2019B proposals

PI Name PI Institution Title Semesters FLOYDS (2m) Spectral (2m) NRES (1m) Sinistro (1m) SBIG (0.4m) GHTS REDCAM (4.0m) GHTS REDCAM IMAGER (4.0m)
Dragomir D MIT Hunting for the period of a warm giant exoplanet orbiting a bright star Hunting for the period of a warm giant exoplanet orbiting a bright star TESS observed the second transit of TOI 173.01 during sector 13 (in June/July 2019), so after the LCO deadline for 2019B proposals. If we submit this proposal as part of the normal time allocation process for 2020A, we will miss many valuable transit opportunities prior to December 1, as well as its peak observability window this season. If appropriate, we can submit a proposal to the regular call for 2020A to cover the December 6 window. We note that ongoing LCO programs for TESS follow-up (led by Markus Rabus and Karen Collins) are running low on time and cannot spend much (if any) time on TOI 173. 2019B 2020A 49

Faulkes Telescope Project

PI Name PI Institution Title Semesters FLOYDS (2m) Spectral (2m) NRES (1m) Sinistro (1m) SBIG (0.4m) GHTS REDCAM (4.0m) GHTS REDCAM IMAGER (4.0m)
Roche P Faulkes Telescope Project PR FTP Education - Queue FTP Education - Queue FTP Education - Queue 2014A 2019B 2016B 2018B 2015A 2015B 2014B 2019A 2020A 2016A 2017AB 2018A 10 210 10 128 84
Roche P Faulkes Telescope Project PR FTP Education (Gaia Alerts) FTP Education (Gaia Alerts) FTP Education (Gaia Alerts) 2017AB 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 30 15 10

