We report on a recently initiated supernova (SN) search program using the McDonald Observatory 0.76m telescope and Prime Focus Camera (PFC). This SN search program takes advantage of the PFC's 42.6 x 42.6 arcmin FOV to survey moderate redshift Abell clusters in single Kron-Cousins R-band images. Our scientific goal is to discover and provide quality BVRI photometric follow-up, to R \ +21, for a significant SNe sample at 0.03 < z < 0.15. These data will constrain SNe progenitor models and calibrate SN luminosity, color and light curve characteristics, as a function of host galaxy type, increasing our understanding of the utility of SNe as "calibrated candles" and cosmological model probes. The McDonald SNe provide an important link between the local discoveries of the LBL Automated Nearby SN Search (Pennypacker et al 1995, Aiguiblava NATO ASI Proceedings, in preparation), and the very distant SNe found by the LBL/UC Berkeley group (Perlmutter et al 1995, ApJ, 440, L41), and the High Redshift SN Search Team (Schmidt et al 1995, Aiguiblava NATO ASI Proceedings). The McDonald SN search program includes a sample of the Abell clusters used by Lauer and Postman (1994, ApJ, 425, 418) to analyze Local Group motion. SNe discovered in these clusters contribute to the resolution of the Local Group motion controversy. We present an overview of the McDonald Observatory supernova search program, and discuss recent results.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 1995