APUS Supernova Search Program
The Supernovae Research Program is an observing program designed to regularly observe a core group of galaxies in search of supernova events. Supernovae are interesting and important objects. Their large luminosities mean that they can be used as "standard candles." Observations of supernovae allow for accurate distance measurements from Earth to distant galaxies. They are also the sources of most of the heavy metals in our universe, which has profound implications for life.
One supernova occurs approximately every 50 years in galaxies similar to our own Milky Way. Therefore, detecting supernovae requires detailed observations of individual galaxies over extended periods, making this project an ideal candidate for group participation. In this research program, we observe a total of 177 galaxies covering six different regions of the sky every week. Recorded galaxy images are then processed and analyzed using a "blink compare" method to determine if a supernova is present within a given observation.
One of the unique aspects of this research program is that it was designed by, and is currently run by, APUS Masters candidate students. The galaxy analysis is performed by APUS graduate and undergraduate students as well.
This research program is open to all Space Studies students. If you are interested in being part of the program, please contact us!
Detection of Cataclysmic Variable (CV) Star Virginis
Salina Pena (Team Lead)
Terry Trevino (Team Lead)