Overview of the Nearby Supernova Factory

Greg Aldering, G. Adam, P. Antilogus, Pierre Astier, R. Bacon, S. Bongard, C. Bonnaud, Y. Copin, Delphine Hardin, Francois Henault, Dale A. Howell, Jean-Pierre Lemonnier (+13 others)
2002 Survey and Other Telescope Technologies and Discoveries  
The Nearby Supernova Factory (SNfactory) is an international experiment designed to lay the foundation for the next generation of cosmology experiments (such as CFHTLS, wP, SNAP and LSST) which will measure the expansion history of the Universe using Type Ia supernovae. The SNfactory will discover and obtain frequent lightcurve spectrophotometry covering 3200-10000Å for roughly 300 Type Ia supernovae at the low-redshift end of the smooth Hubble flow. The quantity, quality, breadth of galactic
more » ... vironments, and homogeneous nature of the SNfactory dataset will make it the premier source of calibration for the Type Ia supernova width-brightness relation and the intrinsic supernova colors used for K-correction and correction for extinction by host-galaxy dust. This dataset will also allow an extensive investigation of additional parameters which possibly influence the quality of Type Ia supernovae as cosmological probes. The SNfactory search capabilities and follow-up instrumentation include wide-field CCD imagers on two 1.2-m telescopes (via collaboration with the Near Earth Asteroid Tracking team at JPL and the QUEST team at Yale), and a two-channel integral-field-unit optical spectrograph/imager being fabricated for the University of Hawaii 2.2-m telescope. In addition to ground-based follow-up, UV spectra for a subsample of these supernovae will be obtained with HST. The pipeline to obtain, transfer via wireless and standard internet, and automatically process the search images is in operation. Software and hardware development is now underway to enable the execution of follow-up spectroscopy of supernova candidates at the Hawaii 2.2-m telescope via automated remote control of the telescope and the IFU spectrograph/imager. SNe Ia remain the most mature cosmological distance indicator, and therefore, offer the best current means of experimentally probing the properties of the dark energy. Their cosmological use was developed in the early 1990's, paving the way for the discovery of dark energy. 1, 4-10 Now similar developmental efforts are needed so that the next order of magnitude improvement of the experimental constraints on the properties of dark energy can be made. Progress must be made on two fronts, at a level which cannot be pursued with existing programs alone. First a large number of nearby SNe must be observed in an appropriate fashion since they provide the fulcrum of the lever-arm needed to make cosmological inferences from high-redshift SNe observations. Furthermore, these SNe provide the critical Correspondence: e-mail galdering@lbl.gov; telephone 510-495-2203
doi:10.1117/12.458107 fatcat:te5bjemyknh6nlch4yjravldke