Las Cumbres Observatory - Education Programs

PI Name PI Institution Title Semesters FLOYDS (2m) Spectral (2m) NRES (1m) Sinistro (1m) SBIG (0.4m) GHTS REDCAM (4.0m) GHTS REDCAM IMAGER (4.0m)
Fitzgerald M Edith Cowan University Our Solar Siblings queue Our Solar Siblings queue 2014B 2015A 2015B 2016A 2016B 2017AB 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 250
Gomez E LCO LCO Education development LCO Education development 2019B 2018B 2016B 2015A 2015B 2014B 2020A 2019A 2016A 2017AB 2018A 1 9 20 500
Gerbaldi M Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris Astrolab - Starlight in the university lab Astrolab - Starlight in the university lab Astrolab - Starlight in the university lab 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 50
Pennypacker C MIT AstroClub - UC Berkeley A Pilot for Modeling Instruction Teachers A Pilot for Modeling Instruction Teachers A Pilot for Modeling Instruction Teachers 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B
Dominik M Fascination Astronomy Fascination Astronomy Fascination Astronomy 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B
North C Cardiff University Followup of Gravitational Wave sources with LCO Followup of Gravitational Wave sources with LCO Followup of Gravitational Wave sources with LCO 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B
Rodríguez Eugenio N Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias PETeR (Educational Project with Robotic Telescopes) PETeR (Educational Project with Robotic Telescopes) PETeR (Educational Project with Robotic Telescopes) 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 20
Freed R Institute for Student Astronomical Research Astronomy Research Seminars for High School and Undergraduate Instructors and Students Astronomy Research Seminars for High School and Undergraduate Instructors and Students Astronomy Research Seminars for High School and Undergraduate Instructors and Students 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 50
Sienkiewicz F MicroObservatory Exoplanet Exploration Partnership (regular observations) Exoplanet Exploration Partnership (regular observations) Exoplanet Exploration Partnership (Regular priority observations) 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B
Sienkiewicz F MicroObservatory Exoplanet Exploration Partnership (high priority observations) Exoplanet Exploration Partnership (high priority observations) Exoplanet Exploration Partnership (High priority observations) 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B
NUCLIO N NUCLIO Constellations under investigation & Scientist’s Apprenticeship Constellations under investigation & Scientist’s Apprenticeship Constellations under investigation & Scientist’s Apprenticeship 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B
Boyce P BRIEF STEM Through Astronomy Research - San Diego STEM Through Astronomy Research - San Diego STEM Through Astronomy Research - San Diego 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 100
Swift J The Thacher School Thacher Supernovae Thacher Supernovae Thacher Supernovae 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B
Tock K Stanford Online High School Stanford Online High School Stanford Online High School Addition to Education Partners Program 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 50
Gomez E LCO Serol's Cosmic Explorers Serol's Cosmic Explorers 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 20
Drout M University of Toronto West African International Summer School for Young Astronomers West African International Summer School for Young Astronomers The West African International Summer School for Young Astronomers (WAISSYA) is an innovative astronomy summer school featuring inquiry-based activities and lectures for university-level participants from across West Africa. The observing time provided on LCO will allow summer school attendees to carry out short transient astronomy research projects under the guidance of career astronomers. 2019A 2019B
Bonne N University of Portsmouth Tactile Observatory Tactile Observatory The Tactile Universe is an award winning astronomy public engagement project that provides educators and students across the UK with accessible astronomy education resources. Using LCO, Tactile Observatory will observe cosmic objects and make 3D height map tactile galaxy images. These images will be used to teach vision impaired people about current galaxy research, with a focus on working with pupils in upper primary and lower secondary school (age 9-14). 2019A 2019B
Gomez E Western Carolina University The Appalachian Star Song Project The Appalachian Star Song Project The Appalachian Star Song Project engages with middle grade and high school students in an Appalachian rural community in a science and art project that turns variable star light curves from RR Lyrae stars in globular clusters into short musical pieces. Students use LCO observations to measure stars' brightness, and through “sonification” take light curve data and turn it into musical notes. 2019A 2019B
Rogerson J Canada Aviation and Space Museum Investigating the Sky Investigating the Sky The Canada Aviation and Space Museum (CASM) has expertise in professional astronomy and educational programs, offering hundreds of educational programs to over 15,000 students each year. In partnership with the Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario, CASM will be working with LCO to invite Grade 9 students from a school in the Ottawa Region to use robotic telescopes to observe and investigate the properties of different types of celestial objects in the solar system and beyond. 2019A 2019B
Thurber B Educational Continuum Org, GHOU 100 Hours for 100 Schools 100 Hours for 100 Schools 100 Hours for 100 Schools will build the on-going collaborative programme between Global Hands-On Universe and LCO, 50 hours for 50 nations. This programme will deliver unique activities in astronomy to teachers all over the world, with 100 schools from at least 50 countries being selected. Each school will use LCO to image deep sky objects for use in their classrooms with their students. 2019A 2019B 2020A 75
Gleim B Glendale Community College GCC Cluster Map and Asteroid Hunt GCC Cluster Map and Asteroid Hunt The Astronomy Club at Glendale Community College will use LCO telescopes for public engagement and educational research. Honors students and club members will work together as one research cohort and engage in the authentic practice of experimental design and execution as they carry out two observing projects: mapping a star cluster and hunting for asteroids. 2019A 2019B
Liu B YATL YATL Astronomy Research Project for High School YATL Astronomy Research Project for High School Youth Astronomy Teachers' Link (YATL) is a Chinese astronomy education NGO affiliated with Beijing Normal University Education Foundation. YATL works to build connections between young astronomers, astronomy teachers and students who are interested in astronomy. With the observing time awarded by LCO, the project will provide high school students with the opportunity to do real astronomical research, meet prestigious astronomers and present their results at international conferences. 2019A 2019B 2020A 20
Peticolas L Sonoma State University Bringing Astronomy Research to Underrepresented Groups Bringing Astronomy Research to Underrepresented Groups This program is unique in its requirement for publication by students, and has been successful due to the large Community-of-Practice involved in the program. This proposal would expand the seminar to other groups of students, outside of Cuesta. The longer-term goal is to expand the program nationally, incorporating a larger community being established through the Global Telescope Network (GTN). Working with advanced amateurs, such as AAVSO members, as well as NASA and other subject matter experts, we hope to include research projects on eclipsing binaries, asteroids and exoplanet transits. This is a pilot program aimed at scaling the research seminar nationally and internationally. 2019A 2019B 2020A 75
Boyajian T LSU Where's the flux Where's the flux KIC 8462852 is a star that citizen scientists identified to have unusual brightness variations. This otherwise seemingly normal F star underwent erratic and completely unpredictable dips in flux ranging from <1% to more than 20%, with each event lasting from days to weeks at a time. In addition to this puzzling variability, the star was later discovered to undergo variable secular declines in its brightness over month, year, decade, and even century-long timescales. We propose to conduct weekly, multi-band photometric monitoring of this star with the LCO 40-cm network in order to measure the extent and chromaticity of the secular dimming throughout the 2019 calendar year. Additionally, this proposal will allow for our community to respond and follow the start of any “dip” identified by more frequent AAVSO measurements, through Reddit. 2019A 2019B 2020A 50

