NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013A-0327

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Proposal Information for 2013A-0327


PI: Armin Rest, Space Telescope Science Institute, arest@stsci.edu
Address: 3700 San Martin Dr., Baltimore, MD 21218, USA

CoI: Federica Bianco, LCOGT
CoI: Ryan Chornock, Harvard/CfA
CoI: Ryan Foley, Harvard/CfA
CoI: Thomas Matheson, NOAO
CoI: Knut Olsen, NOAO
CoI: Jose Luis Prieto, Princeton University
CoI: Brendan Sinnott, McMaster University
CoI: Chris Smith, NOAO
CoI: Nathan Smith, Steward Observatory
CoI: Doug Welch, McMaster University

Title: Light Echoes of Galactic Explosions and Eruptions

Abstract: We propose to continue our search for the first light echoes (LEs) associated with historical Galactic supernovae and LBV outbursts: SN 1006, Kepler's SN, RCW 86, Crab Nebula, and P Cygni. In previously granted NOAO time, we have discovered light echoes of three ancient SNe in the LMC as well as from the historic SN events of Cas A and Tycho [2, 3], which allowed their spectroscopic classification [6, 7, 10] and 3D spectroscopy [8, 9]. Most recently, we discovered light echoes of the mid-19th-century Great Eruption of \eta Carinae using CTIO 4m Mosaic images [11]. Subsequent spectroscopic follow-up of Eta Carinae revealed that its outburst spectral type was most similar to those of G-type supergiants, rather than reported LBV outburst spectral types of F-type (or earlier) [11]. We propose to continue our search for light echoes of the remaining historical events. With DECam, we have a 10-15 fold improvement in efficiency over the retired Mosaic camera, which allows us to cover the bigger search areas of most of the remaining targets. The study of scattered-light echoes from these Galactic supernovae and eruptions will give us the opportunity to directly compare the original outburst and its current remnant, and in favorable cases (like Eta Carinae), it provides a three-dimensional view of the event and/or a spectral time series.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013A-0327

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