NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2012B-0497

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Proposal Information for 2012B-0497


PI: D. Andrew Howell, Las Cumbres Observatory / UC Santa Barbara, ahowell@lcogt.net
Address: 6740 Cortona Dr., Santa Barbara, CA 93117, USA

CoI: Mark Sullivan, University of Oxford
CoI: Kate Maguire, University of Oxford
CoI: Jerod Parrent, Las Cumbres Observatory / Dartmouth
CoI: Peter Nugent, LBNL / UC Berkely
CoI: Richard Ellis, Caltech Astronomy
CoI: Benjamin Dilday, Las Cumbres Observatory / UC Santa Barbara
CoI: Melissa Graham, Las Cumbres Observatory / UC Santa Barbara
CoI: Isobel Hook, University of Oxford

Title: Early-time observations of Type Ia supernovae to reveal progenitors and metallicity

Abstract: SNe Ia remain nature's best standardized candles, and yet their progenitors have long been a mystery. However, it is now clear that there is a multiplicity of SN Ia progenitors. Recent findings that SNe Ia correct to different absolute magnitudes in different mass galaxies may be related to differing progenitors, and/or progenitor metallicity. With this proposal we will obtrain early GMOS spectroscopy of SNe a few days after explosion with three main goals: (1) to trigger our proposed HST Cycle 20 STIS observations probing early UV spectra and thus metallicity, (2) trigger our high resolution spectroscopy time on Keck HIRES and VLT X-shooter to search for circumstellar material indicative of a single degenerate origin, (3) build the first well-controlled sample studying unburned progenitor carbon in SNe Ia, testing whether this traces white dwarf mergers or explosion physics. Our results depend on early-time observations for which the queue-scheduled Gemini is uniquely suited.


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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