Infrared Light Curves of Type Ia Supernovae

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Infrared Light Curves of Type Ia Supernovae

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Title: Infrared Light Curves of Type Ia Supernovae
Author: Friedman, Andrew
Citation: Friedman, Andrew. 2012. Infrared Light Curves of Type Ia Supernovae. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
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Abstract: This thesis presents the CfAIR2 data set, which includes over 4000 near-Infrared (NIR) \(JHK_s\)-band measurements of 104 Type Ia Supernovae (SN Ia) observed from 2005-2011 using PAIRITEL, the 1.3-m Peters Automated InfraRed Imaging TELescope at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory (FLWO) on Mount Hopkins, Arizona. While the discovery of dark energy and most subsequent supernova cosmology has been performed using optical and Ultraviolet wavelength observations of SN Ia, a growing body of evidence suggests that NIR SN Ia observations will be crucial for future cosmological studies. Whereas SN Ia observed at optical wavelengths have been shown to be excellent standardizeable candles, using empirical correlations between luminosity, light curve shape, and color, the CfAIR2 data set strengthens the evidence that SN Ia at NIR wavelengths are essentially standard candles, even without correction for light-curve shape or for reddening. CfAIR2 was obtained as part of the CfA Supernova Program, an ongoing multi-wavelength follow-up effort at FLWO designed to observe high-quality, densely sampled light curves and spectra of hundreds of low-redshift SN Ia. CfAIR2 is the largest homogeneously observed and processed NIR data set of its kind to date, nearly tripling the number of individual \(JHK_s\) band observations and nearly doubling the set of SN Ia with published NIR light curves in the literature. Matched only by the recently published Carnegie Supernova Project sample, CfAIR2 complements the large and growing set of low-redshift optical and NIR SN Ia observations obtained by the CfA and other programs, making this data set a unique and particularly valuable local universe anchor for future supernova cosmology.
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