Two SNe Ia at Redshift ∼2: Improved Classification and Redshift Determination with Medium-band Infrared Imaging

November 2015 • 2015AJ....150..156R

Authors • Rodney, Steven A. • Riess, Adam G. • Scolnic, Daniel M. • Jones, David O. • Hemmati, Shoubaneh • Molino, Alberto • McCully, Curtis • Mobasher, Bahram • Strolger, Louis-Gregory • Graur, Or • Hayden, Brian • Casertano, Stefano

Abstract • We present two supernovae (SNe) discovered with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) in the Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey, an HST multi-cycle treasury program. We classify both objects as SNe Ia and find redshifts of z = 1.80 ± 0.02 and 2.26+0.02-0.10, the latter of which is the highest redshift SN Ia yet seen. Using light curve fitting we determine luminosity distances and find that both objects are consistent with a standard ΛCDM cosmological model. These SNe were observed using the HST Wide Field Camera 3 infrared detector, with imaging in both wide- and medium-band filters. We demonstrate that the classification and redshift estimates are significantly improved by the inclusion of single-epoch medium-band observations. This medium-band imaging approximates a very low resolution spectrum (λ/Δλ ≲ 100) which can isolate broad spectral absorption features that differentiate SNe Ia from their most common core collapse cousins. This medium-band method is also insensitive to dust extinction and (unlike grism spectroscopy) it is not affected by contamination from the SN host galaxy or other nearby sources. As such, it can provide a more efficient—though less precise—alternative to IR spectroscopy for high-z SNe.


IPAC Authors


Shoubaneh Hemmati

Assistant Scientist