NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0110

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Proposal Information for 2011A-0110


PI: P. Frank Winkler, Middlebury College, winkler@middlebury.edu
Address: Department of Physics, Bicentennial Hall, Middlebury, VT 05753, USA

CoI: Knox S. Long, STScI
CoI: William P. Blair, The Johns Hopkins University
CoI: Probable undergraduate, Middlebury College

Title: Searching for Supernova Remnants in the Most Fertile Galaxy: NGC 6946

Abstract: We propose deep, high-resolution narrow and broadband imaging of NGC 6946, the host to more recorded supernovae (9 in the past century) than any other galaxy. We will (1) expand, perhaps substantially, the list (now numbering only 8) of oxygen-rich remnants where pure ejecta from core-collapse SNe can be studied, (2) obtain a much more complete inventory of all of the optically-detectable SNRs in NGC 6946, and (3) use the new sample to investigate the stellar populations and environments that give rise to supernovae with detectable SNRs. Extrapolating from the past, there should have been ~ 100 core- collapse SNe in NGC 6946 in the last 1000\:yr, many of which likely produced observable remnants that have yet to be found-objects similar to Cas A. We will use data from recent X-ray and radio surveys that have catalogued many dozens of sources to carry out a multi-wavelength analysis of the SNRs in NGC 6946. Finally, we will compare our results in NGC 6946 to M83, where we have used Magellan/IMACS to identify over 30 young SNRs, and to bring the total M83 SNR sample to almost 200. By comparison, NGC 6946 has a mere 27 optical SNRs or candidates. The time is ripe for a new, deeper survey.


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