Supernovae pp 480-488 | Cite as

A Spectroscopic Glance at the CfA Supernovae Atlas

  • Eric M. Schlegel
Conference paper
Part of the Santa Cruz Summer Workshops in Astronomy and Astrophysics book series (SANTA CRUZ)


Supernovae have traditionally been difficult to study. These objects are transient events, hence unpredictable. The scheduling of telescope time for observations, particularly to cover a sizable portion of the evolution, is impossible. The obvious alternative is to request observations by the available observers, using the available equipment. This approach usually works near maximum, as most spectroscopists are at least somewhat curious about supernova spectra. However, it usually proves difficult to maintain interest, particularly as the supernova fades, which is when the observations become difficult. Consequently, a few, stray spectra of a particular supernova, near maximum, are obtained, and either published or left to rot on a data tape. There are two cures for this problem. First, interested observers can migrate to those institutions which have good facilities, and subsequently make use of them. Second, one can “arrange” to blow up a nearby star, and raise the interest level of many observers. The workshop has demonstrated that SN 1987A produced the second cure. This contribution describes a program which tackles the first.


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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1991

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  • Eric M. Schlegel

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