NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010B-0529

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Proposal Information for 2010B-0529


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

CoI: Carles Badenes, Weizmann Institute of Science
CoI: Stephane Blondin, Centre de Physique des Particules de Marseille
CoI: Peter Challis, Harvard/CfA
CoI: Alejandro Clocchiatti, PUC
CoI: Alex Filippenko, UC Berkeley
CoI: Ryan Foley, Harvard/CfA
CoI: Mark E. Huber, JHU
CoI: Thomas Matheson, NOAO
CoI: Paolo Mazzali, MPIA
CoI: Knut Olsen, NOAO
CoI: Daniel Sauer, Stockholm University
CoI: Brendan Sinnott, McMaster University
CoI: R. Chris Smith, NOAO/CTIO
CoI: Nicholas Suntzeff, Texas A&M
CoI: Doug Welch, McMaster University
CoI: Marcel Bergmann

Title: Echoes of Historical Supernovae in the Milky Way Galaxy

Abstract: We propose to discover the first light echoes (LEs) associated with the historical Galactic supernovae SN 1181 (3C 58) and SN 1054 (Crab), and to locate additional LE complexes from SN 1680 (Cas A) and SN 1572 (Tycho). Using other facilities, we will obtain spectra of the LEs to determine the nature and properties of these important events. This is a continuation of a previously approved NOAO program to obtain images of regions of significant dust concentration near these Galactic supernova remnants. With data from previous semesters, we found LEs from the Cas A and Tycho supernovae \citeRest08b. We then used the rich set of LEs from Cas A to examine the Cas A SN from different viewing angles \citeRest10_casaspec, Rest10_leprofile, finding that in one direction the \ionHe1 (lambda) 5876 and H(alpha) features are blue-shifted by an additional \about 4000 km/s relative to the other directions \citeRest10_casaspec, which is direct evidence that the SN was asymmetric. The study of scattered-light echoes from Galactic supernovae provides a host of newly-recognized observational benefits which have only just begun to be exploited including (1) a direct comparison of a supernova and its remnant, (2) a three-dimensional view of a supernova, and (3) a Galactic network of absolute distance differences.


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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