NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2015B-0344

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Program Information for 2015B-0344


PI: Kurtis A Williams, U. of Texas, Austin, kurtis@astro.as.utexas.edu
Address: Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, P.O. Box 3011, Commerce, TX 75429 United States

Title: Too Small To Fail: Using White Dwarfs to Better Constrain the Supernova Mass Limit

Abstract: White dwarfs, as the remnants of the majority of stars, are useful tools for studying stellar evolution and its impact on the surrounding galaxy. In particular, our interests focus on two primary areas: the mass marking the transition between the white dwarf and supernova fates of stars, and the relation between a white dwarf's mass and that of its progenitor star, the initial-final mass relation. This work is best done by studying the white dwarf populations of star clusters with ages from $\sim 50-300$ Myr, and these issues have been studied by us and others in some detail over the past decade, but our precision is limited by the difficulty of identifying bona-fide cluster member white dwarfs out in a sea of field white dwarfs. We propose to obtain second epoch imaging of a sample of open clusters with Mosaic-1.1 on the Mayall 4-m telescope; the ten year baseline will permit us to identify proper motion membership probabilities for the white dwarfs in this field. We will use this membership information to clean interlopers out of the initial-final mass relation and identify the rare massive WDs that would better constrain the mass limit of supernova progenitors.

Program Type: Standard/Galactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2015B):  KP-4m/MOSA -- 2n on Oct 08 - Oct 09 2015


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



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