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Space Telescope Science Institute
The Astrophysics of Intermediate
Luminosity Red Transients

Conference Banner image Red Transients Workshop Group Photo

Intermediate-Luminosity Red Transients

The past several years have seen discoveries of stellar eruptions belonging to a new class of astrophysical transients. They have maximum luminosities intermediate between those of classical novae and supernovae, and they typically become extremely cool and red as their outbursts proceed over timescales of a few months.

In the Milky Way, members of this class include V838 Monocerotis (which illuminated a spectacular light echo), V4332 Sagittarii, and the recent V1309 Scorpii. Possibly related extragalactic transients include the Andromeda red variable of 1988 (M31 RV), the 2006 optical transient in M85, SN 2008S, the 2008 and 2010 transients in the nearby galaxy NGC 300, and other discoveries being made in synoptic sky surveys. The progenitors of some of these objects were heavily dust-enshrouded massive stars, but others appear to have arisen from old populations. V1309 Sco was a short-period contact binary before its outburst, suggesting that stellar mergers are responsible for the eruptions; but other events may be related to the outbursts of luminous blue variables. It currently appears probable that there are several distinct evolutionary channels that lead to these apparently similar intermediate-luminosity optical transients.

This workshop explored the observational properties of these transient events, along with astrophysical scenarios that may explain their outbursts, and avenues of future observational and theoretical research.

Confirmed Speakers

  • Elena Barsukova
  • Edo Berger
  • Howard E. Bond
  • Selma de Mink
  • Peter Eggleton
  • Vitaly Goranskij
  • Roberta Humphreys
  • Amit Kashi
  • Mansi Kasliwal
  • Christopher Kochanek
  • Shri Kulkarni
  • Margaret Meixner
  • Tony Piro
  • Jose Prieto
  • Maria L. Pumo
  • Armin Rest
  • Nathan Smith
  • Noam Soker
  • Todd Thompson
  • Romuald Tylenda

Scientific Organizing Committee

  • Howard E. Bond (chair, STScI)
  • Roberta Humphreys (Minnesota)
  • Mansi Kasliwal (Caltech)
  • Christopher Kochanek (Ohio State)
  • Shri Kulkarni (Caltech)
  • Ulisse Munari (Padova)
  • Jose Prieto (Carnegie)
  • Nathan Smith (Arizona)
  • Noam Soker (Technion)
  • Todd Thompson (Ohio State)
  • Romuald Tylenda (Torun)
  • plus the LOC

Local Organizing Committee

  • Howard E. Bond (chair)
  • Luigi Bedin
  • Selma de Mink
  • Suvi Gezari
  • Armin Rest
  • Kailash Sahu
  • William Sparks
  • Roz Baxter
  • Samantha Pryce