Supernova tsunami: Cosmic core-collapse explosions in upcoming sky surveys

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Our observational understanding of supernovae of all types, and core-collapse supernovae in particular, will soon experience a revolution due to the flood of new data from scanning (synoptic) sky surveys. In the coming decade, many such surveys will begin, including DES, Pan-STARRS, LSST; indeed SDSS-II is already ongoing. We quantify the discovery potential of the core-collapse supernovae of these surveys. The number and redshift depth of the supernovae discovered strongly depend on the survey limiting magnitude. With the limiting magnitude suggested by these surveys, from ∼ 103 to eventually ∼ 105 supernovae will be discovered per year, out to redshift z ∼ 1. This catalog will rapidly dwarf the present ∼ 4800 events in recorded history starting one millennium ago with SN1006. We will present detailed forecasts for the huge supernova harvest which will result from these surveys. We will go on to discuss the dramatic impact on supernova science as well as cosmology. Applications include: (1) High statistics measurements of light curves for all supernova types sampled in an unbiased way across galaxy types, which will promise a better understanding of the observable properties of the core-collapse supernovae and their evolution with environment and redshift out to redshift z ∼ 1. (2) A more precise estimate of the cosmic supernova rate and star formation rate. (3) The use of core-collapse supernovae as distance indicators via the expanding photosphere method. The surveys will provide an independent cross-check on the distance measurements from Type Ia supernovae. (4) Calibrated predictions of the supernova neutrino background.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalProceedings of Science
StatePublished - 2008
Event10th Symposium on Nuclei in the Cosmos, NIC 2008 - Mackinac Island, MI, United States
Duration: Jul 27 2008Aug 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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