Physics Students present collaborative research at the 2009 Winter AAS Meeting

Release date: January 26, 2009

During the 2008 Goucher College Summer Research Program, Physics majors Sean Lonsdale and Adrien Thormann worked with Dr. Ben Sugerman studying light echoes from recent supernovae using Hubble Space Telescope Data.  Both students presented the results of their work at the 213th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society, held Jan. 4-8 in Long Beach, CA. 

Sean (pictured below) studied light echoes from SN 1998bu, mapping out dust in the disk of its host galaxy as well as in an hourglass-shaped nebula immediately surrounding the star. 

Adrien (below) studied echoes from SN 1991T, some of the first ever seen from a Type Ia supernova.  He has found that the echoes trace out circumstellar material as well, which could either be in an ellipsoidal or hourglass-shaped shell.  He is pictured below talking to Dr. Bill Sparks, who was the first person to image the echoes. 

 

This project has been supported by the Hubble Space Telescope grant GO-10607.