Adam G. Riess

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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Publications (239)1142.24 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Seitenzahl et al. (2009) have predicted that $\sim 3$ years after its explosion, the light we receive from a Type Ia supernova will come mostly from reprocessing of electrons and X-rays emitted by the radioactive decay chain $^{57}{\rm Co}~\to~^{57}{\rm Fe}$, instead of positrons from the decay chain $^{56}{\rm Co}~\to~^{56}{\rm Fe}$ that dominates the supernova light at earlier times. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, we followed the light curve of the Type Ia supernova SN2012cg out to $1055$ days after maximum light. Our measurements are consistent with the light curves predicted by the contribution of energy from the reprocessing of electrons and X-rays emitted by the decay of $^{57}$Co. This provides conclusive evidence that $^{57}$Co is produced in Type Ia supernova explosions. The ratio of luminosities produced by the decays of $^{57}$Co and $^{56}$Co, a strong constraint on any Type Ia supernova explosion model, is in the range $(0.4$ - $8.5)\times10^{-3}$.
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    ABSTRACT: We present the GALEX detection of a UV burst at the time of explosion of an optically normal Type II-P supernova (PS1-13arp) from the Pan-STARRS1 survey at z=0.1665. The temperature and luminosity of the UV burst match the theoretical predictions for shock breakout in a red supergiant, but with a duration a factor of ~50 longer than expected. We compare the $NUV$ light curve of PS1-13arp to previous GALEX detections of Type IIP SNe, and find clear distinctions that indicate that the UV emission is powered by shock breakout, and not by the subsequent cooling envelope emission previously detected in these systems. We interpret the ~ 1 d duration of the UV signal with a shock breakout in the wind of a red supergiant with a pre-explosion mass-loss rate of ~ 10^-3 Msun yr^-1. This mass-loss rate is enough to prolong the duration of the shock breakout signal, but not enough to produce an excess in the optical plateau light curve or narrow emission lines powered by circumstellar interaction. This detection of non-standard, potentially episodic high mass-loss in a RSG SN progenitor has favorable consequences for the prospects of future wide-field UV surveys to detect shock breakout directly in these systems, and provide a sensitive probe of the pre-explosion conditions of SN progenitors.
    The Astrophysical Journal 02/2015; 804(1). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/804/1/28 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a novel method for the light-curve characterization of Pan-STARRS1 Medium Deep Survey (PS1 MDS) extragalactic sources into stochastic variables (SV) and burst-like (BL) transients, using multi-band image-differencing time-series data. We select detections in difference images associated with galaxy hosts using a star/galaxy catalog extracted from the deep PS1 MDS stacked images, and adopt a maximum a posteriori formulation to model their difference-flux time-series in four Pan-STARRS1 photometric bands g,r,i, and z. We use three deterministic light-curve models to fit burst-like transients and one stochastic light curve model, the Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process, in order to fit variability that is characteristic of active galactic nuclei (AGN). We assess the quality of fit of the models band-wise source-wise, using their estimated leave-out-one cross-validation likelihoods and corrected Akaike information criteria. We then apply a K-means clustering algorithm on these statistics, to determine the source classification in each band. The final source classification is derived as a combination of the individual filter classifications. We use our clustering method to characterize 4361 extragalactic image difference detected sources in the first 2.5 years of the PS1 MDS, into 1529 BL, and 2262 SV, with a purity of 95.00% for AGN, and 90.97% for SN based on our verification sets. We combine our light-curve classifications with their nuclear or off-nuclear host galaxy offsets, to define a robust photometric sample of 1233 active galactic nuclei and 812 supernovae. We use these samples to identify simple photometric priors that would enable their real-time identification in future wide-field synoptic surveys.
