Weekly Astronomy Seminar: Study of supernova progenitors and environments through integral field spectroscopy

While there have been frequent discoveries of supernovae, our knowledge of their progenitor stars is still limited. A number of candidate progenitor stars have been directly detected in pre-explosion archival images, but these are rare. Alternatively, studying the local environments of supernovae may provide independent clues on their progenitors. As the progenitor must have been born within a stellar population, the properties of the parent stellar population, such as age and metallicity, can be used to constrain the progenitors of supernovae of different types. Such statistical study of supernova environments have been carried out to derive physical properties of the progenitors and disentangle different paths leading to the distinct supernova types. With the recent advent of integral field spectroscopy, which enables the collection of both spectral and spatial information of the supernova site simultaneously, supernova environment study is advancing in an unprecedented way. In this presentation I will also introduce an ongoing survey of nearby supernova host galaxies using the MUSE instrument at the VLT.