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We report extensive optical photometry and spectroscopy of the Type Ia supernova 1989B. Maximum light in B occurred approximately seven days after discovery on JD 2447565.31.0 (1989 February 7.81.0) at a magnitude of 12.340.05. The UBV light curves of this supernova were very similar to those of other well observed Type Ia events such as SN 1981B and SN 1980N. From a comparison of the UBVRIJHK photometry, we derive an extinction for SN 1989B of E(B-V) = 0.37 0.03 mags relative to the unobscured Type Ia SN 1980N. The properties of the dust responsible for the reddening of SN 1989B appear to have been similar to those of normal dust in the Milky Way. In particular, we find no evidence for an unusually low value of the ratio of the total to selective absorption. We derive a distance modulus of 0 =-1.620.03 mag relative to the Type Ia SN 1980N. We present optical spectra which provide essentially continuous coverage of the spectral evolution of SN 1989B over the first month following B maximum. These data show the transition from the maximum-light spectrum, in which lines of elements such as Ca, Si, S, Mg, and O are most prominent, to the Fe-dominated spectrum observed a few weeks after maximum. This transition occurred quite smoothly over a two-week period following B maximum. Comparison of the spectra of SN 1989B with data for two other well observed Type Ia supernovae - 1981B and 1986G - reveals subtle differences in the relative strengths of the S II and Si II absorption lines at maximum light. However, these differences disappeared within a week or so after maximum with the onset of the Fe-dominated phase.
author list (cited authors)
Wells, L. A., Phillips, M. M., Suntzeff, N. B., Heathcote, S. R., Hamuy, M., Navarrete, M., ... Tyson, N. D.