NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2018B-0122

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Program Information for 2018B-0122


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, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
CoI: Steven Margheim, Gemini Observatory
CoI: Thomas Matheson, NOAO
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: Long Term/Galactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2019A):  CT-4m/DECam -- 0.5n on Feb 27 2019
Run 2 (2018B):  CT-4m/DECam -- 2.5n on Dec 16 - Dec 17 2018, Dec 30 2018, Jan 30 - Jan 31 2019
Run 2 (2019A):  CT-4m/DECam -- 4n on Feb 01 - Feb 05 2019, Feb 28 2019, Apr 04 2019, Jun 04 2019


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2018B-0122

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