SweetSpot: Near-Infrared Observations of Thirteen Type Ia Supernovae from a New NOAO Survey Probing the Nearby Smooth Hubble Flow

We present 13 Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) observed in the restframe near-infrared (NIR) from 0.02 < z < 0.09 with the WIYN High-resolution Infrared Camera (WHIRC) on the WIYN 3.5-m telescope. With only 1-3 points per light curve and a prior on the time of maximum from the spectrum used to type the object we measure an H-band dispersion of spectroscopically normal SNe Ia of 0.164 mag. These observations continue to demonstrate the improved standard brightness of SNe Ia in H-band even with limited data. Our sample includes two SNe Ia at z ~ 0.09, which represent the most distant restframe NIR H-band observations published to date.
This modest sample of 13 NIR SNe Ia represent the pilot sample for “SweetSpot” – a three-year NOAO Survey program that will observe 144 SNe Ia in the smooth Hubble flow. By the end of the survey we will have measured the relative distance to a redshift of z ~ 0.05 to 1%. Nearby Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) observations such as these will test the standard nature of SNe Ia in the restframe NIR, allow insight into the nature of dust, and provide a critical anchor for future cosmological SN Ia surveys at higher redshift.

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Date added: Thu, 10 Oct 13