    The Astrophysical Journal 01/2015; 802(1). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/802/1/27 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We identify and phase a sample of 81 Cepheids in the maser-host galaxy NGC 4258 using the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT), and obtain calibrated mean magnitudes in up to 4 filters for a subset of 43 Cepheids using archival HST data. We employ 3 models to study the systematic effects of extinction, the assumed extinction law, and metallicity on the Cepheid distance to NGC 4258. We find a correction to the Cepheid colors consistent with a grayer extinction law in NGC 4258 compared to the Milky Way ($R_V =4.9$), although we believe this is indicative of other systematic effects. If we combine our Cepheid sample with previously known Cepheids, we find a significant metallicity adjustment to the distance modulus of $\gamma_1 = -0.60 \pm 0.21$ mag/dex, for the Zaritsky et al. (1994) metallicity scale, as well as a weak trend of Cepheid colors with metallicity. Conclusions about the absolute effect of metallicity on Cepheid mean magnitudes appear to be limited by the available data on the metallicity gradient in NGC 4258, but our Cepheid data require at least some metallicity adjustment to make the Cepheid distance consistent with independent distances to the LMC and NGC 4258. From our ensemble of models and the geometric maser distance of NGC 4258 ($\mu_{N4258} = 29.40 \pm 0.06$ mag), we estimate $\mu_{LMC} = 18.57 \pm 0.14$ mag ($51.82 \pm 3.23$ kpc).
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    ABSTRACT: We report the discovery of the first multiply-imaged gravitationally-lensed supernova. The four images form an Einstein cross with over 2" diameter around a z=0.544 elliptical galaxy that is a member of the cluster MACSJ1149.6+2223. The supernova appeared in Hubble Space Telescope exposures taken on 3-20 November 2014 UT, as part of the Grism Lens-Amplified Survey from Space. The images of the supernova coincide with the strongly lensed arm of a spiral galaxy at z=1.491, which is itself multiply imaged by the cluster potential. A measurement of the time delays between the multiple images and their magnification will provide new unprecedented constraints on the distribution of luminous and dark matter in the lensing galaxy and in the cluster, as well as on the cosmic expansion rate.
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    ABSTRACT: We present the discovery of a light echo from SN 2007af, a normal Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) in NGC 5584. Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images taken three years post explosion reveal two separate echoes; an outer echo and extended central region, which we propose as an unresolved inner echo. Multiple images were obtained in the F160W, F350LP, F555W, and F814W using the Wide Field Camera 3. If the outer echo is produced by an interstellar dust sheet perpendicular to the line of sight, it is located ~800 pc in front of the SN. The dust for the inner echo is 0.45 pc < d < 90 pc away from the SN. The inner echo color is consistent with typical interstellar dust wavelength-dependent scattering cross-sections, while the outer echo color does not match the predictions. Both dust sheets, if in the foreground, are optically thin for scattering, with the outer echo sheet thickness consistent with the inferred extinction from peak brightness. Whether the inner echo is from interstellar or circumstellar dust is ambiguous. Overall, the echo characteristics are quite similar to previously observed SN Ia echoes.
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    ABSTRACT: Type Iax supernovae are stellar explosions that are spectroscopically similar to some type Ia supernovae at the time of maximum light emission, except with lower ejecta velocities. They are also distinguished by lower luminosities. At late times, their spectroscopic properties diverge from those of other supernovae, but their composition (dominated by iron-group and intermediate-mass elements) suggests a physical connection to normal type Ia supernovae. Supernovae of type Iax are not rare; they occur at a rate between 5 and 30 per cent of the normal type Ia rate. The leading models for type Iax supernovae are thermonuclear explosions of accreting carbon-oxygen white dwarfs that do not completely unbind the star, implying that they are 'less successful' versions of normal type Ia supernovae, where complete stellar disruption is observed. Here we report the detection of the luminous, blue progenitor system of the type Iax SN 2012Z in deep pre-explosion imaging. The progenitor system's luminosity, colours, environment and similarity to the progenitor of the Galactic helium nova V445 Puppis suggest that SN 2012Z was the explosion of a white dwarf accreting material from a helium-star companion. Observations over the next few years, after SN 2012Z has faded, will either confirm this hypothesis or perhaps show that this supernova was actually the explosive death of a massive star.
