Surveys

GROWTH on S190426c: Real-time Search for a Counterpart to the Probable Neutron Star-Black Hole Merger using an Automated Difference Imaging Pipeline for DECam

The discovery of a transient kilonova following the gravitational-wave (GW) event GW170817 highlighted the critical need for coordinated rapid and wide-field observations, inference, and follow-up across the electromagnetic spectrum. In the southern …

The volumetric rate of normal type Ia supernovae in the local Universe discovered by the Palomar Transient Factory

We present the volumetric rate of normal type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) discovered by the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF). Using strict data-quality cuts, and considering only periods when the PTF maintained a regular cadence, PTF discovered 90 SNe Ia …

A Machine-learning Method to Infer Fundamental Stellar Parameters from Photometric Light Curves

A fundamental challenge for wide-field imaging surveys is obtaining follow-up spectroscopic observations: there are >10$^9$ photometrically cataloged sources, yet modern spectroscopic surveys are limited to åisebox-0.5ex few× 10$^6$ targets. As we …

Slow-speed Supernovae from the Palomar Transient Factory: Two Channels

Since the discovery of the unusual prototype SN 2002cx, the eponymous class of Type I (hydrogen-poor) supernovae with low ejecta speeds has grown to include approximately two dozen members identified from several heterogeneous surveys, in some cases …

First Searches for Optical Counterparts to Gravitational-wave Candidate Events

During the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory and Virgo joint science runs in 2009-2010, gravitational wave (GW) data from three interferometer detectors were analyzed within minutes to select GW candidate events and infer their …

The Swift/BAT Hard X-Ray Transient Monitor

The Swift/Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) hard X-ray transient monitor provides near real-time coverage of the X-ray sky in the energy range 15-50 keV. The BAT observes 88% of the sky each day with a detection sensitivity of 5.3 mCrab for a full-day …

Using machine learning for discovery in synoptic survey imaging data

Modern time-domain surveys continuously monitor large swaths of the sky to look for astronomical variability. Astrophysical discovery in such data sets is complicated by the fact that detections of real transient and variable sources are highly …

Discovery, Progenitor and Early Evolution of a Stripped Envelope Supernova iPTF13bvn

The intermediate Palomar Transient Factory reports our discovery of a young supernova, iPTF13bvn, in the nearby galaxy, NGC 5806 (22.5 Mpc). Our spectral sequence in the optical and infrared suggests a Type Ib classification. We identify a blue …

Millions of Multiples: Detecting and Characterizing Close-separation Binary Systems in Synoptic Sky Surveys

The direct detection of binary systems in wide-field surveys is limited by the size of the stars' point-spread functions (PSFs). A search for elongated objects can find closer companions, but is limited by the precision to which the PSF shape can be …

Berkeley Supernova Ia Program - I. Observations, data reduction and spectroscopic sample of 582 low-redshift Type Ia supernovae

In this first paper in a series, we present 1298 low-redshift (z łesssim 0.2) optical spectra of 582 Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) observed from 1989 to 2008 as part of the Berkeley Supernova Ia Program (BSNIP). 584 spectra of 199 SNe Ia have …