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I'm a SINner!

The Supernova INtensive Study (SInS, get it?) is a large scale Guest Observer project using the Hubble Space Telescope to study supernovae, or stars that explode. The Principal Investigator is Bob Kirshner at the Center for Astrophysics . The CfA has a SINS page as well, located here. Some of the Co-investigators include Roger Chevalier, Nino Panagia, Robert Wagoner, Craig Wheeler, Alex Fillipenko, Bruno Leibendgut, Dave Branch, Mark Phillips, Nicholas Suntzeff, and Brian Schmidt.

I worked with the SInS group from 1990 to 1994 while I did my research for my PhD, and the people I work with now on STIS still collaborate with SINers. Since 1990, SInS has made several observations of supernovae, including SN1987A in the Large Magellanic Cloud, SN1992A, SN1993J and SN1994I. The observations include imaging and spectra using several instruments on board HST.

The summary of all my PhD work as a SINner was published in The Astrophysical Journal , in the February 1st 1995 issue. I have several pictures of the nebulosity surrounding SN1987A, some of which were taken for the SINners, and others as part of other projects. I have other nifty pix, too, and I plan on installing them soon.

Recently, I was awarded a small grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute that will allow me to do some ongoing work on SN1987A using a personal computer at home. I am working with Arlin Crotts (faculty at Columbia University in New York City) to work on the Wide Field Planetary Camera images of the ring taken before COSTAR was installed on HST.

Although the new HST has amazing pictures of the ring, the older, not-so-good images from before HST was fixed still are useful, and in one way irreplaceable: since the ring changes with time, the old pix are the only ones we have from that time using HST. Therefore, the analysis of those images is important. At least, important enough that we got the grant! I finished that grant work in 1998, and a scientific paper will hopefully be produced in 1999.

©2008 Phil Plait. All Rights Reserved.

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