NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2020A-0415

Small NOAO Logo

Program Information for 2020A-0415


PI: Armin Rest, STScI, arest@stsci.edu
Address: 3700 San Martin Dr., Baltimore 21218 USA

CoI: Alejandro Clocchiatti, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
CoI: Steven Margheim, NOIRLab
CoI: Thomas Matheson,
CoI: Doug Welch, McMaster U.
CoI: Alfredo Zenteno, NOIRLab

Title: Photometric Time Series of Carinae's Great Eruption

Abstract: $eta$~Car serves as our most important template for understanding non-SN transients from massive stars in external galaxies. However, until recently, no outburst spectra were available because its historic ``Great Eruption'' (GE) occurred from 1838-1858, before the invention of the astronomical spectrograph, and only visual estimates of its brightness were recorded. Now we can obtain a spectrophotometric sequence of the eruption through its light echoes we discovered. Our initial spectroscopic follow-up revealed that its outburst contradicted traditional expectations for LBV eruptions. Differences between the GE and the extragalactic transients presumed to be its analogues raise questions about traditional scenarios for the outburst. We propose to obtain a photometric time series of the GE from multiple directions, allowing the original eruption of $eta$~Car to be studied as a function of time as well as latitude, something only possible with light echoes. The unique detailed photometric study of the light echoes of $eta$~Car from this proposal, in addition to the companion spectroscopic study proposed in our other proposal, will enable us to understand (episodic) mass-loss in the most massive evolved stars and their connection to the most energetic core-collapse SNe.

Program Type: Long Term/Galactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2020A):  CT-4m/DECam -- 0.5n on Feb 25 2020
Run 1 (2020B):  CT-4m/DECam -- 1n on Oct 23 2020, Dec 04 2020
Run 1 (2021A):  CT-4m/DECam -- 0.5n on Feb 23 2021
Run 2 (2020A):  CT-4m/DECam -- 2n on Mar 27 2020, Apr 28 2020, May 22 2020, Jun 20 2020
Run 2 (2020B):  CT-4m/DECam -- 1.5n on Nov 22 2020, Dec 21 2020, Jan 21 2021
Run 2 (2021A):  CT-4m/DECam -- 2.5n on Feb 19 2021, Mar 21 2021, Mar 23 2021


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2020A-0415

noaoprop-help@noao.edu

Small NOAO Logo