A supernova is the colossal explosion that marks the end stages of the life of a giant star. Cosmologists use Type Ia supernovae as cosmic distance markers given the extreme uniformity of their light curves. Supernovae have been fundamental to discovering and studying the properties of dark energy.
Members of the CosmoStat team have developed novel techniques for detecting these events.
Supernovae are not only extremely luminous objects but they are also transient events, which makes their detection possible by looking for brightness variations on the sky.
The CosmoStat team have exploited a technique known as Morphological Component Analysis to detect Type Ia supernovae with very few false detections in simulated data. This is exciting as improving the quality of a sample of supernovae detections can lead to improved constraints on cosmological parameters.