    Nature 08/2014; 512(7512):54-6. DOI:10.1038/nature13615 · 42.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Establishing improved spectrophotometric standards is important for a broad range of missions and is relevant to many astrophysical problems. ACCESS, Absolute Color Calibration Experiment for Standard Stars", is a series of rocket-borne sub-orbital missions and ground-based experiments designed to enable improvements in the precision of the astrophysical flux scale through the transfer of absolute laboratory detector standards from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to a network of stellar standards with a calibration accuracy of 1% and a spectral resolving power of 500 across the 0.35 - 1.7μm bandpass. This paper describes the payload status, sub-system testing, and data transfer for the ACCESS instrument.
    SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation; 08/2014
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    ABSTRACT: Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) is the most used instrument on board the Hubble Space Telescope. Providing a broad range of high quality imaging capabilities from 200 to 1700mn using Silicon CCD and HgCdTe IR detectors, WFC3 is fulfilling both our expectations and its formal requirements. With the re-establishment of the observatory level "spatial scan" capability, we have extended the scientific potential ofWFC3 in multiple directions. These controlled scans, often in combination with low resolution slit-less spectroscopy, enable extremely high precision differential photometric measurements of transiting exo-planets and direct measurement of sources considerably brighter than originally anticipated. In addition, long scans permit the measurement of the separation of star images to accuracies approaching 25 micro-arc seconds (a factor of 10 better than prior FGS or imaging measurements) enables direct parallax observations out to 4 kilo-parsecs. In addition, we have employed this spatial scan capability to both assess and improve the mid­ spatial frequency flat field calibrations. WFC3 uses a Teledyne HgCdTe 1014xl014 pixel Hawaii-lR infrared detector array developed for this mission. One aspect of this detector with implications for many types of science observations is the localized trapping of charge. This manifests itself as both image persistence lasting several hours and as an apparent response variation with photon arrival rate over a large dynamic range. Beyond a generally adopted observing strategy of obtaining multiple observations with small spatial offsets, we have developed a multi-parameter model that accounts for source flux, accumulated signal level, and decay time to predict image persistence at the pixel level. Using a running window through the entirety of the acquired data, we now provide observers with predictions for each individual exposure within several days of its acquisition. Ongoing characterization of the sources on infrared background and the causes of its temporal and spatial variation has led to the appreciation of the impact of He I 1.083 micron emission from the earth's atmosphere. This adds a significant and variable background to the two filters and two grisms which include this spectral feature when the HST spacecraft is outside of the earth's shadow. After nearly five years in orbit, long term trending of the scientific and engineering behavior of WFC3 demonstrates excellent stability other than the expected decline in CCD charge transfer efficiency. Addition of post-flash signal to images is shown to markedly improve the transfer efficiency for low level signals. Combined with a pixel based correction algorithm developed at STScl, CCD performance is stabilized at levels only slightly degraded from its initial values.
    SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation; 08/2014
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    ABSTRACT: In the past decade, several rapidly-evolving transients have been discovered whose timescales and luminosities are not easily explained by traditional supernovae (SN) models. The sample size of these objects has remained small due, at least in part, to the challenge of detecting short timescale transients with traditional survey cadences. Here we present the results from a search within the Pan-STARRS1 Medium Deep Survey (PS1-MDS) for rapidly-evolving and luminous transients. We identify 10 new transients with a time above half-maximum of less than 12 days and -16.5 > M > -20 mag. This increases the number of known events in this region of SN phase space by roughly a factor of three. The median redshift of the PS1-MDS sample is z=0.275 and they all exploded in star forming galaxies. In general, the transients possess faster rise than decline timescale and blue colors at maximum light (g - r < -0.2). Best fit blackbodies reveal photospheric temperatures/radii that expand/cool with time and explosion spectra taken near maximum light are dominated by a blue continuum, consistent with a hot, optically thick, ejecta. We find it difficult to reconcile the short timescale, high peak luminosity (L > 10^43 erg/s), and lack of UV line blanketing observed in many of these transients with an explosion powered mainly by the radioactive decay of Ni-56. Rather, we find that many are consistent with either (1) cooling envelope emission from the explosion of a star with a low-mass extended envelope which ejected very little (<0.03 M_sun) radioactive material, or (2) a shock breakout within a dense, optically thick, wind surrounding the progenitor star. After calculating the detection efficiency for objects with rapid timescales in the PS1-MDS we find a volumetric rate of 3000 - 5500 events/yr/Gpc^3 (1-6% of the core-collapse SN rate at z=0.2).
