NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009A-0190

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Proposal Information for 2009A-0190


PI: Brendan Sinnott, McMaster University, sinnotbp@physics.mcmaster.ca
Address: Department of Physics and Astronomy, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4M1, Canada

CoI: Doug Welch, McMaster University
CoI: Armin Rest, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
CoI: Peter Sutherlalnd, McMaster University
CoI: Marcel Bergmann, Gemini Observatory - South

Title: Optical Spectroscopy of the Light Echo System of SN1987A

Abstract: Multi-object spectroscopy of the light echo system of SN1987A provides the first direct means to measure explosion asymmetries in the optical line profiles of a supernova. We successfully obtained MOS of five regions of the echo system in the 2006B session. The P-Cygni profiles in the supernova outburst spectra are currently contaminated by strong nebular lines, including [NII]6548, Ha6563, and [NII]6584. Information on the feature-rich H-alpha emission peak of the SN1987A outburst light is lost as a result, and our ability to model the observations is therefore limited. The echo ring will now have expanded on the sky, and we propose a re-observation of the same slit locations in order to reconstruct line profiles which have peaks currently dominated by strong nebular lines. A second benefit will be the removal of the stellar spectral background contributing to our extracted echo spectra. We emphasize we have found line feature variations consistent with hemispherical differences in the supernova photosphere, and seek to improve the quality of the data and its interpretation.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009A-0190

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