Project for ASTR7741

Fall Semester, 2007

A "Standard Candle" Critique of Various SN Ia Progenitor Models

Observations seem to support the idea that Type Ia supernovae are very good "standard candles." So good, in fact, that they have been used in the context of cosmological distance determinations to show that the universe is accelerating.

Actually, Type Ia SN do not all share precisely the same light curves and, in particular, the peak brightness varies from system to system. However, there appears to be a tight correlation between the intrinsic peak brightness and the timescale for decay of Type Ia supernova lightcurves. In fact, an empirical algorithm exists that can be used to "scale" every Type Ia supernova lightcurve into a single "standard" lightcurve. It is in this sense that Type Ia SN have proven to be useful standard candles.


Peak brightness versus decline: Additional interesting papers: