A web service for the automatic, real-time characterization of transient host galaxies

The host galaxies of astrophysical transients play a key role in our understanding of their progenitor systems and the use of Type Ia supernovae as standardizable candles for cosmology. However, fully characterizing host galaxy environments requires a high-statistics, unbiased, multi-wavelength dataset, preferably with 1-2 kpc resolution. Current analyses are limited by sample sizes of anywhere from ~10-200 SNe, predominantly optical host observations, and observational biases such as selecting from surveys that search for SNe within a pre-selected a set of galaxies.

Blast is a public web application built to provide information in real-time for every new transient reported to the International Astronomical Union (IAU):

  • determine the transient's host galaxy,
  • identify the available archival data,
  • measure the resulting host galaxy star formation rates, masses, and stellar ages.

Database Snapshot

Transients processed: 7144
Transients in progress: 919