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Astron. Astrophys. 331, L69-L72 (1998)

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Letter to the Editor

Cosmic star formation and Type Ia/II supernova rates at high z

R. Sadat 1, 2, A. Blanchard 1, B. Guiderdoni 2 and J. Silk 2, 3

1 Observatoire de Strasbourg, 11 rue de l'Université, F-67000 Strasbourg, France
2 Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, 98bis Bd Arago, F-75014 Paris, France
3 Departments of Physics, Astronomy and Center for Particle Astrophysics Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, USA

Received 9 December 1997 / Accepted 6 January 1998


We study how Type Ia/II supernova rates at various redshifts can be used to constrain the cosmic star formation rate (CSFR) history. We use a spectrophotometric model of galaxy evolution which provides a self-consistent description of global properties of local galaxies. We have chosen two CSFR histories, with and without dust extinction, both normalized in order to reproduce the observed comoving luminosity densities at different wavelengths. We show that as expected, the SNII rates provide a direct measurement of the instantaneous CSFR, whereas the SNIa rate depends on the CSFR history during the past few Gyrs. Therefore the SNIa rate detected up to [FORMULA] 1 is able to provide new insight on the CSFR at higher redshift. The comparison with the data are in good agreement with both local and high-z measurement and provides an additional evidence of the validity of the CSFR up to z = 1, but suggests values at [FORMULA] 1 higher than those of Madau et al. (1996) and consistent with the presence of extinction. We also show that Type Ia supernova observations at [FORMULA] 1 can already put constraints on the still puzzling nature of Type Ia progenitors.

Send offprint requests to: R. Sadat

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: March 3, 1998