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Type Ia Supernovae Are Excellent Standard Candles in the Near-infrared

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jats:titleAbstract</jats:title> jats:pWe analyze a set of 89 type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) that have both optical and near-infrared (NIR) photometry to derive distances and construct low-redshift (jats:italicz</jats:italic> ≤ 0.04) Hubble diagrams. We construct mean light curve (LC) templates using a hierarchical Bayesian model. We explore both Gaussian process (GP) and template methods for fitting the LCs and estimating distances, while including peculiar-velocity and photometric uncertainties. For the 56 SNe Ia with both optical and NIR observations near maximum light, the GP method yields a NIR-only Hubble-diagram with a root mean square (rms) of jats:inline-formula jats:tex-math

</jats:tex-math> <jats:inline-graphic xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href="apjab2a16ieqn1.gif" xlink:type="simple" /> </jats:inline-formula> mag when referenced to the NIR maxima. For each NIR band, a comparable GP method rms is obtained when referencing to NIR-max or jats:italicB</jats:italic>-max. Using NIR LC templates referenced to jats:italicB</jats:italic>-max yields a larger rms value of jats:inline-formula jats:tex-math

</jats:tex-math> <jats:inline-graphic xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href="apjab2a16ieqn2.gif" xlink:type="simple" /> </jats:inline-formula> mag. Fitting the corresponding optical data using standard LC fitters that use LC shape and color corrections yields larger rms values of 0.179 ± 0.018 mag with SALT2 and jats:inline-formula jats:tex-math

</jats:tex-math> <jats:inline-graphic xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href="apjab2a16ieqn3.gif" xlink:type="simple" /> </jats:inline-formula> mag with SNooPy. Applying our GP method to subsets of SNe Ia NIR LCs at NIR maximum light, even without corrections for LC shape, color, or host-galaxy dust reddening, provides smaller rms in the inferred distances, at the ∼2.3–4.1jats:italicσ</jats:italic> level, than standard optical methods that correct for those effects. Our ongoing RAISIN program on the jats:italicHubble Space Telescope</jats:italic> will exploit this promising infrared approach to limit systematic errors when measuring the expansion history of the universe in order to constrain dark energy.</jats:p>



5109 Space Sciences, 51 Physical Sciences

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Astrophysical Journal

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American Astronomical Society


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