NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010B-0374

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Proposal Information for 2010B-0374


PI: Arlin Crotts, Columbia University, arlin@astro.columbia.edu
Address: Department of Astronomy, 550 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027, U.S.A.

Title: The Echo from Supernova 1987A

Abstract: We propose to continue a series of observations that for the past 20 years have yielded most of the results concerning the light echoes from SN 1987A, both on interstellar and circumstellar scales. These observations have been conducted every month or two, primarily on the Las Campanas 1-meter. We now propose to continue a series of new discoveries; among these we anticipate: 1) mapping of the detailed three-dimensional structure of a large supershell around a massive OB association near 30 Doradus, 2) a determination of where dense dust globules, perhaps the sites of incipient star formation, rest in relation to the large-scale shocks which likely produce them, 3) completion of the three-dimensional map of SN 1987A's circumstellar nebula, 4) help in using echoes from SN 1987A to establish a geometrically-determined distance to the SN and the LMC, and 5) in connection with Galex, a measurement of the vacuum-UV flux emitted by the SN explosion during its first hours, missed in 1987. These results will involve our demonstrated techniques in using echoes to extract the echoes from brighter, constant-flux environments. While we will make use of the recent SuperMACHO data of the same field, these data will in several ways be preferable.


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