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Transient Science @ Space Telescope (TS@ST)

Artist rendition of SN 1993J and its surviving companion in the galaxy M81
Artist rendition of SN 1993J and its surviving companion in the galaxy M81 from Fox et al. (2014). Using the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have identified the blue helium-burning companion star, seen at the center of the expanding nebula of debris from the supernova. (Credits: NASA, ESA, G. Bacon (STScI))

We are loose collection of staff astronomers and scientists, postdocs, grad students, and even high-school students at STScI and Johns Hopkins University, working together on transient astronomy. Group members have a variety of roles in ground- and space-based missions listed below. Our research covers a large breadth of topics that aim to answer questions such as:

  • What is the nature of the transient night sky at different wavelengths?
  • Which stars explode and when?  What is the nature of the most extreme and exotic events?
  • How do stars behave leading up to and including their death?
  • What is the impact of a star's death on its surrounding environment?
  • How can transients tell us more about the Universe, including the first stars and galaxies, cosmology, dark energy, dark matter, host galaxies, and active galactic nuclei (AGN)?
  • How can we use observations of tidal disruption events to probe massive black hole demographics and learn about accretion disk and jet formation?
  • What can we learn from multi-messenger observations of energetic cosmic events?

Website: Transient Science @ Space Telescope

Leads: Ori Fox, Andy FruchterSuvi Gezari, Armin Rest, Adam Riess, Lou Strolger

Research Topics:

  • Supernovae (SNe)
  • Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs)
  • Compact Objects
  • Extreme events: Fast Blue Optical Transients (FBOTs), Super-Luminous SNe (SLSNe), and Pair-Instability SNe (PISNe)
  • Kilonova
  • Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN)
  • Tidal Disruption Events (TDEs)
  • Progenitors
  • Dark Energy
  • Circumstellar Medium and Dust
  • Lensing Events
  • Light Echoes
  • Instrumentation

Seminars/Journal Club: Compact Objects and Transients (COTS) email list

Related Missions & Instruments: HST, JWST, Roman, LSST, Pan-STARRS, ATLAS, ZTF, DECam, YSE, Foundation, RATIR, RCT 1.3-meter, Kepler, TESS

Selected Publications:

  • Fox, O., et al. 2021. "A Spitzer Survey for Dust-Obscured Supernovae," In Press, MNRAS, arXiv:2106.09733.
  • Fox, O., et al. 2019. "Signatures of circumstellar interaction in the unusual transient AT 2018cow," MNRAS, 488, 3772.
  • Fox, O., et al. 2014. "Uncovering the Putative B-star Binary Companion of the SN 1993J Progenitor," ApJ, 790, 17.
  • Gezari, S. 2021, "Tidal Disruption Events", ARA&A, Vol 59.
  • Gezari, S. et al. 2017, "iPTF Discovery of the Rapid "Turn-On" of a Luminous Quasar", ApJ, 835, 144
  • Gezari, S. et al. 2016, "The GALEX Time Domain Survey I: Selection and Classification of over a Thousand UV Variable Sources", ApJ, 766, 60
  • Gezari, S. et al. 2015, "GALEX Detection of Shock Breakout in Type IIP SN PS1-13arp: Implications for the Progenitor Star Wind", ApJ, 804, 28
  • Gomez, S. et al. 2021. "The Luminous and Double-peaked Type Ic Supernova 2019stc: Evidence for Multiple Energy Sources", ApJ, 913, 143
  • Gomez, S. et al. 2020. "FLEET: A Redshift-agnostic Machine Learning Pipeline to Rapidly Identify Hydrogen-poor Superluminous Supernovae", ApJ, 904, 74
  • Gomez, S. et al. 2019. "SN 2016iet: The Pulsational or Pair Instability Explosion of a Low-metallicity Massive CO Core Embedded in a Dense Hydrogen-poor Circumstellar Medium", ApJ, 884, 55
  • Pierel, J.D.R., et al. 2021. "Understanding Type Ia Supernova Distance Biases by Simulating Spectral Variations", ApJ,911,96
  • Pierel, J.D.R., et al., 2021. "Projected Cosmological Constraints from Strongly Lensed Supernovae with the Roman Space Telescope", ApJ, 908, 190
  • Pierel, J.D.R., Rodney, S.A., 2019. "Turning Gravitationally Lensed Supernovae into Cosmological Probes", ApJ, 876,107
  • Rest, A., et al. 2018. "A fast-evolving luminous transient discovered by K2/Kepler", Nature Astronomy, 2, 307
  • Rest, A., et al. 2014. "Cosmological Constraints from Measurements of Type Ia Supernovae Discovered during the First 1.5 yr of the Pan-STARRS1 Survey", ApJ, 795, 44
  • Rest, A., et al. 2012. "Light echoes reveal an unexpectedly cool η Carinae during its nineteenth-century Great Eruption", Nature, 482, 375
  • Strolger, L., et al. 2020. "Delay Time Distributions of Type Ia Supernovae from Galaxy and Cosmic Star Formation Histories", ApJ, 890, 140
  • Strolger, L., et al. 2015. "The Rate of Core Collapse Supernovae to Redshift 2.5 from the CANDELS and CLASH Supernova Surveys", ApJ, 813, 93