NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2012A-0473

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Proposal Information for 2012A-0473


PI: Adam A. Miller, UC Berkeley, amiller@astro.berkeley.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, B-20 Hearst Field Annex Astronomy Department, Berkeley, CA 94720-3411, USA

CoI: Joseph Richards, UC Berkeley
CoI: Sharmodeep Bhattacharyya, UC Berkeley
CoI: Dan Starr, UC Berkeley
CoI: Joshua Bloom, UC Berkeley

Title: The Automated Detection of R Cor Bor Stars - Spectroscopic Confirmation

Abstract: In this era of synoptic optical surveys, large volumes of time series data require efficient algorithms to successfully maximize scientific output. To this end we have developed machine-learning (ML) algorithms to identify rare variable sources from large photometric datasets. In this proposal we focus on our discovery of R Coronae Borealis (RCB) stars observed during the All Sky Automated Survey. RCB stars are very rare hydrogen deficient supergiants that exhibit irregular declines of several magnitudes in their optical brightness; this is thought to be related to the formation of dust grains in outflowing material from these stars. They are believed to be formed via one of two scenarios: the merger of two white dwarfs or in association with the final He shell flash of a low mass star. In either scenario, RCB stars are of great (and growing) interest because they represent a short lived, but important, stage in stellar evolution. Using our ML algorithms we have identified 10 RCB candidates, for which we propose to obtain low resolution spectra to confirm or deny the identity of these candidates as RCB stars.


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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