Most stars end their lives in brilliant explosions known as supernova, which can briefly outshine all the light from the galaxy wherein they occur. Not only are supernova important for understanding the life of stars, but they can be used use as cosmological probes to measure distances across the Universe. A specific type of supernova, called type Ia supernova blow up with a near-uniform brightness, which was used to show that the Universe is accelerating in its expansion, the subject of the 2011 Nobel Prize, which is being caused by dark energy. SkyMapper is a wide-field, 1.35m robotic telescope at Siding Spring Observatory used to explore the southern sky. There are several projects are available for students to work with the SkyMapper Supernova team on a number of areas:
- Studying rare interesting supernovae events found by the SkyMapper team
- Understanding the relation between supernova and the galaxies wherein they occur
- Observing and analyzing the spectra of supernova events
- Working on aspects of the cosmological analysis used to measure the expansion of the Universe using machine learning for supernova data analysis.
- Our team also works on supernova remnants and binary population synthesis, the before and aftermath of supernova.
The students will work with SkyMapper images and all of the supernova team. For more information about this potential research topic or activity, or to discuss any related research area, please contact any of the potential supervisors.