NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016A-0350

Small NOAO Logo

Program Information for 2016A-0350


PI: Armin Rest, STScI, arest@stsci.edu
Address: 3700 DRIVE, BALTIMORE, MD 21218 USA

CoI: Federica Bianco, NYU
CoI: Ryan Chornock, Ohio U.
CoI: Alejandro Clocchiatti, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
CoI: David James, CTIO
CoI: Steven Margheim, Gemini Observatory
CoI: Thomas Matheson, NOAO
CoI: Jose Luis Prieto, Universidad Diego Portales
CoI: R Chris Smith, CTIO
CoI: Nathan Smith, U. of Arizona
CoI: Nolan Walborn, STScI
CoI: Doug Welch, McMaster U.
CoI: Alfredo Zenteno, CTIO
CoI: Jennifer Andrews, U. of Arizona

Title: Spectrophotometric Time Series of Eta 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 [4]. Now we can also obtain a spectral sequence of the eruption through its light echoes we discovered, which will be of great value since spectra are our most important tool for inferring physical properties of extragalactic transients. Our initial spectroscopic follow-up revealed that its outburst contradicted tradiational expectations for LBV eruptions [5]. 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 spectrophotometric 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. This unique detailed spectroscopic study of the light echoes of Eta Car will help us 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):  GEM-SQ/GMOSS -- 22.6hrs band 1 (GS-2016A-Q-9)


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



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016A-0350

noaoprop-help@noao.edu

Small NOAO Logo