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    ABSTRACT: The Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS) was a multi-cycle treasury program on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) that surveyed a total area of ~0.25 deg^2 with ~900 HST orbits spread across 5 fields over 3 years. Within these survey images we discovered 65 supernovae (SN) of all types, out to z~2.5. We classify ~24 of these as Type Ia SN (SN Ia) based on host galaxy redshifts and SN photometry (supplemented by grism spectroscopy of 6 SN). Here we present a measurement of the volumetric SN Ia rate as a function of redshift, reaching for the first time beyond z=2 and putting new constraints on SN Ia progenitor models. Our highest redshift bin includes detections of SN that exploded when the universe was only ~3 Gyr old and near the peak of the cosmic star formation history. This gives the CANDELS high redshift sample unique leverage for evaluating the fraction of SN Ia that explode promptly after formation (<500 Myr). Combining the CANDELS rates with all available SN Ia rate measurements in the literature we find that this prompt SNIa fraction is f=0.48 +0.08 -0.09 (stat) +0.04 -0.13 (syst), consistent with a delay time distribution that follows a simple t^{-1} power law for all times t>40 Myr. However, a mild tension is apparent between ground-based low-z surveys and space-based high-z surveys. When the rate measurements from HST surveys are examined in isolation, the rarity of SN Ia detections at z>1.5 hints that prompt progenitors in the early universe may in fact be relatively rare, accounting for as little as ~5% of all SN Ia explosions - though further analysis and larger samples will be needed to examine that suggestion.
    The Astronomical Journal 01/2014; 148(1). DOI:10.1088/0004-6256/148/1/13 · 4.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present cosmological constraints from a joint analysis of type Ia supernova (SN Ia) observations obtained by the SDSS-II and SNLS collaborations. The data set includes several low-redshift samples (z<0.1), all 3 seasons from the SDSS-II (0.05 < z < 0.4), and 3 years from SNLS (0.2 <z < 1) and totals \ntotc spectroscopically confirmed type Ia supernovae with high quality light curves. We have followed the methods and assumptions of the SNLS 3-year data analysis except for the following important improvements: 1) the addition of the full SDSS-II spectroscopically-confirmed SN Ia sample in both the training of the SALT2 light curve model and in the Hubble diagram analysis (\nsdssc SNe), 2) inter-calibration of the SNLS and SDSS surveys and reduced systematic uncertainties in the photometric calibration, performed blindly with respect to the cosmology analysis, and 3) a thorough investigation of systematic errors associated with the SALT2 modeling of SN Ia light-curves. We produce recalibrated SN Ia light-curves and associated distances for the SDSS-II and SNLS samples. The large SDSS-II sample provides an effective, independent, low-z anchor for the Hubble diagram and reduces the systematic error from calibration systematics in the low-z SN sample. For a flat LCDM cosmology we find Omega_m=0.295+-0.034 (stat+sys), a value consistent with the most recent CMB measurement from the Planck and WMAP experiments. Our result is 1.8sigma (stat+sys) different than the previously published result of SNLS 3-year data. The change is due primarily to improvements in the SNLS photometric calibration. When combined with CMB constraints, we measure a constant dark-energy equation of state parameter w=-1.018+-0.057 (stat+sys) for a flat universe. Adding BAO distance measurements gives similar constraints: w=-1.027+-0.055.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 01/2014; 568. