NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2012B-0552

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Proposal Information for 2012B-0552


PI: Mark Sullivan, University of Oxford, sullivan@astro.ox.ac.uk
Address: Department of Physics, Astrophysics, Nuclear and Astrophysics Laboratory, Keble Road, Oxford, OX1 3RH, United Kingdom

CoI: D. Andrew Howell, Las Cumbres Observatory / UC Santa Barbara
CoI: Isobel Hook, University of Oxford
CoI: Yen-Chen Pan, University of Oxford
CoI: Peter Nugent, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
CoI: Kate Maguire, University of Oxford

Title: The host galaxies of local PTF Type Ia supernovae

Abstract: The discovery of correlations between Type Ia Supernova (SN Ia) peak luminosity and the parameters defining their host galaxy stellar populations has important implications for their use as standardised candles. Using new samples of low-redshift SNe Ia located with the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF), a rolling transient search in the local universe, we finish our campaign to study in detail the host galaxies in which SNe Ia explode. We aim to establish which physical variable (metallicity or age) primarily drives the SN Ia luminosity variations using high signal-to-noise spectroscopy of their environments. These data will also place tighter constraints on the nature of their progenitor systems. Evolution in SN Ia properties is now the largest single astrophysical systematic in SN Ia cosmology, with host galaxies playing a critical role in cosmological studies, and detailed study of their environments provides a realistic opportunity to improve their use for studying dark energy. We give a status report on the progress of this program to date, and demonstrate the feasibility of our study using our observations from earlier semesters.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2012B-0552

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