NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016A-0191

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Program Information for 2016A-0191


PI: Armin Rest, STScI, arest@stsci.edu
Address: 3700 San Martin Dr., Baltimore 21218 USA

CoI: Alejandro Clocchiatti, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
CoI: David James, CTIO
CoI: Steven Margheim, Gemini Observatory
CoI: Thomas Matheson, NOAO
CoI: Doug Welch, McMaster U.
CoI: Alfredo Zenteno, NOAO

Title: Photometric Time Series of Carinae's Great Eruption

Abstract: $eta$~Car serves as our most important template for understanding non-SN transients from massive stars in external galaxies. However, until recently, no spectra were available because its historic ``Great Eruption'' (GE) occurred from 1838-1858, before the invention of the astronomical spectrograph, and only visual estimates of its brightness were recorded cite{SF11}. Now we can also obtain a spectrophotometric sequence of the eruption through its light echoes we discovered. Our initial spectroscopic follow-up revealed that its outburst contradicted tradiational expectations for LBV eruptions cite{Rest12_eta}. Differences between the GE and the extragalactic transients presumed to be its analogues raise questions about traditional scenarios for the outburst. We propose to obtain a photometric time series of the GE from multiple directions, allowing the original eruption of $eta$~Car to be studied as a function of time as well as latitude, something only possible with light echoes. The unique detailed photometric study of the light echoes of $eta$~Car from this proposal, in addition to the companion spectroscopic study proposed in our other proposal, will enable us to understand (episodic) mass-loss in the most massive evolved stars and their connection to the most energetic core-collapse SNe.

Program Type: Standard/Galactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2016A):  CT-4m/DECam -- 1n on Feb 24 2016, Mar 07 2016
Run 2 (2016A):  CT-4m/DECam -- 3n on Apr 22 2016, May 23 2016, Jun 25 - Jun 26 2016, Jul 07 - Jul 08 2016


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016A-0191

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