University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

MN Institute for Astrophysics Colloquium

Friday, March 9th 2018
Speaker: David Sand, U. Arizona
Subject: Unveiling the Physics and Progenitors of Cosmic Explosions with a One Day Cadence Supernova Search

Supernovae (SNe) are a linchpin for understanding the chemical evolution and star formation history of the Universe. Despite progress, some of the most basic questions about SNe persist, and we seek to answer the question: What are the explosion mechanisms and progenitor star systems of SNe? In the early hours to days after explosion, SNe provide clues to how they explode, and what their
progenitor star systems were. Observing these ephemeral signatures requires a fast search cadence and immediate spectroscopic response, a dual feat which has been difficult to achieve. Motivated by the need to discover, and study, SNe within the first day of explosion, we have begun a one-day cadence SN search of nearby galaxies (D<40 Mpc; also known as the DLT40 Survey) with a PROMPT 0.4-m telescope directly tied to the robotic FLOYDS spectrographs, a pair of instruments that I helped to develop. Here I will highlight our team's initial discoveries, with an eye towards what will be achievable with future time domain
surveys -- perhaps including nearly automated follow-up of LSST transients and Advanced LIGO gravitational wave events with the suite of Steward Observatory's small telescopes.

Faculty Host: M. Claudia Scarlata

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