Ashley Villar astronomer

SNIF out supernova fits!

Hi all! I am writing up a short description of a new web application which was created by two wonderful high school students, Leilani and Sophie, who I’ve been working with for the past year!

The SuperNova Interactive Fitter (SNIF) is an application built on Python (bokeh) and Javascript to allow users to interactively fit supernovae from the Open Supernova Catalog. We have three available engines: radioactive decay of 56Ni, magnetar spin-down and circumstellar material interaction. You can read the tutorial for more information on how to actually use the app! Our hope is that the app is simple enough that it can be incorporated into undergraduate classroom activities in addition to being a useful research tool!

I want to highlight that this application is due to the hard work of two Cambridge Ringe and Latin high school (a pubic school in Cambridge) students, Leilani and Sophie. They worked with me for a year through the Science Research Mentoring Program (SRMP) at the Harvard & Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. SRMP program founded and directed by Dr. Or Graur and is funded by and NSF award, the City of Cambridge, the John G. Wolbach Library, Cambridge Rotary, and generous individuals. These young researchers had to learn how to code in Python and Javascript, the physics of supernova light curves, and how to build a website. I’m excited to say that in addition to a web application, their hard work resulted in a AAS Research Note.