Journal Article

Improving the calibration of Type Ia supernovae using late-time light curves

Yun Wang and Nicholas Hall

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 389, issue 1, pages 489-495
Published in print September 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online August 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13614.x
Improving the calibration of Type Ia supernovae using late-time light curves

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The use of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) as cosmological standard candles is a key to solving the mystery of dark energy. Improving the calibration of SNe Ia increases their power as cosmological standard candles. We find tentative evidence for a correlation between the late-time light-curve slope and the peak luminosity of SNe Ia in the B band; brighter SNe Ia seem to have shallower light-curve slopes between 100 and 150 d from maximum light. Using a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) analysis in calibrating SNe Ia, we are able to simultaneously take into consideration the effect of dust extinction, the luminosity and light-curve width correlation (parametrized by Δm15), and the luminosity and late-time light-curve slope correlation. For the available sample of 11 SNe Ia with well-measured late-time light curves, we find that correcting for the correlation between luminosity and late-time light-curve slope of the SNe Ia leads to an intrinsic dispersion of 0.12 mag in the Hubble diagram. Our results have significant implications for future supernova surveys aimed to illuminate the nature of dark energy.

Keywords: methods: data analysis; supernovae: general; distance scale

Journal Article.  3257 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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