AAS 202nd Meeting, May 2003
Session 23 Observational Probes of Dark Energy
Topical Oral, Tuesday, May 27, 2003, 8:30-10:00am, 10:45am-12:30pm, 2:00-3:30pm and 3:45-5:30pm, 205/206

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[23.08] ESSENCE: Measuring the Equation of State of the Universe with Supernovae

R.P. Kirshner (CfA), C. Aguilera (CTIO), B. Barris (U. Hawaii), A. Becker (Bell Labs), P. Challis (CfA), R. Chornock (UC Berkeley), A. Clocchiatti (U. Catolica de Chile), R. Covarrubias (CTIO), A.V. Filippenko (UC Berkeley), P.M. Garnavich, Stephen Holland (Notre Dame), Saurabh Jha (UC Berkeley), Kevin Krisciunas (CTIO), B. Leibundgut (ESO), W.D Li (UC Berkeley), T. Matheson (CfA), A. Miceli, G. Miknaitis, A. Rest (U. Washington), A.G. Riess (STScI), B.P. Schmidt (ANU), R.C. Smith (CTIO), J. Sollerman (Stockholm Obs.), J. Spyromilio (ESO), C. Stubbs (U. Washington), N.B. Suntzeff (CTIO), J.L. Tonry (U. Hawaii), The ESSENCE Team (Around the World)

We are in the process of finding and following ~200 Type Ia supernovae with the Mosaic Imager on the Blanco 4-m telescope over a five-year period.This search, which shares the Super-MACHO pipeline, is designed to find supernovae over the redshift range [0.15, 0.75]. The survey will obtain VRI photometry which we will supplement with zJ photometry and spectra using Keck, MMT, Magellan, Gemini, and the VLT. We aim to answer a simple, but very important, question: is the dark energy of the universe consistent with a cosmological constant (w=-1)? If not, this means the dark energy must be a more general energy field such as "quintessence." This survey should determine w to +-0.1 (1 sigma). This talk will summarize the state of the field, give a status report on the first year's work, and describe plans for the next season's observing.

This work is supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.ctio.noao.edu/wproject/. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

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© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.