NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014A-0183

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Proposal Information for 2014A-0183


PI: David Sand, Texas Tech University, david.sand@ttu.edu
Address: Department of Physics, Box 40151, Lubbock, TX, 79409-1051, USA

CoI: Stefano Valenti, LCOGT/UC Santa Barbara
CoI: Andy Howell, LCOGT/UC Santa Barbara
CoI: Melissa Graham, UC Berkeley
CoI: Jerod Parrent, LCOGT/Dartmouth College

Title: Constraining Type Ia Supernova Physics with Near-Infrared Spectroscopy

Abstract: Despite their success as standardizable candles, relatively little is known about the exact progenitor(s) and explosion physics of type Ia supernovae -- a potential source of systematic uncertainty for future dark energy surveys, and a hole in our knowledge about stellar end-states. One promising route forward is the combination of dense optical time series and near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopic data sets. Recent work has suggested that the NIR can discern unburned carbon from the progenitor white dwarf more cleanly than in the optical, and its unique access to relatively unblended magnesium lines also probes the inner edge of carbon burning. Both measures provide a direct constraint for SN Ia explosion models, but only a handful of appropriate NIR spectroscopic time series exist. We propose to continue our campaign to roughly double the sample of SN Ia with such data (leveraging our access to a worldwide network of 1m imaging telescopes and twin robotic optical spectrographs) in order to begin to tackle our understanding of NIR spectral diagnostics and how they vary from supernova to supernova. Note that we were allocated time with Gemini South Flamingos-2 in 2013B, but have not triggered any ToO time yet, partially due to the persistent alignment issues with the On-Instrument Wave Front Sensor.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014A-0183

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