P. M. Vreeswijk - Weizmann

P. M. Vreeswijk
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P. M. Vreeswijk
Kefar Sava

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High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (22)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (19)
Astrophysics (13)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (11)
Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (10)

Publications Authored By P. M. Vreeswijk

Superluminous supernovae (SLSNe) are the most luminous supernovae in the universe. They are found in extreme star-forming galaxies and are probably connected with the death of massive stars. One hallmark of very massive progenitors would be a tendency to explode in very dense, UV-bright, and blue regions. Read More

Affiliations: 1Caltech/IPAC, 2Caltech, 3Dark, Denmark, 4Weizmann, 5Weizmann, 6OKC, 7SDSU, 8OKC, 9OKC, 10Weizmann, 11GSFC, 12Weizmann, 13Weizmann, 14Weizmann, 15Caltech, 16Caltech/IPAC, 17JPL, 18Los Alamos

We present observations of two new hydrogen-poor superluminous supernovae (SLSN-I), iPTF15esb and iPTF16bad, showing late-time H-alpha emission. Including the previously published iPTF13ehe, this makes up a total of three such events to date. iPTF13ehe is one of the most luminous and the slowest evolving SLSNe-I, whereas the other two are less luminous and fast decliners. Read More

Affiliations: 1The Weizmann Institute for Science, 2The Weizmann Institute for Science, 3The Weizmann Institute for Science, 4The Weizmann Institute for Science, 5Radboud University

Recent studies of the stellar population in the solar neighborhood (<20 pc) suggest that there are undetected white dwarfs (WDs) in multiple systems with main sequence companions. Detecting these hidden stars and obtaining a more complete census of nearby WDs is important for our understanding of binary and galactic evolution, as well as the study of explosive phenomena. In an attempt to uncover these hidden WDs, we present intermediate resolution spectroscopy over the wavelength range 3000-25000 \AA\ of 101 nearby M dwarfs (dMs), observed with the Very Large Telescope X-Shooter spectrograph. Read More

With the advent of new wide-field, high-cadence optical transient surveys, our understanding of the diversity of core-collapse supernovae has grown tremendously in the last decade. However, the pre-supernova evolution of massive stars, that sets the physical backdrop to these violent events, is theoretically not well understood and difficult to probe observationally. Here we report the discovery of the supernova iPTF13dqy = SN 2013fs, a mere ~3 hr after explosion. Read More

We present the light curves of the hydrogen-poor superluminous supernovae (SLSNe-I) PTF12dam and iPTF13dcc, discovered by the (intermediate) Palomar Transient Factory. Both show excess emission at early times and a slowly declining light curve at late times. The early bump in PTF12dam is very similar in duration (~10 days) and brightness relative to the main peak (2-3 mag fainter) compared to those observed in other SLSNe-I. Read More

When a star passes within the tidal radius of a supermassive black hole, it will be torn apart. For a star with the mass of the Sun ($M_\odot$) and a non-spinning black hole with a mass $<10^8 M_\odot$, the tidal radius lies outside the black hole event horizon and the disruption results in a luminous flare. Here we report observations over a period of 10 months of a transient, hitherto interpreted as a superluminous supernova. Read More

We present the results of optical, near-infrared, and mid-infrared observations of M101 OT2015-1 (PSN J14021678+5426205), a luminous red transient in the Pinwheel galaxy (M101), spanning a total of 16 years. The lightcurve showed two distinct peaks with absolute magnitudes $M_r\leq-12.4$ and $M_r \simeq-12$, on 2014 November 11 and 2015 February 17, respectively. Read More

Type Ic supernovae (SNe Ic) arise from the core-collapse of H (and He) poor stars, which could be either single WR stars or lower-mass stars stripped of their envelope by a companion. Their light curves are radioactively powered and usually show a fast rise to peak ($\sim$10-15 d), without any early (first few days) emission bumps (with the exception of broad-lined SNe Ic) as sometimes seen for other types of stripped-envelope SNe (e.g. Read More

Temporal variability of narrow absorption lines in high-resolution spectra of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) is studied to search for circumstellar matter. Time series which resolve the profiles of absorption lines such as Na I D or Ca II H&K are expected to reveal variations due to photoionisation and subsequent recombination of the gases. The presence, composition, and geometry of circumstellar matter may hint at the elusive progenitor system of SNe Ia and could also affect the observed reddening law. Read More

