Brian P. Schmidt, Australian National UniversityFollow
Robert P. Kirshner, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for AstrophysicsFollow
Rudolph Schild, Smithsonian Astrophysical ObservatoryFollow
Bruno Leibundgut, European Southern ObservatoryFollow
David Jeffery, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
S. P. Willner, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Reynier Peletier, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Ann I. Zabludoff, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Mark M. Phillips, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory
Nicholas B. Suntzeff, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory
Mario Hamuy, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory
Lisa A. Wells, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory
Chris Smith, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory
Jack A. Baldwin, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory
W. G. Weller, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory
M. Navarette, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory
L. Gonzalez, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory
Alexei V. Filippenko, University of California - BerkeleyFollow
Joseph C. Shields, University of California - Berkeley
Charles C. Steidel, University of California - Berkeley
Saul Perlmutter, University of California - Berkeley
Carlton R. Pennypacker, University of California - BerkeleyFollow
Craig K. Smith, University of California - Berkeley
Alain C. Porter, Kitt Peak National Observatory
Todd A. Boroson, Kitt Peak National Observatory
Raylee Stathakis, Anglo-Australian Observatory
Russell Cannon, Anglo-Australian Observatory
J. Peters, F.L. Whipple Observatory
E. Horine, F.L. Whipple Observatory
Kenneth C. Freeman, Mt. Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatory
Donna S. Womble, University of California - San Diego
Remington P.S. Stone, University of California - Santa Cruz
Laurence A. Marschall, Gettysburg CollegeFollow
Andrew C. Phillips, University of Washington - Seattle Campus
A. Saha, Space Telescope Science Institute
Howard E. Bond, Space Telescope Science Institute

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We present 126 photometric and 30 spectral observation of SN 1990E spanning from 12 days before B maximum to 600 days past discovery. These observations show that SN 1990E was of type II-P, displaying hydrogen in its spectrum, and the characteristic plateau in its light curve. SN 1990E is one of the few SNe II which has been well observed before maximum light, and we present evidence that this SN was discovered very soon after its explosion. In the earliest spectra we identify, for the first time, several N II lines. We present a new technique for measuring extinction to SNe II based on the evolution of absorption lines, and use this method to estimate the extinction to SN 1990E, Av=1.5+/-0.3 mag. From our photometric data we have constructed a bolometric light curve for SN 1990E and show that, even at the earliest times, the bolometric luminosity was falling rapidly. We use the late-time bolometric light curve to show that SN 1990E trapped a majority of the gamma rays produced by the radioactive decay of 56Co, and estimate that SN 1990E ejected 0.073 Mo of 56Ni, an amount virtually identical to that of SN 1987A. [excerpt]

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