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Session 108 - Cosmology and Distance Indicators.
Oral session, Thursday, January 16
The Mount Stromlo Abell Cluster Supernova Search is a 2 year project initiated to find supernovae (SNe) in a sample of high-density (Richness Class \geq 1) southern (\delta \leq +15) Abell clusters with redshifts z \leq 0.08. These SNe will provide a volume-limited sample which will allow us to: measure the luminosity function of SNe, (2) further explore the correlation of spectral characteristics and light curve shape with the absolute luminosity of SNe Ia to better understand SNe Ia as distance indicators and as producers of heavy elements, (3) estimate SN rates, which with (1) and (2) will allow us to place constraints on the SN Ia/b/c progenitor population, (4) measure the bulk motion of the Local Group using SNe Ia, and (5) directly compare SN Ia distances to brightest cluster galaxy distances. We use the MaCHO wide-field 2-color imager on the 50-inch telescope at Mount Stromlo to routinely monitor \sim 10 clusters per week. Given our average detection threshold to date, we expect to find \sim 50 SN in two years, with most being found prior to reaching peak brightness. We describe our technique for optimally scheduling search observations and for finding and identifying SN candidates. We also present preliminary results, including the detection of > 7 SNe, several RR-Lyra variable stars, and hundreds of asteroids to date.
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Program listing for Thursday