NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2001A-0317

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Proposal Information for 2001A-0317


PI: Robert P. Kirshner, Center for Astrophysics, kirshner@cfa.harvard.edu
Address: 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, US

CoI: Peter Garnavich, University of Notre Dame
CoI: Thomas Matheson, Center for Astrophysics
CoI: Saurabh Jha, Center for Astrophysics
CoI: Peter Challis, Center for Astrophysics

Title: Supernova Light Curves

Abstract: We propose to continue a long-term program to study the light curves of a handful of bright supernovae from their initial outbursts through their revealing late stages. From discovery at 12-14 mag down to 19 mag, we will use our own 1.2m at Mount Hopkins; this proposal covers observations from mag 18 to 23 using the KPNO 2.1m. We will obtain spectra using the FLWO 1.5m and other telescopes to the same limits as the 2.1m photometry. For a few special targets, \it HST will observe in the ultraviolet and at late times. This proposal, coupled with our efforts at other observatories should go a long way toward sorting out the roles of radioactivity, pulsar power, and shock interactions in powering supernovae at late times, as well as helping us to use these intrinsically bright objects as tools to measure extragalactic distances. 1999 and 2000 were good years for bright supernovae with 1999em, 1999gh, 2000P and three peculiar Type Ia (1999by, 1999cl, and 2000cx). There was also continuing bizarre behavior from the Type IIn 1998S and ongoing evidence for a light echo in the Type Ia 1998bu. All can be followed at late times with the KPNO 2.1m. Our sustained study of the rare, but revealing, \it apparently bright supernovae has proved to be the best approach to understanding supernova physics. Dust formation and the sources of energy input can only be seen at late times in nearby events. Large sets of \it apparently faint supernovae have their uses, but understanding how supernovae work is best done through investigation of the best cases.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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