We present ultraviolet through near-infrared photometry and spectroscopy of the host galaxies of all superluminous supernovae (SLSNe) discovered by the Palomar Transient Factory prior to 2013, and derive measurements of their luminosities, star-formation rates, stellar masses, and gas-phase metallicities. We find that Type I (hydrogen-poor) SLSNe are found almost exclusively in low-mass (M < 2x10^9 M_sun) and metal-poor (12+log[O/H] < 8.4) galaxies. Read More

During the first few days after explosion, Type II supernovae (SNe) are dominated by relatively simple physics. Theoretical predictions regarding early-time SN light curves in the ultraviolet (UV) and optical bands are thus quite robust. We present, for the first time, a sample of $57$ $R$-band Type II SN light curves that are well monitored during their rise, having $>5$ detections during the first 10 days after discovery, and a well-constrained time of explosion to within $1-3$ days. Read More

Affiliations: 1Caltech, 2SDSU, 3Weizmann, 4Weizmann, 5Liverpool, 6Copenhagen, 7Weizmann, 8Weizmann, 9Weizmann, 10Caltech, 11GSFC, 12Caltech, 13Caltech, 14LBNL, 15JPL, 16Los Alamos, 17Weizmann

iPTF13ehe is a hydrogen-poor superluminous supernova (SLSN) at z=0.3434, with a slow-evolving light curve and spectral features similar to SN2007bi. It rises within (83-148)days (rest-frame) to reach a peak bolometric luminosity of 1. Read More

We present the first reported case of the simultaneous metallicity determination of a gamma-ray burst (GRB) host galaxy, from both afterglow absorption lines as well as strong emission-line diagnostics. Using spectroscopic and imaging observations of the afterglow and host of the long-duration Swift GRB121024A at z = 2.30, we give one of the most complete views of a GRB host/environment to date. Read More

The reionisation of the Universe is thought to have ended around z~6, as inferred from spectroscopy of distant bright background sources, such as quasars (QSO) and gamma-ray burst (GRB) afterglows. Furthermore, spectroscopy of a GRB afterglow provides insight in its host galaxy, which is often too dim and distant to study otherwise. We present the high S/N VLT/X-shooter spectrum of GRB130606A at z=5. Read More

Affiliations: 1WIS, 2WIS, 3WIS, 4WIS, 5NASA GSFC, 6Carnegie, 7CIT, 8WIS, 9WIS, 10UT Austin, 11CIT, 12WIS, 13OKC, 14OKC, 15CIT, 16WIS, 17CIT, 18LBNL, 19UCB, 20UT Austin

The explosive fate of massive stripped Wolf-Rayet (W-R) stars is a key open question in stellar physics. An appealing option is that hydrogen-deficient W-R stars are the progenitors of some H-poor supernova (SN) explosions of Types IIb, Ib, and Ic. A blue object, having luminosity and colors consistent with those of some W-R stars, has been recently identified at the location of a SN~Ib in pre-explosion images but has not yet been conclusively determined to have been the progenitor. Read More

We present optical photometric and spectroscopic observations of the Type Ibn (SN 2006jc-like) supernova iPTF13beo. Detected by the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory ~3 hours after the estimated first light, iPTF13beo is the youngest and the most distant (~430 Mpc) Type Ibn event ever observed. The iPTF13beo light curve is consistent with light curves of other Type Ibn SNe and with light curves of fast Type Ic events, but with a slightly faster rise-time of two days. Read More

Motivated by the anomalous dust-to-metal ratios derived in the literature for gamma-ray burst (GRB) damped Lyman-alpha absorbers (DLAs), we measure these ratios using the dust-depletion pattern observed in UV/optical afterglow spectra associated with the ISM at the GRB host-galaxy redshifts. Our sample consists of 20 GRB absorbers and a comparison sample of 72 QSO-DLAs with redshift 1.2 < z < 4. Read More

