Recently I’ve been really interested in tidal disruption events (TDEs). These are hot, bright flares generated in the centres of galaxies as an unlucky star wanders too close to a supermassive black hole and gets shredded! Along with my collaborators, I just published this paper studying one particular TDE in detail, and trying to understand … More A tidal disruption event changes its spots
It’s been a long time since my last post (changing jobs/continents is time-consuming!) but I have two almost-new papers I’ve been meaning to share: one recently published in ApJ letters, and the other just accepted in ApJ. The two are linked by the theme of very late-time observations of superluminous supernovae. The first paper focuses … More Old supernovae, new insights!
Earlier this year, the Gaia satellite, in the process of mapping out our Milky Way in unprecedented detail, happened to discover its first superluminous supernova (SLSN). This was a great discovery not only because it turned out to be one of the most nearby such events we’ve ever found, but because it was about 5 times brighter … More The most UV-bright supernova is powered by an internal engine
Last year, a very unusual transient made headlines around the world as ‘the most luminous supernova ever discovered’. ASASSN-15lh was certainly incredibly bright — about double the previous record holder! However, it exhibited a number of weird properties that made it unlike any other superluminous supernova: a much higher temperature; a spectrum lacking most of the usual absorption … More The brightest supernova, or an overindulgent black hole?
Evidence of a connection between superluminous supernovae and the hypernovae that accompany long gamma-ray bursts has been building for a few years now. There was even a whole conference this summer at the Space Telescope Science Institute to discuss it (the vote came out pretty evenly split!). But now we have what seems to be the strongest evidence … More Nebular spectrum of superluminous supernova reveals GRB connection!