Spectroscopic analysis of supernovae expansion
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SubjectHonors Theses; Research Subject Categories::NATURAL SCIENCES::Physics::Astronomy and astrophysics; Smolen Observatory; New Paltz; Supernovae; Type Ia; Type IIa
In many ways, supernovae are some of the most fascinating events in the Universe. These titanic explosions can shine as bright as galaxies, and it’s theorized they’re responsible for the nucleosynthesis of more than half of the naturally occurring elements on the periodic table. 1 Their nature gives insight on the origins of the star clusters, galaxies, and beyond. While they are bright, supernovae are incredibly far away, making it impossible to study hands on, but there is a signature of sorts that supernovae leaves behind, which can be studied. All luminous objects have spectra, supernovae included. Specifically, a luminous explosion of stellar ejecta will give off an absorption spectrum as the light passes through the stellar matter escaping into space. One straightforward problem is quantifying how fast a supernova expanding through space. That expansion rate is found through spectroscopic analysis. In this process, it is detailed how this analysis can be performed at the Smolen Observatory at SUNY New Paltz.
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