University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

MN Institute for Astrophysics Journal Club

Thursday, May 7th 2009
12:00 pm:
Astronomy Journal Club in 435 Physics
Speaker: Alex Filippenko, UC Berkeley
Note change of time, place and speaker from earlier calendar.

The Lick Observatory Supernova Search (LOSS) conducted with the 0.76-m Katzman Automatic Imaging Telescope (KAIT) has been by far the world's most successful search for very nearby supernovae, having discovered over 700 of them during the past decade. The search and its results will be described. LOSS supernova rates as a function of host-galaxy Hubble type will be presented. As an aside, KAIT's utility in rapidly obtaining follow-up observations of the optical afterglows of gamma-ray bursts will also be illustrated. Finally, some follow-up studies of supernovae will be described, concentrating on several objects having massive progenitors. The extremely powerful SN 2006gy is perhaps the first pair-instability SN ever observed and could be a link to the earliest stars. SN 2006jc is a peculiar Type Ib supernova that had a luminous outburst 2 years before explosion and whose progenitor was probably a Wolf-Rayet star.

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