AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 71 Supernovae
Poster, Tuesday, January 11, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[71.03] Phototyping of Young Supernovae with the Robotic P60

A. Rajala, D.B. Fox, A. Gal-Yam, D. C. Leonard (Astronomy Dept., Caltech), D.-S. Moon, S.B. Cenko (Physics Dept. and Space Radiation Lab, Caltech)

We present the photometric typing of three young supernovae with the Robotic 60-inch Telescope at Palomar Observatory (P60). For two of these supernovae, SN2004dh (type II-P) and SN2004dk (type Ib), our results are consistent with the known type of the event as determined from ground-based spectroscopy. For the third event, SN2004cs, our photo-typing analysis suggested a type Ia origin which we reported prior to any spectroscopic observations. In fact, however, SN2004cs is an unusual type IIb supernova, as we demonstrate with a late-time Keck LRIS spectrum. We discuss our approach to the challenges of photo-typing -- contamination by host galaxy light and the unknown photometric quality of the data -- in the case where it is desirable to complete the analysis with just one night of observations. The increasing interest in the properties and behavior of very young supernovae, combined with the increased discovery rate for such events, means that prompt photo-typing analyses can provide valuable input to observational campaigns. Our results demonstrate the value and feasibility of such a project for the Robotic P60. We will continue to apply this technique with young SN candidates observable from Palomar.

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