The Role of S/Novas in "clocking" the Universe Reinforced:

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by paddoboy, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Research reinforces role of supernovae in clocking the universe
    January 4, 2017 by Greg Borzo

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    New research confirms the role Type Ia supernovae, like G299, play in measuring universe expansion. Credit: NASA
    How much light does a supernova shed on the history of universe?

    New research by cosmologists at the University of Chicago and Wayne State University confirms the accuracy of Type Ia supernovae in measuring the pace at which the universe expands. The findings support a widely held theory that the expansion of the universe is accelerating and such acceleration is attributable to a mysterious force known as dark energy. The findings counter recent headlines that Type Ia supernova cannot be relied upon to measure the expansion of the universe.

    Using light from an exploding star as bright as entire galaxies to determine cosmic distances led to the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics. The method relies on the assumption that, like lightbulbs of a known wattage, all Type Ia supernovae are thought to have nearly the same maximum brightness when they explode. Such consistency allows them to be used as beacons to measure the heavens. The weaker the light, the farther away the star. But the method has been challenged in recent years because of findings the light given off by Type Ia supernovae appears more inconsistent than expected.

    "The data that we examined are indeed holding up against these claims of the demise of Type Ia supernovae as a tool for measuring the universe," said Daniel Scolnic, a postdoctoral scholar at UChicago's Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics and co-author of the new research published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. "We should not be persuaded by these other claims just because they got a lot of attention, though it is important to continue to question and strengthen our fundamental assumptions."

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  3. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    Search For Type Ia Supernova NUV-Optical Subclasses

    In response to a recently reported observation of evidence for two classes of Type Ia Supernovae (SNe Ia) distinguished by their brightness in the rest-frame near ultraviolet (NUV), we search for the phenomenon in publicly available light-curve data. We use the SNANA supernova analysis package to simulate SN Ia-light curves in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Supernova Search (SDSS) and the Supernova Legacy Survey (SNLS) with a model of two distinct ultraviolet classes of SNe Ia and a conventional model with a single broad distribution of SN-Ia ultraviolet brightnesses. We compare simulated distributions of rest-frame colors with these two models to those observed in 158 SNe Ia in the SDSS and SNLS data. The SNLS sample of 99 SNe Ia is in clearly better agreement with a model with one class of SN Ia light curves and shows no evidence for distinct NUV sub-classes. The SDSS sample of 59 SNe Ia with poorer color resolution does not distinguish between the two models.
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