The mystery of photometric twins DES17X1boj and DES16E2bjy

M. Pursiainen, C. P. Gutiérrez, P. Wiseman, M. Childress, M. Smith, C. Frohmaier, C. Angus, N. Castro Segura, L. Kelsey, M. Sullivan, L. Galbany, P. Nugent, B. A. Bassett, D. Brout, D. Carollo, C. B. D'andrea, T. M. Davis, R. J. Foley, M. Grayling, S. R. HintonC. Inserra, R. Kessler, G. F. Lewis, C. Lidman, E. Macaulay, M. March, A. Möller, T. Müller, D. Scolnic, N. E. Sommer, E. Swann, B. P. Thomas, B. E. Tucker, M. Vincenzi, T. M.C. Abbott, S. Allam, J. Annis, S. Avila, E. Bertin, D. Brooks, E. Buckley-Geer, D. L. Burke, A. Carnero Rosell, M. Carrasco Kind, L. N. Da Costa, J. De Vicente, S. Desai, H. T. Diehl, P. Doel, T. F. Eifler, S. Everett, B. Flaugher, J. Frieman, J. García-Bellido, E. Gaztanaga, D. W. Gerdes, D. Gruen, R. A. Gruendl, J. Gschwend, G. Gutierrez, D. L. Hollowood, K. Honscheid, D. J. James, A. G. Kim, E. Krause, K. Kuehn, M. A.G. Maia, J. L. Marshall, F. Menanteau, R. Miquel, R. L.C. Ogando, A. Palmese, F. Paz-Chinchón, A. A. Plazas, A. Roodman, E. Sanchez, V. Scarpine, M. Schubnell, S. Serrano, I. Sevilla-Noarbe, E. Suchyta, M. E.C. Swanson, G. Tarle, W. Wester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We present an analysis of DES17X1boj and DES16E2bjy, two peculiar transients discovered by the Dark Energy Survey (DES). They exhibit nearly identical double-peaked light curves that reach very different maximum luminosities (Mr = -15.4 and -17.9, respectively). The light-curve evolution of these events is highly atypical and has not been reported before. The transients are found in different host environments: DES17X1boj was found near the nucleus of a spiral galaxy, while DES16E2bjy is located in the outskirts of a passive red galaxy. Early photometric data are well fitted with a blackbody and the resulting moderate photospheric expansion velocities (1800 km s-1 for DES17X1boj and 4800 km s-1 for DES16E2bjy) suggest an explosive or eruptive origin. Additionally, a feature identified as high-velocity Ca ii absorption (v ≈ 9400 km s-1) in the near-peak spectrum of DES17X1boj may imply that it is a supernova. While similar light-curve evolution suggests a similar physical origin for these two transients, we are not able to identify or characterize the progenitors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5576-5589
Number of pages14
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • supernovae: General

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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