PI: Armin Rest, STScI, email@example.com
Address: 3700 San Martin Dr., Baltimore, MD 21218 USA
CoI: Jennifer Andrews, U. of Arizona
CoI: Federica Bianco, NYU
CoI: Ryan Chornock, Ohio U.
CoI: Alejandro Clocchiatti, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
CoI: David James, U. of Washington
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
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 outburst 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. Now we can obtain a spectrophotometric sequence of the eruption through its light echoes we discovered. Our initial spectroscopic follow-up revealed that its outburst contradicted traditional expectations for LBV eruptions. 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
Run 1 (2018A): CT-4m/DECam -- 0.5n on May 21 2018
Run 2 (2018A): CT-4m/DECam -- 2n on Jul 14 - Jul 17 2018
National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360