TREASUREHUNT: Transients and Variability Discovered with HST in the JWST North Ecliptic Pole Time-domain Field

O'Brien, Rosalia; Jansen, Rolf A.; Grogin, Norman A.; Cohen, Seth H.; Smith, Brent M.; Silver, Ross M.; Maksym, W. P.; Windhorst, Rogier A.; Carleton, Timothy; Koekemoer, Anton M.; Hathi, Nimish P.; Willmer, Christopher N. A.; Frye, Brenda L.; Alpaslan, M.; Ashby, M. L. N.; Ashcraft, T. A.; Bonoli, S.; Brisken, W.; Cappelluti, N.; Civano, F.; Conselice, C. J.; Dhillon, V. S.; Driver, S. P.; Duncan, K. J.; Dupke, R.; Elvis, M.; Fazio, G. G.; Finkelstein, S. L.; Gim, H. B.; Griffiths, A.; Hammel, H. B.; Hyun, M.; Im, M.; Jones, V. R.; Kim, D.; Ladjelate, B.; Larson, R. L.; Malhotra, S.; Marshall, M. A.; Milam, S. N.; Pierel, J. D. R.; Rhoads, J. E.; Rodney, S. A.; Röttgering, H. J. A.; Rutkowski, M. J.; Ryan, R. E.; Ward, M. J.; White, C. W.; van Weeren, R. J.; Zhao, X.; Summers, J.; D'Silva, J. C. J.; Ortiz, R.; Robotham, A. S. G.; Coe, D.; Nonino, M.; Pirzkal, N.; Yan, H.; Acharya, T.
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The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) North Ecliptic Pole (NEP) Time-domain Field (TDF) is a >14' diameter field optimized for multiwavelength time-domain science with JWST. It has been observed across the electromagnetic spectrum both from the ground and from space, including with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). As part of HST observations over three cycles (the "TREASUREHUNT" program), deep images were obtained with the Wide Field Camera on the Advanced Camera for Surveys in F435W and F606W that cover almost the entire JWST NEP TDF. Many of the individual pointings of these programs partially overlap, allowing an initial assessment of the potential of this field for time-domain science with HST and JWST. The cumulative area of overlapping pointings is ∼88 arcmin2, with time intervals between individual epochs that range between 1 day and 4+ yr. To a depth of m AB ≃ 29.5 mag (F606W), we present the discovery of 12 transients and 190 variable candidates. For the variable candidates, we demonstrate that Gaussian statistics are applicable and estimate that ∼80 are false positives. The majority of the transients will be supernovae, although at least two are likely quasars. Most variable candidates are active galactic nuclei (AGNs), where we find 0.42% of the general z ≲ 6 field galaxy population to vary at the ∼3σ level. Based on a 5 yr time frame, this translates into a random supernova areal density of up to ∼0.07 transients arcmin‑2 (∼245 deg‑2) per epoch and a variable AGN areal density of ∼1.25 variables arcmin‑2 (∼4500 deg‑2) to these depths.