Fantastic Beasts (& Where to Find Them): Superluminous Supernovae from Pan-STARRS and PTF
Ragnhild Lunnan



Wide-field optical time-domain surveys provide an opportunity to discover and decipher new types of transients. One such discovery in the past decade is a new class of "superluminous" supernovae (SLSNe), which have bolometric luminosities 10-100 times those of normal core-collapse and Type Ia SN, and are preferentially found in low-metallicity and highly star-forming dwarf galaxies. These SLSNe represent a challenge both to our understanding of the deaths of the most massive stars, the physics of powering optical emission in supernovae, and star formation in extreme conditions. In this talk, I will present results from the Pan-STARRS Medium Deep Survey and PTF, addressing the nature of SLSNe from two angles: 1) characterizing the explosions themselves and comparing the observed properties to model predictions, and 2) constraining the progenitor population through a comprehensive study of SLSN host galaxy environments.