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201423413 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We use a newly developed observing mode on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), spatial scanning, to increase source sampling a thousand-fold and measure changes in source positions to a precision of 20--40 microarcseconds, more than an order of magnitude better than attainable in pointed observations. This observing mode can usefully measure the parallaxes of bright stars at distances of up to 5 kpc, a factor of ten farther than achieved thus far with HST. Long-period classical Cepheid variable stars in the Milky Way, nearly all of which reside beyond 1 kpc, are especially compelling targets for parallax measurements from scanning, as they may be used to anchor a determination of the Hubble constant to ~1%. We illustrate the method by measuring to high precision the parallax of a classical Cepheid, SY Aurigae, at a distance of more than 2 kpc, using 5 epochs of spatial-scan data obtained at intervals of 6 months. Rapid spatial scans also enable photometric measurements of bright Milky Way Cepheids---which would otherwise saturate even in the shortest possible pointed observations---on the same flux scale as extragalactic Cepheids, which is a necessity for reducing a leading source of systematic error in the Hubble constant. We demonstrate this capability with photometric measurements of SY Aur on the same system used for Cepheids in Type Ia supernova host galaxies. While the technique and results presented here are preliminary, an ongoing program with HST is collecting such parallax measurements for another 18 Cepheids to produce a better anchor for the distance scale.
    The Astrophysical Journal 01/2014; 785(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/785/2/161 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ACCESS, Absolute Color Calibration Experiment for Standard Stars, is a series of rocket-borne sub-orbital missions and ground-based experiments that will enable improvements in the precision of the astrophysical flux scale through the transfer of absolute laboratory detector standards from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to a network of stellar standards with a calibration accuracy of 1% and a spectral resolving power of 500 across the 0.35 to 1.7 micron bandpass (companion poster, Kaiser et al.). The flight detector and detector spare have been selected and integrated with their electronics and flight mount. The controller electronics have been flight qualified. Vibration testing to launch loads and thermal vacuum testing of the detector, mount, and housing have been successfully performed. Further improvements to the flight controller housing have been made. A cryogenic ground test system has been built. Dark current and read noise tests have been performed, yielding results consistent with the initial characterization tests of the detector performed by Goddard Space Flight Center’s Detector Characterization Lab (DCL). Detector control software has been developed and implemented for ground testing. Performance and integration of the detector and controller with the flight software will be presented. NASA APRA sounding rocket grant NNX08AI65G supports this work.
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    ABSTRACT: Systematic errors associated with astrophysical data used to probe fundamental astrophysical questions, such as SNeIa observations used to constrain dark energy theories, are now rivaling and exceeding the statistical errors associated with these measurements. ACCESS: Absolute Color Calibration Experiment for Standard Stars is a series of rocket-borne sub-orbital missions and ground-based experiments designed to enable improvements in the precision of the astrophysical flux scale through the transfer of absolute laboratory detector standards from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to a network of stellar standards with a calibration accuracy of 1% and a spectral resolving power of 500 across the 0.35 ‑ 1.7μm bandpass. Achieving this level of accuracy requires characterization and stability of the instrument and detector including a thermal background that contributes less than 1% to the flux per resolution element in the NIR. We will present the instrument and calibration status with a focus on the thermal mechanical design and associated performance data. The detector control and performance will be presented in a companion poster (Morris, et al). NASA APRA sounding rocket grant NNX08AI65G supports this work.
