On the Inhomogeneous Nature of Type Ia Supernovae

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Session 29 -- Novae and Supernovae
Display presentation, Tuesday, 9:30-6:30, Pauley Room

[29.07] On the Inhomogeneous Nature of Type Ia Supernovae

M.M.Phillips (CTIO/NOAO)

High quality observations of type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) indicate that the absolute magnitudes at maximum light of these events are strongly correlated with the initial rate of decline of the B light curve. This finding appears to support recent suggestions that the progenitors of SNe Ia may be sub-Chandrasekhar mass white dwarfs. In order to further test these ideas, it is important to provide a complete and accurate description of the full range of observable properties of SNe Ia. This paper presents optical photometry and spectroscopy of several recent SNe Ia obtained as part of the CTIO supernova program. These data reveal a remarkable variety of light curve morphologies and spectroscopic characteristics which has not been fully appreciated to date. The implications of these observations for our understanding of the nature of SNe Ia, and also for the potential use of these objects as cosmological standard candles, is discussed.

Tuesday program listing