Searching for Supernovae

Detection of CV Virginis

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APUS Supernova Search Program

The Supernovae Research Program is an observing program designed to regularly observe a core group of galaxies (looking for supernova events). Supernovae are interesting and important objects. Their large luminosities mean that they can be used as "standard candles."  Observations of supernovae have led to accurate distance measurements for very distant galaxies. They are also the sources of most of the metals in the universe, which has profound implications for life.

One supernovae occurs approximately every 50 years in a galaxy like our own.  Detecting supernovae thus requires multiple observations of many galaxies over time, making this project an ideal candidate for group participation. In this research program, we observe a total of 177 galaxies in 6 different regions of the sky on a weekly basis. The galaxy images are then processed and analyzed using a "blink compare" method to determine if a supernova is present in the observation.

One of the unique aspects of this research program is that it was designed by, and is currently run by, APUS Masters candidate students. The galaxy analysis is performed by APUS graduate and undergraduate students as well.

This research program is open for all Space Studies students.  If you are interested in being part of the program, please email


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NGC 891

NGC 908

NGC 628


Dr. Edward Albin

Dr. Kristen Miller

Terry Trevino

Christine Arbizo

Chris Colvin

Jason Cushard

Salina Peña

Research Teams

Team 1

Abel Akemah

Christine Arbizo

Jessica Cornell

Josef Green

Kenny Pellegrino

Salina Pena

Truman Williams

Team 2

Alan Dugger

Jonothan Pass

Jose Vic Nazario

Larry Harrison

Mathew Lewallen

Rose Worku

Torvon Lunde

Team 3

Alexis (Lex) J. Lojek

Anthony Ritz

Dominique Roth

Felicia (Lisa) Owens

John Capolella

Jose R Wellington

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