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    ABSTRACT: We report observations of three gravitationally lensed supernovae (SNe) in the Cluster Lensing And Supernova survey with Hubble (CLASH) Multi-Cycle Treasury program. These objects, SN CLO12Car (z = 1.28), SN CLN12Did (z = 0.85), and SN CLA11Tib (z = 1.14), are located behind three different clusters, MACSJ1720.2+3536 (z = 0.391), RXJ1532.9+3021 (z = 0.345), and Abell 383 (z = 0.187), respectively. Each SN was detected in Hubble Space Telescope (HST) optical and infrared images. Based on photometric classification, we find that SNe CLO12Car and CLN12Did are likely to be Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia), while SN CLA11Tib is probably a core-collapse SN. Using multi-color light-curve fits to determine a standardized SN Ia luminosity distance, we infer that SN CLO12Car was approximately 1.0 +/- 0.2 mag brighter than field SNe Ia at a similar redshift and ascribe this to gravitational lens magnification. Similarly, SN CLN12Did is approximately 0.2 +/- 0.2 mag brighter than field SNe Ia. We derive independent estimates of the predicted magnification from CLASH strong+weak lensing maps of the clusters: 0.83 +/- 0.16 mag for SN CLO12Car, 0.28 +/- 0.08 mag for SN CLN12Did, and 0.43 +/- 0.11 mag for SN CLA11Tib. The two SNe Ia provide a new test of the cluster lens model predictions: we find that the magnifications based on the SN Ia brightness and those predicted by the lens maps are consistent. Our results herald the promise of future observations of samples of cluster-lensed SNe Ia (from the ground or space) to help illuminate the dark-matter distribution in clusters of galaxies, through the direct determination of absolute magnifications.
    The Astrophysical Journal 12/2013; 786(1). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/786/1/9 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Super-luminous supernovae that radiate more than 10(44) ergs per second at their peak luminosity have recently been discovered in faint galaxies at redshifts of 0.1-4. Some evolve slowly, resembling models of 'pair-instability' supernovae. Such models involve stars with original masses 140-260 times that of the Sun that now have carbon-oxygen cores of 65-130 solar masses. In these stars, the photons that prevent gravitational collapse are converted to electron-positron pairs, causing rapid contraction and thermonuclear explosions. Many solar masses of (56)Ni are synthesized; this isotope decays to (56)Fe via (56)Co, powering bright light curves. Such massive progenitors are expected to have formed from metal-poor gas in the early Universe. Recently, supernova 2007bi in a galaxy at redshift 0.127 (about 12 billion years after the Big Bang) with a metallicity one-third that of the Sun was observed to look like a fading pair-instability supernova. Here we report observations of two slow-to-fade super-luminous supernovae that show relatively fast rise times and blue colours, which are incompatible with pair-instability models. Their late-time light-curve and spectral similarities to supernova 2007bi call the nature of that event into question. Our early spectra closely resemble typical fast-declining super-luminous supernovae, which are not powered by radioactivity. Modelling our observations with 10-16 solar masses of magnetar-energized ejecta demonstrates the possibility of a common explosion mechanism. The lack of unambiguous nearby pair-instability events suggests that their local rate of occurrence is less than 6 × 10(-6) times that of the core-collapse rate.
