Single-Epoch Supernova Classification with Deep Convolutional Neural Networks


Supernovae Type-Ia (SNeIa) play a significant role in exploring the history of the expansion of the Universe, since they are the best-known standard candles with which we can accurately measure the distance to the objects. Finding large samples of SNeIa and investigating their detailed characteristics have become an important issue in cosmology and astronomy. Existing methods relied on a photometric approach that first measures the luminance of supernova candidates precisely and then fits the results to a parametric function of temporal changes in luminance. However, it inevitably requires multi-epoch observations and complex luminance measurements. In this work, we present a novel method for classifying SNeIa simply from single-epoch observation images without any complex measurements, by effectively integrating the state-of-the-art computer vision methodology into the standard photometric approach. Our method first builds a convolutional neural network for estimating the luminance of supernovae from telescope images, and then constructs another neural network for the classification, where the estimated luminance and observation dates are used as features for classification. Both of the neural networks are integrated into a single deep neural network to classify SNeIa directly from observation images. Experimental results show the effectiveness of the proposed method and reveal classification performance comparable to existing photometric methods with multi-epoch observations.

International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems Workshops (ICDCSW)