GeminiFocus January 2018 | Page 14

Figure 4. The core collapse supernova SN2015cb discovered by Project SUNBIRD in the luminous infrared galaxy IRAS 17138-1017 using near-infrared imaging from GeMS/GSAOI. This is one of three supernovae studied in a paper presenting the first results from this project. From left to right, the panels show: the initial 2013 reference image; the 2015 discovery image; and the difference of the two images, highlighting SN2015cb about 2 arcseconds from the center of this dusty, star- forming galaxy. extinction compared to the optical, SUN- BIRD aims to uncover CCSNs that otherwise would remain hidden in the dusty, crowded star-forming regions within LIRGs. So far, in a relatively modest amount of telescope time, the project has discovered three CCSNs, and one other candidate, all of which are near the centers of intense star formation in LIRGs (Figure 4). This represents a very high discov- ery rate compared to previous searches. The results indicate that the majority of CCSNs that explode in such galaxies have been missed as a result of dust obscuration and inadequate image quality. The work has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, and a preprint is available online. John Blakeslee is the Chief Scientist at Gemini Observatory, located at Gemini South in Chile. He can be reached at: [email protected] 12 GeminiFocus January 2018