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  The curious case of PHL 293B: A long-lived transient in a metal-poor blue compact dwarf galaxy

Burke, C. J., Baldassare, V. F., Liu, X., Foley, R. J., Shen, Y., Palmese, A., et al. (2020). The curious case of PHL 293B: A long-lived transient in a metal-poor blue compact dwarf galaxy. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 894(1): L5. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/ab88de.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-A1AD-1 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-A1AE-0
Genre: Journal Article

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Burke, Colin J., Author
Baldassare, Vivienne F., Author
Liu, Xin, Author
Foley, Ryan J., Author
Shen, Yue, Author
Palmese, Antonella, Author
Guo, Hengxiao, Author
Herner, Kenneth, Author
Abbott, Tim M. C., Author
Aguena, Michel, Author
Allam, Sahar, Author
Avila, Santiago, Author
Bertin, Emmanuel, Author
Brooks, David, Author
Rosell, Aurelio Carnero, Author
Kind, Matias Carrasco, Author
Carretero, Jorge, Author
da Costa, Luiz N., Author
Vicente, Juan De, Author
Desai, Shantanu, Author
Doel, Peter, AuthorEifler, Tim F., AuthorEverett, Spencer, AuthorFrieman, Josh, AuthorGarcía-Bellido, Juan, AuthorGaztanaga, Enrique, AuthorGruen, Daniel, AuthorGruendl, Robert A., AuthorGschwend, Julia, AuthorGutierrez, Gaston, AuthorHollowood, Devon L., AuthorHonscheid, Klaus, AuthorJames, David J., AuthorKrause, Elisabeth, AuthorKuehn, Kyler, AuthorMaia, Marcio A. G., AuthorMenanteau, Felipe, AuthorMiquel, Ramon, AuthorPaz-Chinchón, Francisco, AuthorPlazas, Andrés A., AuthorSanchez, Eusebio, AuthorSantiago, Basilio, AuthorScarpine, Vic, AuthorSerrano, Santiago, AuthorSevilla-Noarbe, Ignacio, AuthorSmith, Mathew, AuthorSoares-Santos, Marcelle, AuthorSuchyta, Eric, AuthorSwanson, Molly E. C., AuthorTarle, Gregory, AuthorTucker, Douglas L., AuthorVarga, Tamas Norbert1, Author              Walker, Alistair R., Author more..
Affiliations:
1Optical and Interpretative Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society, ou_159895              

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 Abstract: We report on small-amplitude optical variability and recent dissipation of the unusually persistent broad emission lines in the blue compact dwarf galaxy PHL 293B. The galaxy's unusual spectral features (P Cygni-like profiles with ~800 km s−1 blueshifted absorption lines) have resulted in conflicting interpretations of the nature of this source in the literature. However, analysis of new Gemini spectroscopy reveals the broad emission has begun to fade after being persistent for over a decade prior. Precise difference imaging light curves constructed with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the Dark Energy Survey reveal small-amplitude optical variability of ~0.1 mag in the g band offset by 100 ± 21 pc from the brightest pixel of the host. The light curve is well-described by an active galactic nuclei (AGN)-like damped random walk process. However, we conclude that the origin of the optical variability and spectral features of PHL 293B is due to a long-lived stellar transient, likely a Type IIn supernova or nonterminal outburst, mimicking long-term AGN-like variability. This work highlights the challenges of discriminating between scenarios in such extreme environments, relevant to searches for AGNs in dwarf galaxies. This is the second long-lived transient discovered in a blue compact dwarf, after SDSS1133. Our result implies such long-lived stellar transients may be more common in metal-deficient galaxies. Systematic searches for low-level variability in dwarf galaxies will be possible with the upcoming Legacy Survey of Space and Time at the Vera C. Rubin Observatory.

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 Dates: 2020-04-29
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.3847/2041-8213/ab88de
Other: LOCALID: 3240582
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Title: The Astrophysical Journal Letters
  Other : Astrophys. J. Lett.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Chicago, IL : University of Chicago Press for the American Astronomical Society
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 894 (1) Sequence Number: L5 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 2041-8205
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922828215