We present the discovery of molecular hydrogen (H_2), including the presence of vibrationally-excited H_2^* in the optical spectrum of the afterglow of GRB 120815A at z=2.36 obtained with X-shooter at the VLT. Simultaneous photometric broad-band data from GROND and X-ray observations by Swift/XRT place further constraints on the amount and nature of dust along the sightline. Read More

Unusual extinction curves of high-redshift QSOs have been taken as evidence that dust is primarily produced by supernovae at high redshift. In particular, the 3000 A Todini-Ferrara-Maiolino kink in the extinction curve of the z = 6.20 SDSS J1048+4637 has been attributed to supernova dust. Read More

For Gamma-Ray Burst 100901A, we have obtained Gemini-North and Very Large Telescope optical afterglow spectra at four epochs: one hour, one day, three days and one week after the burst, thanks to the afterglow remaining unusually bright at late times. Apart from a wealth of metal resonance lines, we also detect lines arising from fine-structure levels of the ground state of Fe II, and from metastable levels of Fe II and Ni II at the host redshift (z = 1.4084). Read More

We model the time-variable absorption of FeII, FeIII, SiII, CII and CrII detected in UVES spectra of GRB 080310, with the afterglow radiation exciting and ionizing the interstellar medium in the host galaxy at a redshift of z=2.42743. To estimate the rest-frame afterglow brightness as a function of time, we use a combination of the optical VRI photometry obtained by the RAPTOR-T telescope array -- which are presented in this paper -- and Swift's X-Ray Telescope observations. Read More

We analyse high-resolution near-UV and optical spectra of the afterglow of GRB 080310, obtained with the Very Large Telescope Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph (VLT/UVES), to investigate the circumburst environment and the interstellar medium of the gamma-ray burst (GRB) host galaxy. The VLT rapid-response mode (RRM) enabled the observations to start only 13 minutes after the Swift trigger and a series of four exposures to be collected before dawn. A low neutral-hydrogen column-density (log N (HI) = 18. Read More

We present 10 new gamma-ray burst (GRB) redshifts and another five redshift limits based on host galaxy spectroscopy obtained as part of a large program conducted at the Very Large Telescope (VLT). The redshifts span the range 0.345 < z < 2. Read More

GRB 070125 is among the most energetic bursts detected and the most extensively observed so far. Nevertheless, unresolved issues are still open in the literature on the physics of the afterglow and on the GRB environment. In particular, GRB 070125 was claimed to have exploded in a galactic halo environment, based on the uniqueness of the optical spectrum and the non-detection of an underlying host galaxy. Read More

The aim of this paper is to study the environment and intervening absorbers of the gamma-ray burst GRB 090926A through analysis of optical spectra of its afterglow. We analyze medium resolution spectroscopic observations (R=10 000, corresponding to 30 km/s, S/N=15 - 30 and wavelength range 3000-25000) of the optical afterglow of GRB 090926A, taken with X-shooter at the VLT ~ 22 hr after the GRB trigger. The spectrum shows that the ISM in the GRB host galaxy at z = 2. Read More

We analyse the distribution of matter around the progenitor star of gamma-ray burst GRB 021004 as well as the properties of its host galaxy with high-resolution echelle as well as near-infrared spectroscopy. Observations were taken by the 8.2m Very Large Telescope with the Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle spectrograph (UVES) and the Infrared Spectrometer And Array Camera (ISAAC) between 10 and 14 hours after the onset of the event. Read More

We have initiated a survey using the newly commissioned X-shooter spectrograph to target candidate relatively metal-rich damped Lyman-alpha absorbers (DLAs). The spectral coverage of X-shooter allows us to search for not only Lyman-alpha emission, but also rest-frame optical emission lines. We have chosen DLAs where the strongest rest-frame optical lines ([OII], [OIII], Hbeta and Halpha) fall in the NIR atmospheric transmission bands. Read More

Context: GRB afterglows are excellent probes of gas and dust in star-forming galaxies at all epochs. It has been posited that dust in the early Universe must be different from dust at lower z. To date two reports directly support this contention, one of which is based on the spectral shape of GRB 050904 at z = 6. Read More

We aim to understand the nature of the absorbing neutral gas in the galaxies hosting high-redshift long-duration GRBs and to determine their physical conditions. We report the detection of a significant number of previously unidentified allowed transition lines of Fe+, involving the fine structure of the ground term and that of other excited levels, from the zabs=3.969, log N(H0)=22. Read More

