Unveiling the enigma of ATLAS17aeu
2019-08-15T16:14:39Z (GMT) by
Aims. The unusual transient ATLAS17aeu was serendipitously detected within the sky localisation of the gravitational wave trigger GW 170104. The importance of a possible association with gravitational waves coming from a binary black hole merger led to an extensive follow-up campaign, with the aim of assessing a possible connection with GW 170104. Methods. With several telescopes, we carried out both photometric and spectroscopic observations of ATLAS17aeu, for several epochs, between ∼3 and ∼230 days after the first detection. Results. We studied in detail the temporal and spectroscopic properties of ATLAS17aeu and its host galaxy. Although at low significance and not conclusive, we found similarities to the spectral features of a broad-line supernova superposed onto an otherwise typical long-GRB afterglow. Based on analysis of the optical light curve, spectrum, and host galaxy spectral energy distribution, we conclude that the redshift of the source is probably z ' 0.5 ± 0.2. Conclusions. While the redshift range we have determined is marginally compatible with that of the gravitational wave event, the presence of a supernova component and the consistency of this transient with the Ep–Eiso correlation support the conclusion that ATLAS17aeu was associated with the long gamma-ray burst GRB 170105A. This rules out the association of the GRB 170105A/ATLAS17aeu transient with the gravitational wave event GW 170104, which was due to a binary black hole merger.