NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010B-0571

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Proposal Information for 2010B-0571


PI: Robert Quimby, Caltech, quimby@astro.caltech.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, 1200 E. California Blvd. MC 149-17, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

Title: The Decline of Luminous Supernovae

Abstract: A new class of stellar outbursts dwarfing the most powerful supernovae observed in the past century has recently been uncovered by wide field optical imaging surveys. With peak luminosities in excess of 10^44 erg s^-1 and total radiative outputs greater than 10^51 erg, these events push the limits of conventional supernova explosion theory. One possibility is that these luminous supernovae (LSNe) are triggered by the electron-positron pair instability, and they may thus represent local analogs of the first stellar explosions to shape the universe. Another is that an additional source of power, such as that provided by spin-down of a nascent magnetar, adds energy into the ejecta after the initial supernova explosion. Here we propose to monitor the late-time decline of three LSNe to test the predictions of these models.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010B-0571

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