CfA OIR Division Lunch Talks
Friday, September 24, 2010, Noon, Phillips Auditorium

Spectropolarimetric Signatures of Clumpy Supernova Ejecta
Dr. Tabetha Hole (East Tennessee State University)

Polarization is detected at early times for all types of supernovae, indicating that all such systems are, or quickly become, asymmetric. Spectropolarimetric observations also show that the asymmetry varies in both magnitude and orientation for different elements in the ejecta. One explanation for these observations is that local chemical inhomogeneities ("clumps") form in the ejecta above the region where the continuum forms. To examine the effects of clumpiness on observations, I will present a fast, flexible, approximate semi-analytic code for modeling polarized line radiative transfer within three-dimensional inhomogeneous rapidly expanding atmospheres, which we have used to model a broad range of clump parameter space. I will discuss the results of first part of our survey of model geometries, specifically the effects of the number and size of clumps on the emergent spectrum and Stokes parameters. Finally, I will present first results for a comparison between the model and VLT spectropolarimetric observations of SN2006X.

Come to the talk to find out what this means