Affiliations: 1APC-University Paris 7, 2University Paris 6 - IAP, 3ESO, 4Dark Cosmology Centre-NIB, Copenhagen, 5ESO, 6School of Physical Sciences and NCPST-Dublin City University

We analyse the properties of MgII absorption systems detected along the sightlines toward GRBs using a sample of 10 GRB afterglow spectra obtained with VLT-UVES over the past six years. The S/N ratio is sufficiently high that we can extend previous studies to smaller equivalent widths (typically Wr>0.3A). Read More

We report the clear detection of the 2175A dust absorption feature in the optical afterglow spectrum of the gamma-ray burst (GRB) GRB070802 at a redshift of z=2.45. This is the highest redshift for a detected 2175A dust bump to date, and it is the first clear detection of the 2175A bump in a GRB host galaxy, while several tens of optical afterglow spectra without the bump have been recorded in the past decade. Read More

We report on the detection by Swift of GRB 080913, and subsequent optical/near-infrared follow-up observations by GROND which led to the discovery of its optical/NIR afterglow and the recognition of its high-z nature via the detection of a spectral break between the i' and z' bands. Spectroscopy obtained at the ESO-VLT revealed a continuum extending down to lambda = 9400 A, and zero flux for 7500 A < lambda<9400 A, which we interpret as the onset of a Gunn-Peterson trough at z=6.695+-0. Read More


(Abridged) We use VLT/UVES high-resolution optical spectroscopy of seven GRB afterglows at z_GRB>2 to investigate circumburst and interstellar plasma in the host galaxies. Our sample consists of GRBs 021004, 050730, 050820, 050922C, 060607, 071031, and 080310. Four of these spectra were taken in rapid-response mode, within 30 minutes of the Swift GRB detection. Read More

The collapsar model predicts that the progenitors of Gamma-ray Bursts (GRBs) are metal poor in Fe group elements. The existence of low metallicity stellar populations could manifest itself through special characteristics of the immediate environment of the GRB site in the host galaxy. We analyse the strong emission lines from the sub-luminous host galaxy of GRB 980425, which showed the first connection with a supernova explosion (SN 1998bw). Read More

NGC 2770 has been the host of three supernovae of Type Ib during the last 10 years, SN 1999eh, SN 2007uy and SN 2008D. SN 2008D attracted special attention due to the serendipitous discovery of an associated X-ray transient. In this paper, we study the properties of NGC 2770 and specifically the three SN sites to investigate whether this galaxy is in any way peculiar to cause a high frequency of SNe Ib. Read More

SN 2008D was discovered while following up an unusually bright X-ray transient in the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 2770. We present early optical spectra (obtained 1.75 days after the X-ray transient) which allowed the first identification of the object as a supernova at redshift z = 0. Read More

We report on the highly extinguished afterglow of GRB 070306 and the properties of the host galaxy. An optical afterglow was not detected at the location of the burst, but in near-infrared a doubling in brightness during the first night and later power-law decay in the K band provided a clear detection of the afterglow. The host galaxy is relatively bright, R ~ 22. Read More

We present early (starting 1.6h after the burst) WHT/ISIS optical spectroscopy of the afterglow of the gamma-ray burst GRB 060206 detecting a range of metal absorption lines and their fine-structure transitions. Additional information is provided by the afterglow lightcurve. Read More

We report on follow-up observations of the GRB 060927 using the ROTSE-IIIa telescope and a suite of larger aperture ground-based telescopes. An optical afterglow was detected 20 s after the burst, the earliest rest-frame detection of optical emission from any GRB. Spectroscopy performed with the VLT about 13 hours after the trigger shows a continuum break at lambda ~ 8070 A produced by neutral hydrogen absorption at z~5. Read More


Prochter et al. 2006 recently found that the number density of strong intervening 0.5Read More

We report on a deep search for CO(J=3-2) line emission from the host galaxy of GRB 980425 with the Atacama Submillimeter Telescope Experiment (ASTE). We observed five points of the galaxy covering the entire region. After combining all of the spectra, we obtained a global spectrum with the rms noise level of 3. Read More