NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009A-0421

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Proposal Information for 2009A-0421


PI: Schuyler D. Van Dyk, Spitzer Science Center/Caltech, vandyk@ipac.caltech.edu
Address: 220-6, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

CoI: Nancy Elias-Rosa, Spitzer Science Center/Caltech

Title: Light Curves for Core-Collapse Supernovae

Abstract: Supernovae (SNe) have a profound effect on galaxies. They are clearly very important events deserving of intense study. Yet, even with nearly 4000 historical SNe, we know relatively little about the stars which give rise to these powerful explosions. The main limitation has been the lack of spatial resolution in pre-SN imaging data. However, since 1999 our team has been at the vanguard of directly identifying the progenitor stars of core-collapse SNe (CCSNe) in Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images. From this exciting new line of study, the emerging trend from a growing number of detections for Type II-Plateau SNe is that their progenitors appear to be relatively low mass (8 to 20 M_\odot) red supergiants, although more cases are needed. Nonetheless, the nature of the progenitors of Type Ib/c SNe, a subset of which are associated with the amazing gamma-ray bursts, remains ambiguous. In HST Cycle 17 we are expecting to trigger our ToO observations using ACS/HRC (GO-11575) on 4 nearby (within 17 Mpc) CCSNe, to determine the identities of the progenitors. It is conceivable that at least half of these will be discovered in the southern hemisphere. We have access to spectroscopically monitor these SNe from the south. However, to fully characterize the progenitor star, we require detailed light curves for the SNe, starting soon after discovery, to estimate the reddening to the SNe and characterize the overall luminosity of the event. Therefore, to support the HST work, we are requesting up to 2 ToO triggers during semester 2009A, where we will monitor the SNe in BVRI with ANDICAM on the CTIO SMARTS 1.3-m at a cadence of every \lesssim3 days for \gtrsim100 days.


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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