Speaker Name(s): Doug Welch, Ph.D Description: The last supernova visible to the unaided eye in our own galaxy, the Milky Way, appeared in 1604. Supernovae inform our understanding of the heavy element enrichment of stars and galaxies and provide evidence for the "dark energy" which pervades the universe. Lurking beneath the apparently static veneer of the night sky lies an accessible memory of supernovae events which has rich astrophysical implications. In this talk, I will describe the work leading to the discovery of groups of light echoes from historical galactic supernovae and centuries-old supernovae in a companion galaxy to the Milky Way. Our observations on light echoes provide the first opportunity to view these cataclysmic outbursts from more than one direction.
*This lecture is co-sponsored by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada - Toronto Centre.