VU Physics and Astronomy Colloquium

Friday, Nov. 6, 2009. Join us in NSC 231 at 3:05 for refreshments and NSC 224 at 3:20 the talk.

SDSS-II Supernova Survey

Dr. Peter Garnavich, Dept. of Physics, Notre Dame University 
The SDSS-II Supernova Survey has discovered and spectroscopically confirmed 500 type Ia supernovae in a three year search using the 2.4-m SDSS telescope in New Mexico. I will present an analysis of the first year of data consisting of 103 supernovae. The SDSS-II data is combined with other supernova data sets inlcuding ones at low-redshift, the
Supernova Legacy Survey, the ESSENCE project and the Hubble Space Telescope discoveries to provide an estimate of the equation of state of the dark energy.  The measurement of the equation of state is now dominated by systematic uncertainties between data sets and the problem of measuring dust extinction from the color of type Ia supernovae. The SDSS-II data can also constrain the mechanism and progenitors of type Ia supernova explosions.