Glimpses of Stellar Death: New Insights Into Type Ia Supernovae and Tidal Disruption Events
Thomas W-S Holoien
Carnegie Fellow at Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena



The violent deaths of stars are some of the most energetic events in the Universe, and allow us to test physics under extreme conditions that cannot otherwise be probed. In particular, those events that occur in the nearby Universe provide us with the best ability to study these transients and their environments in great detail and for long periods of time, which cannot be done with farther objects. The All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN), designed as a survey for bright supernovae, has proven to be the premier professional survey project for discovering the brightest and most interesting transient and variable events in the nearby Universe. After expanding and improving our network of telescopes in 2017 and 2018, ASAS-SN now surveys the entire visible sky nightly, allowing us to discover transients earlier and avoid many of the biases that have plagued surveys in the past. In my talk I will discuss my work using nearby discoveries, primarily from ASAS-SN, to try to resolve the type Ia supernova progenitor problem and study supermassive black holes and accretion physics via the emission from tidal disruption events. I will focus in particular on events discovered shortly after explosion/disruption and events monitored at very late times, two areas where our observations have historically been lacking, and how observations at these times are crucial to fully understanding the physics behind these extremely energetic transients.