    Nature 10/2013; 502(7471):346-9. DOI:10.1038/nature12569 · 42.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present optical photometric and spectroscopic coverage of the superluminous supernova (SLSN) PS1-11ap, discovered with the Pan-STARRS1 Medium Deep Survey at z = 0.524. This intrinsically blue transient rose slowly to reach a peak magnitude of M_u = -21.4 mag and bolometric luminosity of 8 x 10^43 ergs^-1 before settling onto a relatively shallow gradient of decline. The observed decline is significantly slower than those of the superluminous type Ic SNe which have been the focus of much recent attention. Spectroscopic similarities with the lower redshift SN2007bi and a decline rate similar to 56Co decay timescale initially indicated that this transient could be a candidate for a pair instability supernova (PISN) explosion. Overall the transient appears quite similar to SN2007bi and the lower redshift object PTF12dam. The extensive data set, from 30 days before peak to 230 days after, allows a detailed and quantitative comparison with published models of PISN explosions. We find that the PS1-11ap data do not match these model explosion parameters well, supporting the recent claim that these SNe are not pair instability explosions. We show that PS1-11ap has many features in common with the faster declining superluminous Ic supernovae and the lightcurve evolution can also be quantitatively explained by the magnetar spin down model. At a redshift of z = 0.524 the observer frame optical coverage provides comprehensive restframe UV data and allows us to compare it with the superluminous SNe recently found at high redshifts between z = 2-4. While these high-z explosions are still plausible PISN candidates, they match the photometric evolution of PS1-11ap and hence could be counterparts to this lower redshift transient.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 10/2013; 437(1). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stt1923 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the supernova (SN) sample and Type-Ia SN (SN Ia) rates from the Cluster Lensing And Supernova survey with Hubble (CLASH). Using the Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Wide Field Camera 3 on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), we have imaged 25 galaxy-cluster fields and parallel fields of non-cluster galaxies. We report a sample of 27 SNe discovered in the parallel fields. Of these SNe, ~11 are classified as SN Ia candidates, including four SN Ia candidates at redshifts z > 1.2. We measure volumetric SN Ia rates to redshift 1.8 and add the first upper limit on the SN Ia rate in the range 1.8 < z < 2.4. The results are consistent with the rates measured by the HST/GOODS and Subaru Deep Field SN surveys. We model these results together with previous measurements at z < 1 from the literature. The best-fitting SN Ia delay-time distribution (DTD; the distribution of times that elapse between a short burst of star formation and subsequent SN Ia explosions) is a power law with an index of -1.00 +0.06(0.09) -0.06(0.10) (statistical) +0.12 -0.08 (systematic), where the statistical uncertainty is a result of the 68% and 95% (in parentheses) statistical uncertainties reported for the various SN Ia rates (from this work and from the literature), and the systematic uncertainty reflects the range of possible cosmic star-formation histories. We also test DTD models produced by an assortment of published binary population synthesis (BPS) simulations. The shapes of all BPS double-degenerate DTDs are consistent with the volumetric SN Ia measurements, when the DTD models are scaled up by factors of 3-9. In contrast, all BPS single-degenerate DTDs are ruled out by the measurements at a >99% significance level.
    The Astrophysical Journal 10/2013; 783(1). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/783/1/28 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Establishing improved spectrophotometric standards is important for a broad range of missions and is relevant to many astrophysical problems. ACCESS, “Absolute Color Calibration Experiment for Standard Stars”, is a series of rocket-borne sub-orbital missions and ground-based experiments designed to enable improvements in the precision of the astrophysical flux scale through the transfer of absolute laboratory detector standards from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to a network of stellar standards with a calibration accuracy of 1% and a spectral resolving power of 500 across the 0.35−1.7μm bandpass. Achieving a calibration accuracy of 1% not only requires an accurate calibration transfer from the detector standards to the instrument, but it also requires characterization and stability of the detector as well as a thermal background that contributes less than 1% to the flux per resolution element in the near-infrared (1.7μm) spectral region of the ACCESS bandpass. This paper describes the thermal mechanical design for achieving a low thermal background across the ACCESS spectral bandpass.
    SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications; 09/2013

Publication Stats

16k Citations
1,142.24 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2006–2014
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 1996–2013
    • Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
      • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2012
    • Carnegie Institute
      Pasadena, Texas, United States
  • 2000–2012
    • Space Telescope Science Institute
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2011
    • Carnegie Institution for Science
      Washington, West Virginia, United States
  • 2009–2010
    • University of Chicago
      • Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 1997–2009
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • Department of Astronomy
      Berkeley, CA, United States
    • Union Chimique Belge (UCB)
      Bruxelles, Brussels Capital, Belgium
  • 2004
    • National Optical Astronomy Observatory
      Tucson, Arizona, United States
    • NASA
      Вашингтон, West Virginia, United States