SkyMapper is a robotic telescope at Siding Spring with one of the goals to find nearby supernova. The Skymapper Supernova team is searching for a specific type of supernova, called a type Ia supernova, which can be used to measure distances across the Universe and explore the properties of dark energy.
A key aspect for cosmological analysis, which this project will do, is to determine the performance of our supernovae search, as if we know what we should be finding and doing, we can make sure no inherent biases or errors are adding to our cosmological analysis. The student on this project will work with SkyMapper images and the rest of the supernova team. The student will do advanced computer simulations that will create fake supernovae and other transient events, allowing us to study the efficiency of our supernova detections and make sure we are not missing critical objects. The student will handle large quantities of data while learning complex astronomical concepts (e.g. learning about detection biases in magnitude limited surveys), and participate in the measuring of dark energy.
For more information about this potential research topic, please contact Dr Anais Moller or Dr Brad Tucker.