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The Landscape of Relativistic Stellar Explosions

Citation

Ho, Anna Yen Qin (2020) The Landscape of Relativistic Stellar Explosions. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/99s8-vj17. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechTHESIS:07132020-190219502

Abstract

For the last half-century, relativistic outflows accompanying the final collapse of massive stars have predominantly been detected via high-energy emission (i.e., gamma-ray bursts, or GRBs). From wide-field optical and radio time-domain surveys, there have been hints of related phenomena at lower energies (e.g., X-ray flashes). For my thesis, I used the Zwicky Transient Facility to conduct the first large-scale optical survey dedicated to finding relativistic stellar explosions. I successfully detected a suite of GRB-related phenomena without relying on a GRB trigger, and followed them up with facilities across the electromagnetic spectrum including ALMA: relativistic afterglows at cosmological distances, broad-lined Ic (Ic-BL) supernovae with X-ray and radio emission, and fast-luminous transients powered by circumstellar interaction. Based on the rate of fast (intra-night) optical transients, I showed that a "clean" jet seems central to the phenomenon of collimated energetic outflows, i.e., there is no evidence for afterglow-like optical transients whose area (sky) rate greatly exceed the classical GRB rate. With a radio and millimeter-wave investigation of AT2018cow, and the discovery of a similar event in ZTF, I established a new class of engine-driven stellar explosions that arise from different progenitors to GRBs and explode embedded in dense circumstellar material. I showed that fast-luminous thermal emission can arise from late-stage eruptive mass-loss and is not necessarily linked to the presence of relativistic ejecta, complicating searches for choked jets in Ic-BL SNe. My work sets the stage for discovering and characterizing relativistic stellar explosions in large numbers during the era of ZTF Phase II, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), and millimeter-band facilities like ALMA and NOEMA.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Catalogs; gamma-ray burst: general; stars: activity; stars: flare; stars: jets; surveys; methods: observational; shock waves; stars: mass-loss; supernovae: individual; radio continuum: general; submillimeter: general; supernovae: general; X-rays: general; Radio transient sources; High energy astrophysics; Supernovae; Core-collapse supernovae; Jets; Sky surveys
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Astrophysics
Awards:Rodger Doxsey Travel Prize of the American Astronomical Society, 2020. France A. Córdova Graduate Student Fund (Garmire Scholar), 2017.
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Kulkarni, Shrinivas R.
Thesis Committee:
  • Steidel, Charles C. (chair)
  • Hallinan, Gregg W.
  • Kasliwal, Mansi M.
  • Perley, Daniel
  • Phinney, E. Sterl
Defense Date:2 July 2020
Non-Caltech Author Email:annayqho (AT) gmail.com
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship ProgramDGE-1144469
NSFPire Grant 1545949
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:07132020-190219502
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechTHESIS:07132020-190219502
DOI:10.7907/99s8-vj17
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.3847/2041-8213/aaaa62DOIArticle adapted for Chapter 3.
https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2020arXiv200610761H/abstractADSArticle adapted for Chapter 2.
https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/ab55ecDOIArticle adapted for Chapter 6.
https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/ab7f3bDOIArticle adapted for Chapter 5.
https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2020arXiv200410406H/abstractADSArticle adapted for Chapter 4.
https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aaf473DOIArticle adapted for Chapter 7.
https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/ab8bcfDOIArticle adapted for Chapter 8.
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Ho, Anna Yen Qin0000-0002-9017-3567
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:13841
Collection:CaltechTHESIS
Deposited By: Anna Ho
Deposited On:24 Jul 2020 15:50
Last Modified:31 Jul 2020 15:40

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