Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011, 2:30 PM - 2:50 PM
Transients in the Local Universe: Bridging the Gap between Novae and Supernovae
Mansi M. Kasliwal
For the past several decades, there has existed a glaring six-magnitude luminosity gap between the brightest novae and faintest supernovae. To find optical transients that are fainter, faster and rarer than supernovae, we designed a systematic search -- "Palomar Transient Factory". Theorists predict a variety of mechanisms to produce transients in the gap and observers have the best chance of finding them in the local universe. Here I will present discoveries and unique physics of cosmic explosions that bridge this gap between novae and supernovae. This small number of intensively followed-up discoveries sets the stage for population studies with the upcoming "Large Synoptic Survey Telescope". This effort works towards building a complete inventory of transients in the local universe (d < 200 Mpc). It better prepares us for the search for potential electromagnetic counterparts to events in the emerging fields of gravitational wave, neutrino, TeV and UHECR astronomy.
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