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Recent Optical Transients from the Catalina Sky Survey

ATEL # 1339; A.J. Drake, A. Mahabal, S.G. Djorgovski, R. Williams, M.J. Graham (Caltech); E. Christensen (Gemini Observatory); E.C. Beshore, S.M. Larson (LPL/UA)
on 20 Dec 2007; 20:40 UT
Distributed as an Instant Email Notice (Transients)
Password Certification: Andrew J. Drake (

Subjects: Optical, Request for Observations, Transients, Variables

We have detected four optical transients in the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) obtained at the Mt. Bigelow 0.7m Catalina Schmidt Telescope between 14 and 16 Dec 2007 UT. The transients are unresolved, and at the following J2000 coordinates:

ID Detection DateRADec
CSS-071214:090904-091714 2007-12-14 UT 10:48:27 09:09:04.38 09:17:13.5
CSS-071215:041456-215643 2007-12-15 UT 05:45:07 04:14:55.71 21:56:43.1
CSS-071216:121630-102303 2007-12-16 UT 10:42:15 12:16:29.63 10:23:02.9
CSS-071216:215345-123524 2007-12-16 UT 01:54:37 21:53:44.67 12:35:23.9

For finding charts, etc., please see:

CSS discovery observations consist of four images spanning ~30 minutes. The transients were detected in all images and are constant in position over the time span of the images.

Transient CSS-071214:090904-091714 matches the location of a 22nd mag object (identified as a galaxy) in SDSS images and was approximately V=17 when discovered. Follow-up observations in B and I showed that the object had significantly faded by the 16th and was very blue during out burst. Transient CSS-071215:041456-215643 is present in archival mega-prime images, and in Palomar-Quest images appears to vary significantly between epochs. This object was approximately 4 magnitudes brighter than the CSS coadd image brightness at discovery. Transient CSS-071216:121630-102303 matches the location of an object with a mag of ~21.5 in SDSS data (identified as a galaxy). This object was approximately 3 magnitudes brighter than the SDDS magnitude at discovery. Transient CSS-071216:215345-123524 matches the location of an object with a mag of ~21.8 in SDSS data (identified as a galaxy). This object also exhibits significant variability in Palomar-Quest images and was approximately 3.5 magnitudes brighter than the SDDS magnitude at the time of discovery.

All CSS optical transients are detected and published as VOEvents in real-time at and here (RSS)

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R. E. Rutledge , Editor
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