Spectroscopy of high-redshift supernovae from the essence project: The first 2 years

Thomas Matheson*, Stéphane Blondin, Ryan J. Foley, Ryan Chornock, Alexei V. Filippenko, Bruno Leibundgut, R. Chris Smith, Jesper Sollerman, Jason Spyromilio, Robert P. Kirshner, Alejandro Clocchiatti, Claudio Aguilera, Brian Barris, Andrew C. Becker, Peter Challis, Ricardo Covarrubias, Peter Garnavich, Malcolm Hicken, Saurabh Jha, Kevin KrisciunasWeidong Li, Anthony Miceli, Gajus Miknaitis, Jose Luis Prieto, Armin Rest, Adam G. Riess, Maria Elena Salvo, Brian P. Schmidt, Christopher W. Stubbs, Nicholas B. Suntzeff, John L. Tonry

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    56 Citations (Scopus)


    We present the results of spectroscopic observations of targets discovered during the first 2 years of the ESSENCE project. The goal of ESSENCE is to use a sample of ∼200 Type Ia supernovae (SNe la) at moderate redshifts (0.2 ≲ z ≲ 0.8) to place constraints on the equation of state of the universe. Spectroscopy not only provides the redshifts of the objects but also confirms that some of the discoveries are indeed SNe Ia. This confirmation is critical to the project, as techniques developed to determine luminosity distances to SNe Ia depend on the knowledge that the objects at high redshift have the same properties as the ones at low redshift. We describe the methods of target selection and prioritization, the telescopes and detectors, and the software used to identify objects. The redshifts deduced from spectral matching of high-redshift SNe Ia with low-redshift SNe Ia are consistent with those determined from host-galaxy spectra. We show that the high-redshift SNe Ia match well with low-redshift templates. We include all spectra obtained by the ESSENCE project, including 52 SNe Ia, five corecollapse SNe, 12 active galactic nuclei, 19 galaxies, four possibly variable stars, and 16 objects with uncertain identifications.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2352-2375
    Number of pages24
    JournalAstronomical Journal
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - May 2005


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