The dust enrichment of galaxies: supernovae and evolved stars

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

Supernovae occupy a pivotal position in astrophysics, not only because of their importance as standard candles and cosmological probes but also because of the prime role that they play in determining the overall energetics, mass recycling rate and heavy-element enrichment of galaxies. It has been hypothesised that supernovae (SNe) may be a major, or even dominant, source of dust particles in the Universe. Indirect support for this supposition comes from the fact that many of the earliest-formed galaxies known are extremely dusty and IR-luminous, as evidenced by the efficient detection of their redshifted dust emission at submillimetre wavelengths by SCUBA and other instruments. It seems that only massive stars can have produced the observed dust over the short timescales implied, either during during dusty mass-losing phases prior to the SN event or else within the expanding and cooling ejecta from the SN event. Dust formation models confirm that newly formed dust in SN ejecta should become detectable at mid-IR wavelengths within 1-2 years of outburst and that the mid-IR is particularly suitable to trace the onset of dust formation in SNe and to determine the amount of dust formed. With the advent of ground-based 8-m telescopes equipped with sensitive mid-IR instruments, such as Gemini's Michelle and TReCS, and the launch of the Spitzer Space Telescope (SST), sufficient sensitivity has become available to embark on searches for mid-IR emission from supernovae in nearby galaxies. Our SEEDS collaboration (Survey for Extragalactic Emission from Dust in Supernovae), composed of astronomers from North America and Europe, has obtained SST time to search for mid-IR dust emission from nearby supernovae hundreds of days after their outbursts, using the IRAC and MIPS instruments. In addition, we have accessed SINGS Legacy SST data on a number of nearby galaxies that have been obtained with the same instruments, in order to search for mid-IR emission from recent SNe within these galaxies. This proposal seeks continued postdoctoral funding in order to allow completion of the supernova dust project. In addition, new far-infrared and submillimetre mapping observations of extended dust shells around evolved stars will be obtained as part of Herschel Space Observatory Guaranteed Time observations following its launch by ESA in 2007, with the aim of addressing the `missing mass' problem for low and intermediate mass stars.

Publications

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Zhang Y (2007) Integrated spectrum of the planetary nebula NGC 7027 in Astronomy & Astrophysics

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Ladjal D (2010) 870  ยต m observations of evolved stars with LABOCA in Astronomy and Astrophysics

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Hales Antonio S. (2009) IPHAS A-TYPE STARS WITH MID-INFRARED EXCESSES IN SPITZER SURVEYS in ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL

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Wesson R. (2008) A PLANETARY NEBULA AROUND NOVA V458 VULPECULAE UNDERGOING FLASH IONIZATION in ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL LETTERS

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Wright N (2008) Extremely red stellar objects revealed by IPHAS in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Ercolano B (2007) Erratum: Dust yields in clumpy supernova shells: SN 1987A revisited in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Wright N (2009) Near-IR spectra of IPHAS extremely red Galactic AGB stars in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Wesson R (2008) The hydrogen-deficient knot of the 'born-again' planetary nebula Abell 58 (V605 Aql) in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Gonzlez-Solares E (2008) Initial data release from the INT Photometric H Survey of the Northern Galactic Plane (IPHAS) in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Groot P (2009) The UV-Excess survey of the northern Galactic plane in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Lerate M (2008) Physical parameters for Orion KL from modelling its ISO high-resolution far-IR CO line spectrum in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Ercolano B (2007) Dust yields in clumpy supernova shells: SN 1987A revisited in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

 
Description Have helped quantify the contribution made by supernovae and evolved stars to the dust content of the Universe - this dust is ultimately incorporated into planets suchas the Earth.
Exploitation Route Published in arXiv (green open access) as well as in refereed journals.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine

 
Description This grant finished in 2009. All relevant details were entered previously into eVAL
First Year Of Impact 2006
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine
Impact Types Cultural

 
Description SEEDS 
Organisation Academia Sinica
Department Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Country Taiwan, Province of China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution A grouping formed to pursue optical and infrared studies of core collapse supernovae in order to determine how much dust they form during the first 3-5 years after outburst.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborating on applications for observing time on ground-based and spaceborne telescopes; collaborating on the analysis and modelling of the resulting observations and in the writing of papers for refereed journals.
Impact See under publications on supernovae
 
Description SEEDS 
Organisation Louisiana State University
Department Department of Physics & Astronomy
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution A grouping formed to pursue optical and infrared studies of core collapse supernovae in order to determine how much dust they form during the first 3-5 years after outburst.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborating on applications for observing time on ground-based and spaceborne telescopes; collaborating on the analysis and modelling of the resulting observations and in the writing of papers for refereed journals.
Impact See under publications on supernovae
 
Description SEEDS 
Organisation Space Telescope Science Institute
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution A grouping formed to pursue optical and infrared studies of core collapse supernovae in order to determine how much dust they form during the first 3-5 years after outburst.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborating on applications for observing time on ground-based and spaceborne telescopes; collaborating on the analysis and modelling of the resulting observations and in the writing of papers for refereed journals.
Impact See under publications on supernovae
 
Description SEEDS 
Organisation University Observatory Munich
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution A grouping formed to pursue optical and infrared studies of core collapse supernovae in order to determine how much dust they form during the first 3-5 years after outburst.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborating on applications for observing time on ground-based and spaceborne telescopes; collaborating on the analysis and modelling of the resulting observations and in the writing of papers for refereed journals.
Impact See under publications on supernovae
 
Description SEEDS 
Organisation University of Massachusetts
Department Department of Astronomy
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution A grouping formed to pursue optical and infrared studies of core collapse supernovae in order to determine how much dust they form during the first 3-5 years after outburst.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborating on applications for observing time on ground-based and spaceborne telescopes; collaborating on the analysis and modelling of the resulting observations and in the writing of papers for refereed journals.
Impact See under publications on supernovae
 
Description June 2009: Talking about astronomy to public at Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Participants set up two solar telescopes and answered
questions from the public on astronomy. Wore sandwich boards
saying "Ask me about the big bang". This was done again in Paris in Feb 2010.

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Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009