The host galaxies of 106 rapidly evolving transients discovered by the Dark Energy Survey Academic Article uri icon


  • ABSTRACT Rapidly evolving transients (RETs), also termed fast blue optical transients, are a recently discovered group of astrophysical events that display rapid luminosity evolution. RETs typically rise to peak in less than 10d and fade within 30, a time-scale unlikely to be compatible with the decay of Nickel-56 that drives conventional supernovae (SNe). Their peak luminosity spans a range of 15 > Mg > 22.5, with some events observed at redshifts greater than 1. Their evolution on fast time-scales has hindered high-quality follow-up observations, and thus their origin and explosion/emission mechanism remains unexplained. In this paper, we present the largest sample of RETs to date, comprising 106 objects discovered by the Dark Energy Survey, and perform the most comprehensive analysis of RET host galaxies. Using deep-stacked photometry and emission lines from OzDES spectroscopy, we derive stellar masses and star formation rates (SFRs) for 49 host galaxies, and metallicities ([O/H]) for 37. We find that RETs explode exclusively in star-forming galaxies and are thus likely associated with massive stars. Comparing RET hosts to samples of host galaxies of other explosive transients as well as field galaxies, we find that RETs prefer galaxies with high specific SFRs (log(sSFR) 9.6), indicating a link to young stellar populations, similar to stripped-envelope SNe. RET hosts appear to show a lack of chemical enrichment, their metallicities akin to long-duration gamma-ray bursts and superluminous SN host galaxies (12+log(O/H) 9.4). There are no clear relationships between mass or SFR of the host galaxies and the peak magnitudes or decline rates of the transients themselves.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 13.98

author list (cited authors)

  • Wiseman, P., Pursiainen, M., Childress, M., Swann, E., Smith, M., Galbany, L., ... Walker, A. R.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Wiseman, P||Pursiainen, M||Childress, M||Swann, E||Smith, M||Galbany, L||Lidman, C||Davis, TM||Gutiérrez, CP||Möller, A||Thomas, BP||Frohmaier, C||Foley, RJ||Hinton, SR||Kelsey, L||Kessler, R||Lewis, GF||Sako, M||Scolnic, D||Sullivan, M||Vincenzi, M||Abbott, TMC||Aguena, M||Allam, S||Annis, J||Bertin, E||Bhargava, S||Brooks, D||Burke, DL||Carnero Rosell, A||Carollo, D||Carrasco Kind, M||Carretero, J||Costanzi, M||da Costa, LN||Diehl, HT||Doel, P||Everett, S||Fosalba, P||Frieman, J||García-Bellido, J||Gaztanaga, E||Glazebrook, K||Gruen, D||Gruendl, RA||Gschwend, J||Gutierrez, G||Hollowood, DL||Honscheid, K||James, DJ||Kuehn, K||Kuropatkin, N||Lima, M||Maia, MAG||Marshall, JL||Martini, P||Menanteau, F||Miquel, R||Palmese, A||Paz-Chinchón, F||Plazas, AA||Romer, AK||Sanchez, E||Scarpine, V||Schubnell, M||Serrano, S||Sevilla-Noarbe, I||Sommer, NE||Suchyta, E||Swanson, MEC||Tarle, G||Tucker, BE||Tucker, DL||Varga, TN||Walker, AR

publication date

  • August 2020