The High-Z Supernova Search: Measuring Cosmic Deceleration and Global Curvature of the Universe Using Type Ia Supernovae**This work is based in part on observations at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile. Academic Article uri icon


  • The High-Z Supernova Search is an international collaboration to discover and monitor Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) at z > 0.2 with the aim of measuring cosmic deceleration and global curvature. Our collaboration has pursued a basic understanding of supernovae in the nearby universe, discovering and observing a large sample of objects and developing methods to measure accurate distances with SNe Ia. This paper describes the extension of this program to z 0.2, outlining our search techniques and follow-up program. We have devised high-throughput filters that provide accurate two-color rest frame B and V light curves of SNe Ia, enabling us to produce precise, extinction-corrected luminosity distances in the range 0.25 < z < 0.55. Sources of systematic error from K-corrections, extinction, selection effects, and evolution are investigated, and their effects estimated. We present photometric and spectral observations of SN 1995K, our program's first supernova (SN), and use the data to obtain a precise measurement of the luminosity distance to the z = 0.479 host galaxy. This object, when combined with a nearby sample of SNe, yields an estimate for the matter density of the universe of M = -0.2-0.8+1.0 if A = 0. For a spatially flat universe composed of normal matter and a cosmological constant, we find M = 0.4-0.4+0.5, A = 0.6-0.5+0.4. We demonstrate that with a sample of 30 objects, we should be able to determine relative luminosity distances over the range 0 < z < 0.5 with sufficient precision to measure M with an uncertainty of 0.2. 1998. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • The Astrophysical Journal

altmetric score

  • 19.932

author list (cited authors)

  • Schmidt, B. P., Suntzeff, N. B., Phillips, M. M., Schommer, R. A., Clocchiatti, A., Kirshner, R. P., ... Ciardullo, R.

citation count

  • 1149

complete list of authors

  • Schmidt, Brian P||Suntzeff, Nicholas B||Phillips, MM||Schommer, Robert A||Clocchiatti, Alejandro||Kirshner, Robert P||Garnavich, Peter||Challis, Peter||Leibundgut, B||Spyromilio, J||Riess, Adam G||Filippenko, Alexei V||Hamuy, Mario||Smith, R Chris||Hogan, Craig||Stubbs, Christopher||Diercks, Alan||Reiss, David||Gilliland, Ron||Tonry, John||Maza, José||Dressler, A||Walsh, J||Ciardullo, R

publication date

  • November 1998