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Pan-STARRS' first supernova


The Pan-STARRS 1 telescope on Haleakala has discovered its first confirmed supernova. It was reported by Steve Rodney at the AAS meeting in Long Beach in January 2009,

SN2008id first became visible in an image taken on November 3 2008, during test runs for the Medium Deep Survey. Steve Rodney (University of Hawaii) discovered the object in difference images from the PS1MD01 field taken over the course of three months. Data reductions using the PS1 Image Processing Pipeline (IPP) were facilitated by Eugene Magnier, Paul Price, and the IPP team.

SN 2008id was confrmed as a type Ia supernove at a redshift of 0.254 by observations at the Keck telescope on November 27 2008. C.J. Ma (University of Hawaii) collected the spectrum and data processing was done by Ryan Foley (Harvard, CfA).

SN 2008id is located at R.A. = 2h27m46s.80, Decl. =-4°34'47".1 (equinox 2000.0) Its r-magnitude was 21.2 on November 3rd.

Other supernova candidates

The two lower images in the right hand column show transient objects from the PS1MD01 and MD02 fields that are strong SN candidates. The detection images are shown here with the nightly stack of 6 dithers on the bottom row, and the difference image relative to a reference epoch on 2008-10-01 UT along the top row.
Both transient objects appear to be associated with an extended source, which are the likely host galaxies for SNe of moderate redshift

All of these initial SN candidates are in the bright, low-z tail of our expected SN luminosity function. Using predictions based on past surveys and the measured performance of the PS1 telescope during commissioning, we expect to discover approximately 3 SNe per field per month with peak brightnesses comparable to these two objects.

The PS1 Medium Deep Survey

The Medium Deep Survey of the Pan-STARRS prototype telescope (PS1) consists of 10 pointings spaced approximately uniformly around the sky. Each pointing is a single footprint of the PS1 giga-pixel camera (GPC1), covering approximately 7 square degrees of the sky. The cadence and depth of observations for the MDS are optimized for studies of Type Ia Supernovae (SN1a), with a target depth on each night suitable for reaching SN1a at a redshift
of 0.5.

During the year 2008 commissioning operations for the PS1 telescope, science observations were introduced on a limited scale. As of January, 2009, the telescope is shut down for refurbishing. Science operations will resume on approximately March 1, 2009, which will mark the beginning of the full scale Medium Deep Survey.

supernova discovery imagesDiscovery images

supernova spectrumSpectral confirmation

Sn candidateSN candidate
Candidate supernovae


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