Supernova studies in the SDSS-II/SNe Survey: Spectroscopy of the peculiar SN 2007qd, and photometric properties of type-Ia supernovae as a function of the distance to the host galaxy
Galbany, Lluis (2011), "Supernova studies in the SDSS-II/SNe Survey: Spectroscopy of the peculiar SN 2007qd, and photometric properties of type-Ia supernovae as a function of the distance to the host galaxy".

This thesis comprises the work I have been doing during the last four years at Institut de Física d'Altes Energies (IFAE) as a PhD student, and has to be understood within the context of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey II Supernova (SDSS-II/SNe) survey. The content of this thesis is ordered as follows. In the next Chapter (§2) I introduce the main concepts of the Standard Model of Cosmology, presenting the origins, the properties of its contents, and the distance and the brightness measurements. I also reconstruct the history of universe since the Big Bang and summarize some of the most exciting discoveries that have confirmed the Standard Model predictions. In §3, a detailed explanation of supernovae (SNe) is given, including the physical mechanism that accounts for their explosions, the differences among the several types of SNe, and their spectral classification. We also describe the spectroscopic and photometric properties of Type-Ia SNe. After that, we review the SNe rate of the explosion measurements, the properties of their host galaxies, and their use in Cosmology through the Hubble diagram. After that, in §4, I describe the SDSS-II/SNe survey, a three-year (2005-2007) extension of SDSS of which I am an external collaborator, which has detected and measured light-curves for several hundred supernovae through repeat scans of the sky. As a part of the spectroscopic follow-up of the SDSS-II/SNe candidates, we contributed to the project taking spectra of 23 SNe during four nights in October and November (5-6 Oct. and 4-5 Nov.) of 2007 using the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG) located at the Observatiorio del Roque de Los Muchachos (ORM) in La Palma. In §5, the whole reduction procedure, from the acquisition of the raw data by the telescope camera to the final flux-calibrated spectra, is described. Following the spectra reduction, in §6, I describe one of the most subluminous type-Ia events known, the peculiar 2007qd supernova, for which we took the first spectrum. The observed properties of 2007qd place it in the 2002cx subclass of supernovae, specifically as a member intermediate to 2002cx and 2008ha, linking these objects. We present the photometric and spectroscopic observations of 2007qd and compare its unique properties with a range of other SNe. This work was compiled and published in McClelland et al. (2010). Then, in §7, the three-year sample of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) discovered by the SDSS-II/SNe Survey is used to look for dependencies between photometric SN Ia properties and the projected distance to the host galaxy center, using the distance as a proxy for local galaxy properties (local star-formation rate, local metallicity, etc.). We find that the excess color of the SN, parametrized by Av in MLCS2k2 and by c in SALT2 decreases with the projected distance, in particular for spiral galaxies. At a lower significance we find that the light-curve width, as obtained from MLCS2k2 , is correlated with the SN-galaxy separation for elliptical hosts, so that SNe Ia with narrower light-curves, hence dimmer, are more commonly observed at large distances from the host galaxy core. This analysis was presented in the Supernovae and their Host Galaxies conference which was held at Sydney, Australia in June 2011, and will be published in Galbany et al. (2011). Finally, in §8 we give a summary and the conclusions of this thesis.

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