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Palomar Transient Factory Discovers a Possible super-Chandrasekhar Type Ia Supernova

ATEL # 2037; R. Quimby (Caltech), M. M. Kasliwal (Caltech), P. Nugent (LBNL), D. A. Howell (LCOGT/UCSB), A. Rau (MPE), and V. Bhalerao (Caltech), report on behalf of the larger Palomar Transient Factory Collaboration
on 28 Apr 2009; 22:43 UT
Distributed as an Instant Email Notice (Supernova)
Password Certification: Robert Quimby (

Subjects: Optical, Nova, Supernova, Transients

The Palomar Transient Factory (see ATel #1964) reports the discovery of an optical transient with the Palomar Observatory 1.2-m Oschin telescope (+CFH12K camera). PTF09dh is located at RA = 14h44m42s.08, DEC = +49o43'44".9 (equinox 2000.0,uncertainty <1'). The object was detected at about R = 20.3 mag in multiple images obtained on April 17 between 6h and 12h UT. Follow-up imaging obtained with the Palomar Observatory 1.5-m telescope shows that PTF09dh brightened to r=18.5 mag on April 28.77 UT.

Spectra (325-1000 nm) of PTF09dh obtained on April 27.37 UT with the 5.1-m Palomar Hale Telescope (+DBSP) show it to be a supernova. The spectra show some similarities to early spectra of SN 2007if (ATel#1212, CBET#1059), which later resembled SNLS-03D3bb (SN 2003fg). This latter source has been proposed to be a super-Chandrasekhar mass explosion (Howell et al. 2006, Nature, 443, 308). Template matching indicates an approximate redshift of z=0.1.

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