NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2012B-0500

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Proposal Information for 2012B-0500


PI: Michael Wood-Vasey, University of Pittsburgh, wmwv@pitt.edu
Address: Physics Department, 3941 O'Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA

CoI: Peter Garnavich, University of Notre Dame
CoI: Thomas Matheson, NOAO
CoI: Saurabh Jha, Rutgers University
CoI: Armin Rest, Space Telescope Science Institute
CoI: Lori Allen, NOAO
CoI: Anja Weyant, University of Pittsburgh
CoI: Howie Marion, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Title: Type Ia Supernovae in the Near-Infrared: A Three-Year Survey toward a One Percent Distance Measurement with WIYN+WHIRC

Abstract: We propose to observe 144 SNeIa in the near infrared (NIR) with 72 nights of WIYN+WHIRC in the 6 semesters of 2012B-2015A. Our goal is to create an infrared Hubble diagram extending from 0.02<z<0.1 to verify out to cosmological distances recent evidence that SNIa are excellent standard candles in the NIR. Assuming a conservative estimate of the observed intrinsic dispersion in H of 0.15 mag, 144 SNeIa will allow us to make a distance measurement of 1% at 300 Mpc. We will more extensively observe 30 of the nearest SNeIa to obtain detailed late-time light curves to measure SNIa color evolution in the near infrared where dust extinction is significantly reduced. In addition these NIR data will allow us to \bf (1) Explore the recent correlation between optical luminosity and host galaxy mass; \bf (2) Improve our understanding of intrinsic colors of SNeIa; \bf (3) Compare high- resolution NIR spectra and photometry; \bf (4) Study the nature of dust in galaxies beyond our Milky Way. This data set will provide a solid anchor for measuring luminosity distances in the Universe. Survey status will enable the required planning and organization for this large effort to most efficiently obtain the large number of SNeIa necessary for this precision distance measurement and to best coordinate with other complementary observations.


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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