NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010A-0315

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Proposal Information for 2010A-0315


PI: Nancy Elias-Rosa, Spitzer Science Center, nelias@ipac.caltech.edu
Address: Caltech, PO Box 220-6, 1200 E. California Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

CoI: Schuyler D. Van Dyk, Spitzer Science Center/Caltech

Title: Observations of Core-Collapse Supernovae with Candidate Progenitor Identifications.

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 (CC-) SNe 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 (8-20 M_\odot) red supergiants, although more cases are needed. 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) CC-SNe, to determine the identities of the progenitors. It is conceivable that at least half of these will be discovered in the southern hemisphere. To fully characterize the progenitor star, we require detailed light curves and spectral evolution for the SNe, starting soon after discovery, to estimate the reddening to the SNe, characterize the overall luminosity and obtain a better understanding of the physics of the event. Therefore, to support the HST work, we are requesting up to 2 ToO triggers during semester 2010A, where we will monitor the SNe in BVRI with ANDICAM, and the 300 l/mm grating with the Goodman.


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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