NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009B-0528

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Proposal Information for 2009B-0528


PI: Armin Rest, Harvard University, arest@physics.harvard.edu
Address: Department of Physics, 17A Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

CoI: Marcel Bergmann, Phoenix, AZ
CoI: Doug Welch, McMaster University
CoI: Andy Becker, University of Washington
CoI: Stephane Blondin, Harvard University
CoI: Peter Challis, Harvard University
CoI: Alejandro Clocchiati, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
CoI: Kem Cook, NOAO and LLNL
CoI: Guillermo Damke, Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory
CoI: Ryan Foley, UC Berkeley (Astronomy)
CoI: Arti Garg, Harvard University
CoI: Mark E. Huber, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
CoI: Tom Matheson, NOAO
CoI: Dante Minniti, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
CoI: Knut Olsen, NOAO
CoI: Jose Luis Prieto, Ohio State University
CoI: Brendan Sinnott, McMaster University
CoI: R. Chris Smith, Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory
CoI: Nicholas Suntzeff, Texas A&M University
CoI: Michael Wood-Vasey, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Title: Echoes of Historic Milky Way Supernovae: Spectroscopy of the Cas A, Tycho, 3C 58, and Crab SNe at Maximum Light.

Abstract: Our group has embarked on an imaging and spectroscopic survey to find and track light echoes of the original light from Galactic Supernovae, and we have already found several associated with the Tycho supernova of 1572 and Cas A Supernova of 1680. Our survey continues in 2009B with four Northern supernovae to be imaged with the KPNO 4m/MOSAIC camera. Here we propose Gemini/GMOS-N spectroscopic follow-up of the brightest echoes found. These echoes are moving with an apparent motion of 30"/year, with knots of reflected light brightening and fading on monthly timescales, so they need to be treated as Targets of Opportunity. Since the SN light is reflected without thermal reprocessing, spectroscopy of the echoes reveals the mean SN spectrum around maximum luminosity, which we will use to determine the SN type and sub-type. We will also investigate whether we can find signs of asymmetry in the SN explosions by comparing the spectra of a single SN observed from different angles, as viewed from the locations of the dust clouds causing the echoes.


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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