NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010B-0200

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Proposal Information for 2010B-0200


PI: Mark Sullivan, University of Oxford, sullivan@astro.ox.ac.uk
Address: Department of Physics, Astrophysics, Nuclear and Astrophysics Laboratory, Keble Road, Oxford, OX1 3RH, United Kingdom

CoI: D. Andrew Howell, Las Cumbres Observatory / UC Santa Barbara
CoI: Peter Nugent, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
CoI: Isobel Hook, University of Oxford
CoI: Sarah Blake, University of Oxford

Title: The Host Galaxies of Local PTF Type Ia Supernovae

Abstract: The recent discovery of correlations between Type Ia Supernova (SN Ia) peak luminosity and the parameters defining their host galaxy stellar populations has important implications for their use as standardised candles. Using new samples of low-redshift SNe Ia located with the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF), a rolling transient search in the local universe, we propose a comprehensive campaign to study in detail the host galaxies in which SNe Ia explode. We aim to establish which physical variable (metallicity or age) primarily drives the SN Ia luminosity variations using high signal-to-noise spectroscopy of their environments. These data will also improve the derivation of SN Ia "delay-time" distributions, and place tighter constraints on the nature of their progenitor systems. Evolution in SN Ia properties is now the largest single systematic in SN Ia cosmology, and detailed study of their environments provides a realistic opportunity to improve their use for studying dark energy.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010B-0200

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