Discovery of a Luminous Supernova, PTF11rks
ATel #3841; R. M. Quimby (IPMU), A. Gal-Yam, I. Arcavi, O. Yaron (Weizmann), A. Horesh, K. Mooley (Caltech)
on 31 Dec 2011; 09:47 UT
Credential Certification: Robert Quimby (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subjects: Optical, Ultra-Violet, Supernovae, Transient
The Palomar Transient
Factory (Law et al.,
2009; Rau et al.,
2009) reports the discovery of an optical transient, PTF11rks. The
source is located at RA = 01:39:45.51, Dec. = +29:55:27.0 (J2000),
which is offset from a faint (r~20.9 mag) galaxy detected by the
SDSS. PTF11rks was first detected by the Palomar 1.2m telescope with
an R-band magnitude of about 19.9 on 2011 Dec 21 (UT). The transient
brightened to about 19.1 mag on Dec 27. PTF did not detect the source
prior to 2011 Dec 11.
Spectroscopic follow-up was performed with the Palomar 5.1m (+DBSP)
on 2011 Dec 27, and Keck (+LRIS) on 2011 Dec 31. The spectra show a
blue continuum with broad absorption bands. The spectra are similar to
PTF09cnd near maximum light (Quimby et
al. 2011). Narrow absorption features consistent with the MgII
doublet and emission lines from the host set the redshift at z=0.19.
We requested Swift observations, which were carried out on Dec
30. Including possible contamination from the host galaxy, we measure
the following preliminary UVOT magnitudes for the transient:
MJD Filter Mag Mag_err
55925.2422 U 18.57 0.12
55925.2461 UVW1 18.94 0.12
55925.2617 UVM2 19.50 0.14
55925.2500 UVW2 19.26 0.11
The source was not detected in the simultaneous XRT observation.
PTF discoveries are made by autonomous PTF software (Bloom et
al. 2011, http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2011arXiv1106.5491B ), as well as
by the Galaxy Zoo Supernova Project (Smith et al. 2011, MNRAS, 412,
1309; http://supernova.galaxyzoo.org ).
We thank the Swift team for promptly scheduling the ToO observations.