We report the discovery of a Type Ia supernova (SNIa) at redshift z = 1.55 with the infrared detector of the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3-IR) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). This object was discovered in CANDELS imaging data of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field and followed as part of the CANDELS+CLASH Supernova project, comprising the SN search components from those two HST multi-cycle treasury programs. This is the highest redshift SNIa with direct spectroscopic evidence for classification. It is also the first SNIa at z > 1 found and followed in the infrared, providing a full light curve in rest-frame optical bands. The classification and redshift are securely defined from a combination of multi-band and multi-epoch photometry of the SN, ground-based spectroscopy of the host galaxy, and WFC3-IR grism spectroscopy of both the SN and host. This object is the first of a projected sample at z > 1.5 that will be discovered by the CANDELS and CLASH programs. The full CANDELS+CLASH SN Ia sample will enable unique tests for evolutionary effects that could arise due to differences in SNIa progenitor systems as a function of redshift. This high-z sample will also allow measurement of the SNIa rate out to z 2, providing a complementary constraint on SNIa progenitor models.
- supernovae: general