AstroNote 2020-124

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2020-06-24 19:54:23
Type: Object/s-Discovery/Classification
ATLAS20qmt (AT2020njq): discovery of a candidate supernova in MGC 0021278 (65 Mpc)
Authors: A. Townsend (Queen's University Belfast / University of Manchester), K. W. Smith, S. Srivastav, O. McBrien, S. J. Smartt, J. Gillanders, P. Clark, M. Fulton, D. O'Neill, D. R. Young, M. McCollum (Queen's University Belfast), T.-W. Chen (Stockholm), J. Anderson (ESO), L. Denneau, H. Flewelling, A. Heinze, J. Tonry, H. Weiland (IfA, University of Hawaii), B. Stalder (LSST), A. Rest (STScI), D. E. Wright (University of Minnesota)
Source Group: ATLAS
Keywords: Supernova
Here we report the ATLAS discovery of the transient ATLAS20qmt (AT2020njq) in galaxy MGC 0021278. At a distance of 65 Mpc, the transient was discovered on MJD = 59024.25 (2020-06-24.25) with an absolute magnitude of M = -16.1 +/- 0.2.

ATLAS is a twin 0.5m telescope system on Haleakala and Mauna Loa which is robotically surveying the sky above declination -40 with a cadence of 2 days (Tonry et al. 2018, PASP, 13, 064505). Two filters are used, cyan and orange (denoted c and o; all mags quoted are in the AB system). While carrying out the primary mission for Near-Earth Objects, we search for and publicly report stationary transients to the IAU Transient Name Server.  Data processing is carried out at Queen's University which combines automated source parameter filtering, machine learning image recognition, and spatial cross-matching with astronomical catalogues (Smith et al. 2020, arXiv:2003.09052). More information is on the ATLAS homepage. We are submitting AstroNotes for transients that are either within 100 Mpc or have some other interesting feature to bring to the community's attention, such as bright nuclear transients, slowly rising or rapidly fading objects.

We report a new transient source, most likely a supernova in the galaxy MGC 0021278. We discovered ATLAS20qmt (AT2020njq) on MJD 59024.25 == 2020-06-24.25 at m_o = 18.01 +/- 0.12. There was no detection by ATLAS on MJD 59022.28 == 2020-06-22.28 suggesting this is most likely a young supernova. ATLAS20qmt is offset by 0.5 arcsec South, 1.5 arcsec East from its likely host galaxy MGC 0021278, which is at z = 0.014 or d = 65 Mpc (from NED), implying an absolute magnitude of M = -16.1 (assuming m-M = 34.07 and A_r = 0.05 and A_i = 0.04). 

MGC 0021278 appears to be a very faint dwarf galaxy with an absolute magnitude of M = -14.6. Follow-up observations of ATLAS20qmt are therefore strongly encouraged.  Finders and screenshot of the ATLAS forced photometry are attached.

This work has made use of data from the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) project. ATLAS is primarily funded to search for Near-Earth asteroids through NASA grants NN12AR55G, 80NSSC18K0284, and 80NSSC18K1575; byproducts of the NEO search include images and catalogues from the survey area.  The ATLAS science products have been made possible through the contributions of the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy, the Queen's University Belfast, and the Space Telescope Science Institute. 

Show current TNS values
CatalogNameReported RAReported DECReported Obj-TypeReported RedshiftHost NameHost RedshiftRemarksTNS RATNS DECTNS Obj-TypeTNS Redshift
TNS2020njq [ATLAS20qmt]11:29:34.171-00:04:17.87MGC 00212780.01417211:29:34.182-00:04:18.13