly the most appropriate available instrument to carry out such surveys. We aimed to detect a supernova (SN) shock breakout (SBO) in nearby galaxies. The SBO marks the first escape of radiation from the blast wave that breaks through the photosphere of the star and launches the SN ejecta. The detection of an SBO is a diagnostic for the radius of the progenitor star and the ratio of explosion energy to ejecta mass. It also allows us to determine the onset of the explosion with an accuracy of a few hours to a few seconds. Using the XRT and UVOT instruments onboard the Swift satellite, we carried out a weekly cadenced, six-month monitoring of seven nearby galaxies: NGC1084, NGC2207/IC2163, NGC2770, NGC4303/M61, NGC3147, NGC3690, and NGC6754. We searched for variable or transient sources in the collected data. These galaxies were selected because they are close (distance ≤50Mpc), small enough to fit in the Swift/UVOT field of view, and are hosts of at least three SNe in the past 20yr. We found no evidence for an SN SBO event. Five objects located within the light of the sample galaxies were found to be variable in the X-ray and/or in the UV. These include mainly background active galactic nucleus and unresolved ULX in NGC 3690. In addition to these objects, we found two variable Galactic sources: the known nova CP Draconis (which experienced an outburst during our monitoring) and an uncatalogued eclipsing binary. Despite the lack of SBO detections, the results of our explorative study encourage the use of Swift in further time domain studies. Moreover, since our sample galaxies are within the Universe volume that will be reached by the forthcoming advanced gravitational wave (GW) detectors (a-LIGO and a-Virgo), this work provides an example on how to carry out Swift surveys from which the GW signal from SNe can be detected, and to detect counterparts to GW triggers.
surveys - supernovae: general - gravitational waves
Text: [ADC2016] NGCNNNN-AN N=6.
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