The Mount Stromlo Abell Cluster Supernova Search


Principal Investigator

Lisa Germany

Mount Stromlo Observatory

We have initiated a search to find violent explosions of stars (supernovae). The brightness of these explosions is well understood, and hence they can be used as beacons to measure distances in the universe to high accuracy. Each of these supernovae provide a distance in the universe which we will use to see distortions in the expanding universe, and to measure the expansion itself.  


Brian Schmidt

Mount Stromlo Observatory

David Reiss

Department of Astronomy,

University of Washington

C. Stubbs

Departments of Astronomy and Physics,

University of Washington







How did the MDSS help in archieving the project's results?

This project generates enormous quantities of data which must be saved so that we can refer back to it once we find a supernova. Keeping track of this data was much more difficult with our previous method of archiving due to media errors in tapes and those images that just managed to "slip through the cracks". In the past, it took us days to retrieve the data we needed for one object, now it is almost trivial to get the data. The MDSS allows very quick retrieval of the appropriate images due to a very simple directory structure.

Having collaborators in the US who also need access to the data was a big problem. Due to limited disk space, we had to back up our images on tape once a week which meant they could not access the data without asking. Having the MDSS allows them to access this data without having to wait.

Appendix A -



D. Reiss, L. Germany, B. Schmidt, C. Stubbs, The Mount Stromlo Abell Cluster Supernova Search, The Astronomical Jounal, 115, 26-36 (1997).

- Appendix A