AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 180 Supernovae and Cosmology
Poster, Thursday, 9:20am-4:00pm, January 12, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[180.04] Decelerating and Dustfree: Targeting SNe in Very High Redshift Galaxy Clusters

K.S. Dawson (LBNL), S. Perlmutter (UC Berkeley), L.F. Barrientos (Universidad Catolica de Chile), E. Ellingson (U Colorado), L.M. Lubin, S.A. Stanford (UC Davis), C. Lidman, P. Rosati (ESO), A.H. Gonzalez (U Florida), M. Brodwin, P. Eisenhardt, J. Rhodes, D. Stern (JPL), G. Aldering, K. Barbary, V. Fadeyev, G. Goldhaber, M. Kowalski, N. Kuznetsova, W. Lee, E. Linder, D. Rubin, D.J. Schlegel, A.L. Spadafora, N. Suzuki, L. Wang (LBNL), C. Mullis (U Michigan), M. Donahue (Michigan St), N. Kashikawa (NAOJ), A. Dey, B.T. Jannuzi (NOAO), M. Gladders (OCIW), I. Hook (Oxford), R. Amanullah, A. Goobar, V. Stanishev (Stockholm Univ.), A. Fruchter, N. Panagia, M. Postman (STScI), M. Doi, T. Morokuma, N. Yasuda (U Tokyo), D. Gilbank, H.K. Yee (U Toronto), H. Hoekstra (U. Victoria)

We present a novel approach to obtaining Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) at very high redshifts (z>1). In a 219 orbit cycle 14 program, we are using the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) and NICMOS on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to repeatedly observe massive galaxy clusters at z>1 to find and follow SNe. Clusters of galaxies are known to be dominated by nearly dust-free early type galaxies. SNe discovered in these glaxies are expected to have negligible dust extinction, the largest source of both statistical and systematic uncertainty in SNe derived distances. In addition, galaxy clusters contain a population of early type galaxies at a density approximately five times that in the high redshift field, leading to a much higher rate of detection of SNe Ia in this well-understood host environment. With 20 scheduled half-nights on the Subaru telecope as well as multiple nights on the Keck telescope, we are obtaining spectroscopic confirmation and redshift of newly discovered SNe and their hosts. This data will significantly improve supernova constraints of dark energy both in terms of statistical uncertainty, and perhaps more importantly, systematic uncertainty. This sample of more than 20 galaxy clusters is also being studied for weak lensing, galaxy morphology, and color-magnitude relationship, as part of an entire program of cluster studies.

This work was supported in part by the Office of Science, US DoE, under contract DE-AC03-76F00098 and in part by NASA through grants associated with HST-GO-10496.

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