NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014B-0142

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Proposal Information for 2014B-0142


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, Harvard University

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. During our 2014A time thus far, we have been intensely following the nearest SN Ia in a generation -- SN 2014J -- and have already submitted our initial results.


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