CfA OIR Division Lunch Talks
Friday, October 22, 2010, Noon, Phillips Auditorium

Looking Beyond the Optical to Help Supernova Cosmology
Brad Tucker (Australian National University/MSSSO)

The use of type Ia supernova (SN Ia) as standard candles has shifted from testing whether the Universe is accelerating to making a precision measurement of the dark energy equation of state to test the current Lambda-CDM paradigm. However, we still lack a clear understanding of the SN Ia progenitor systems, and recently discovered subtle evolution in their properties depending on environment has the potential to halt progress in improving cosmological measurements. By investigating the host galaxies of type Ia supernova, we can gain important insights into the supernova while improving our determination of the dark energy equation of state. In order to maximize our knowledge of the SN environments, we must look outside the optical wavelengths, namely to the ultraviolet and infrared. I will show the effects of host galaxy using Far-UV to Near-IR observations of both nearby and high redshift supernova, and describe how our understanding of these systems has changed form purely optical wavelength observations. These results will improve with future planned observations.