Image of Alice in Wonderland at the Mad Hatter's tea party You are cordially invited to afternoon tea and biscuits wine and chocolate

Astronomy Tea Talks at Caltech

Mondays, Robinson 106
Tea:  4.00pm
Talk: 4.15pm

Organised by:

2007 - 2008 season:
10 December 2007 Robert Quimby (Caltech)

"Big and Bright: Two Discoveries from the Texas Supernova Search"


Supernovae, the cosmic fireworks accompanying the catastrophic ends of some
stars, have been the highly scrutinized subjects of multiple research consortia
for decades. It is therefore initially surprising to learn that the most
luminous and, in some sense, most obvious supernovae have only recently been
found--and they were done so by one of the smallest telescopes competing in
the field. In this talk I will review the Texas Supernova Search and our two
most famous discoveries: SNe 2006gy and 2005ap. I will present the remarkable
observations and a few of the theoretical models formulated to offer
explanation. SN 2006gy is most likely an explosion from an exceptionally
massive star and it is the first observed supernova for which a pair
instability trigger must be considered. 2005ap, the most
luminous supernova yet identified, may be a distinctly different phenomena,
one perhaps related to gamma-ray bursts. I discuss possible reasons as to
why such supernovae have yet to be found by other surveys.
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Last modified on 20th Jul 2011 by Johan Richard.  

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