NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014B-0375

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Proposal Information for 2014B-0375


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

CoI: Federica Bianco, NYU
CoI: Ryan Chornock, Harvard/CfA
CoI: Alejandro Clocchiatti, PUC
CoI: Ryan Foley, UIUC
CoI: David James, NOAO/CTIO
CoI: Thomas Matheson, NOAO/CTIO
CoI: Gautham Narayan, NOAO
CoI: Knut Olsen, NOAO
CoI: Sean Points, NOAO/CTIO
CoI: Jose Luis Prieto, Universidad Diego Portales, Chile
CoI: Chris Smith, NOAO/CTIO
CoI: Nathan Smith, Steward Observatory
CoI: Nick Suntzeff, Texas A&M
CoI: Doug Welch, McMaster University
CoI: Alfredo Zenteno, NOAO

Title: Light Echoes of Galactic Explosions and Eruptions

Abstract: We propose to search for light echoes (LEs) from the historical brightening of the Luminous Blue Variable (LBV) P Cygni using the KPNO 4m Mosaic 1.1 imager. We also propose to us DECam to continue our search for LEs from the the Crab supernova SN 1054. In addition, we continue to monitor the LEs from the Cas A and Tycho supernovae in order to identify suitable LE candidates for 3D-spectroscopy and spectral time series. 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]. Our extension of LE techniques to LBV outbursts promises to extend our ability to record outburst activity hundreds of years into the past - a timescale which is likely a significant fraction of the brief final phases of these probable core- collapse supernova precursors.


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