NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0546

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Proposal Information for 2011A-0546


PI: Maryam Modjaz, Columbia University, mmodjaz@columbia.astro.edu
Address: Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory, 550 West 120th Street, Mail Code 5247, NYC, NY 10027, United States

CoI: Avishay Gal-Yam, Weizmann Institute of Science
CoI: Iair Arcavi, Weizmann Institute of Science

Title: Host Galaxy Spectra of Stripped SN from the Palomar Transient Factory: SN Progenitor Diagnostics and the SN-GRB Connection

Abstract: Stripped core-collapse supernovae (Stripped SN) are powerful cosmic engines that energize and enrich the ISM and that sometimes accompany GRBs, but the exact mass and metallicity range of their massive progenitors is not known, nor the detailed physics of the explosion. With the harvest of 50 stripped SN from the innovative survey Palomar Transient Factory, we propose to conduct the first uniform and statistically significant study with SN from the same homogeneous and galaxy-unbiased survey in order to determine the environmental conditions that influence the various kinds of massive stellar deaths. By obtaining spectra of the immediate host environments of our sample of stripped SN, we will (1) measure local abundances in order to differentiate between the two progenitor scenarios for stripped SN and (2) derive stellar population ages, masses and star formation histories via detailed stellar population synthesis models. Moreover, we will test if natal chemical abundance has effects on basic SN characteristics, such as peak luminosity. Any observed trends will have ramifications on SN and GRB explosion models and imply important demographic SN considerations. Our dataset will provide a crucial complimentary set to host galaxy studies of long-duration GRBs and pave the way for host studies of transients and SN found via upcoming surveys such as LSST.


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