PI: Schuyler D. Van Dyk, Spitzer Science Center/Caltech, firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: 220-6, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
CoI: Nancy Elias-Rosa, Institut de Ciencies de L'Espai (IEEC - CSIC), Spain
Title: Monitoring Core-Collapse Supernovae with Potential Progenitor Identifications
Abstract: Supernovae (SNe) have a profound effect on galaxies. They are clearly very important events deserving of intense study. Yet, even with nearly 5600 publicly announced, low redshift SNe, we know relatively little about the stars which give rise to these powerful explosions. The main limitation has been the lack of spatial resolution in pre-SN imaging data. However, since 1999 our team has been at the vanguard of directly identifying the progenitor stars of core-collapse (CC-) SNe in Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images. From this exciting new line of study, the emerging trend from a growing number of detections for Type II-Plateau SNe is that their progenitors appear to be relatively low mass (8-20 M_\odot) red supergiants, although more cases are needed. The nature of the progenitors of Type Ib/c SNe, a subset of which are associated with the amazing gamma-ray bursts, remains ambiguous. For HST Cycle 19 we have proposed to trigger ToO observations of 4 nearby (within 20 Mpc) CC-SNe, to confirm the identities of their progenitors. It is conceivable that at least half of these will be discovered in the southern hemisphere. To fully characterize the progenitor star, we require detailed light curves and spectral evolution for the SNe, starting soon after discovery, to estimate the reddening to the SNe, characterize the overall luminosity and obtain a better understanding of the physics of the event. Therefore, to support the anticipated HST analysis, we are requesting up to 2 nights of ToO triggers with ANDICAM during semester 2011B, during which we will monitor these SNe in BVRI.
National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360