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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[71.10] The Low-Redshift Carnegie Supernova Program

M. M. Phillips, M. Hamuy, W. L. Freedman, S. E. Persson (OCIW), N. B. Suntzeff (CTIO), G. Folatelli, S. Gonzalez, W. Krzeminski, N. Morrell, D. Murphy, M. Roth (OCIW), W. Li, A. Filippenko (UC Berkeley), R. Carlberg (Toronto), J. Maza (U Chile), P. Pinto (Arizona)

The Carnegie Supernova Program (CSP) is a 5-year program designed to 1) provide a precise calibration of Type Ia supernova luminosity distances based on observations of nearby Type Ia and II supernovae, and 2) use this calibration to set constraints on the nature of the dark energy from restframe I-band photometry of high-redshift Type Ia supernovae. In this paper, we describe the low-redshift portion of the CSP, the major goal of which is to generate a fundamental dataset of precise u'BVg'r'i'YJHK light curves and optical spectrophotometry for 100 Type Ia supernovae (z < 0.07) and 100 Type II supernovae (z < 0.05). These data will be used to refine techniques for obtaining distances and reddenings to both types of supernovae, and to study possible evolutionary effects in Type Ia events. An important component of the low-z CSP is the near-IR photometry, which offers the promise of improving the precision of distance determinations due to the reduced effects of dust extinction and (for Type Ia supernovae) the smaller intrinsic variation in the peak luminosities at these wavelengths. The combination of optical and near-IR photometry should also yield much more reliable dust extinction corrections than can be obtained from optical data alone.

The low-z CSP began taking data in Sept. 2004, and is projected to run through May 2009. Preliminary light curves and spectra for the first few supernovae observed are presented, as is a brief description of the various data reduction pipelines.

This project is supported by NSF grant AST-0306969.

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