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Superluminous Supernovae & Other Exotic Explosions

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Thursday, February 1, 2018 - 4:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • JILA Auditorium

Speaker Name(s): 

Ragnhild Lunnan

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

Stockholm University
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences Seminar

Event Details & Abstract: 

In the past decade, untargeted time-domain surveys have uncovered several new classes of transients that do not fit into the established categories of normal Type Ia and core-collapse (Type II, Ib, Ic) supernovae. Through studying these exotic explosions, we are gaining new insights into the possible deaths of stars, of star formation and stellar evolution in different environments, and of the physics of powering supernova explosions. In this talk, I will highlight recent discoveries from the Pan-STARRS and PTF surveys, with a focus on the mysterious "superluminous" supernovae: objects that outshine ordinary supernovae by a factor of ~100 through a yet-unknown mechanism, and that show a strong preference for low-metallicity and rapidly starforming host galaxies. I will also discuss the opportunities opened in transient science by ongoing and future facilities, including the gravitational wave discoveries by Advanced LIGO/Virgo, and next-generation time-domain surveys like ZTF and LSST.