Discovering vanishing objects in POSS I red images using the Virtual Observatory

Enrique Solano, B Villarroel, C Rodrigo, Discovering vanishing objects in POSS I red images using the Virtual Observatory, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 515, Issue 1, September 2022, Pages 1380–1391,

In this paper, we report a search for vanishing sources in POSS I red images using virtual observatory (VO) archives, tools, and services. The search, conducted in the framework of the VASCO project, aims at finding POSS I (red) sources not present in recent catalogues like Pan-STARRS DR2 (limiting magnitude r = 21.4) or Gaia EDR3 (limiting magnitude G = 21). We found 298 165 sources visible only in POSS I plates, out of which 288 770 had a cross-match within 5 arcsec in other archives (mainly in the infrared), 189 were classified as asteroids, 35 as variable objects, 3592 as artefacts from the comparison to a second digitization (Supercosmos), and 180 as high proper motion objects without information on proper motion in Gaia EDR3. The remaining unidentified transients (5399) as well as the 172 163 sources not detected in the optical but identified in the infrared regime are available from a VO compliant archive and can be of interest in searches for strong M-dwarf flares, high-redshift supernovae, asteroids, or other categories of unidentified red transients. No point sources were detected by both POSS-I and POSS-II before vanishing, setting the rate of failed supernovae in the Milky Way during 70 yr to less than one in one billion.

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