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A. Rest, N. B. Suntzeff, R. C. Smith, K. Olsen, A. Zenteno, C. Aguilera (CTIO/NOAO), C. Stubbs, A. Garg, P. Challis (Harvard), A. C. Becker, A. Miceli, R. Covarrubias (U. Washington), G. A. Miknaitis (FNAL), D. L. Welch (McMaster), J. L. Prieto (Ohio State), M. Huber, S. Nikolaev, K. Cook (LLNL), D. Minniti, A. Clocchiatti, L. Morelli (PUC)
Given the proper conditions, the light of historical supernovae can still be visible as scattered-light echos years, and even centuries, after the supernova has faded from view. In recent years, light echos have been discovered around some nearby extragalactic supernovae well after the explosion, most notably the light echos from SN 87A. However, to date no light echos of historical SNe of Galactic or extragalactic origin have been discovered. The study of echoes can allow us to pinpoint the supernova event both in position and age and, most importantly, allow us to acquire spectra of the echo light to type the supernova centuries after the direct light from the explosion first reached the Earth. In the SuperMACHO project, we have imaged the bar of the Large Magellanic Cloud repeatedly over the past five years and used difference imaging techniques to identify all sources of variability. Using these difference images, we have mapped out the extensive light echo complex around SN 87A further out, and deeper, than has been previously possible. In addition, we have found three faint new variable surface brightness complexes with high apparent proper motion that are not associated with SN 87A.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.