Supernova updates

Hello from the William Herschel Telescope, where I’m observing some of those lovely supernova candidates that have been pouring out of The Supernova Zoo lately.

It’s been a while since our last update. We’ve been running supernova zoo in a very serious way now for several months, and, after ironing out a few little bugs and adding some improvements, the zoo is making a massive contribution to the supernova identification effort in The Palomar Transient Factory. The zoo has already classified some 20,000 supernova candidates, usually several hundred every day; it’s a fabulous effort. You’ve classified every supernova candidate that we’ve put in the zoo!

We also hope that you’re beginning to see feedback on the supernova candidates that you spend your time classifying (at least the better ones!). From this current observing run I’ve been adding comments as I classify the events that you’ve highlighted, so you might see them appearing in your “MySN” area (of course, the more you classify, the more likely this is to happen!).

Here are some of your nice recent finds, all Type Ia Supernovae.

This one seems to live in a galaxy located in a cluster of galaxies:
A type Ia supernova at a redshift of 0.10

This is one in a nearby NGC galaxy – the SN is located directly in one of the spiral arms.
A type Ia supernova in a nearby NGC galaxy

And this one is also in a spiral galaxy – but one that is more edge on:
A type ia supernova at z=0.05

We’re currently preparing a scientific publication that will detail supernova zoo and how it works – and we also have plans to add a new survey to give you even more supernova to play with. So stay tuned!

OK, my exposure has just finished, so I’ll sign off here and go and see what the latest supernova candidate turned out to be!

— Mark

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2 responses to “Supernova updates”

  1. Steven says :

    Thanks for the update Mark. It’s wonderful that the Supernova Zoo is working so well!

  2. Graham Dungworth says :

    I much appreciate the post Mark.
    Technically, and apologies for the cryptic
    I would have got the last two. However, for the first I would have classified it-
    Yes , Yes, No- distorted OR
    Yes, No- bad adjacent pixels
    The more verified finds we see the better our classifications will become.

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