Las Cumbres Observatory - Science Programs

PI Name PI Institution Title Semesters FLOYDS (2m) Spectral (2m) NRES (1m) Sinistro (1m) SBIG (0.4m) GHTS REDCAM (4.0m) GHTS REDCAM IMAGER (4.0m)
Lund M CalTech/IPAC-NExScI An Unusual, Possibly Pulsating, EB An Unusual, Possibly Pulsating, EB Our goal is to get multiband photometry of this object concurrent with 30-minute cadence observations currently being taken by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) in order to characterize the nature of this system. This target is currently being observed with 30-minute cadence by TESS as part of sector 9 observations until March 26, 2019. This provides the opportunity for ground-based photometry to complement the TESS observations with additional bandpasses to search for any color dependencies in both the 2 day sinusoidal variations and the eclipses that occur 6 days. This request for DDT is made through the author’s current affiliation with IPAC. 2019A 2019B

National Optical Astronomy Observatory

PI Name PI Institution Title Semesters FLOYDS (2m) Spectral (2m) NRES (1m) Sinistro (1m) SBIG (0.4m) GHTS REDCAM (4.0m) GHTS REDCAM IMAGER (4.0m)
Miles-Paez P The University of Western Ontario The Spitzer search for Earth-sized planets around ultra-cool dwarfs: using LCO 1-m telescopes to confirm transits The Spitzer search for Earth-sized planets around ultra-cool dwarfs: using LCO 1-m telescopes to confirm transits We are commencing a large (1075 hours) {sl Spitzer Space Telescope} program to detect Earth-sized planets around carefully selected ultra- cool dwarfs. We will continuously monitor each of our 15 M7-T2 equator- on targets over three days to detect transits from habitable-zone planets. However, our monochromatic {sl Spitzer} observations leave ambiguity about the true nature of the target's light curve fluctuations, since ultra-cool dwarfs are commonly spotted. We seek simultaneous, uninterrupted I-band observations with the LCO 1 m telescope network to confirm the achromatic signature of exoplanetary transits. Two of our 15 targets are continuously observable with the LCO in semester 2019A. We seek 80 contiguous hours per target. 2019A 2019B

Science Collaboration Key Projects

PI Name PI Institution Title Semesters FLOYDS (2m) Spectral (2m) NRES (1m) Sinistro (1m) SBIG (0.4m) GHTS REDCAM (4.0m) GHTS REDCAM IMAGER (4.0m)
Howell A Las Cumbres Observatory The Global Supernova Project The Global Supernova Project We propose a new 3 year Key Project to build a sample of 600 supernovae over 3 years to add to the approximately 450 supernovae from the first Supernova Key Project. Together this will be the largest low-redshift sample of supernovae ever obtained. The scientific objectives include: (1) studies to reveal the progenitors of SNe, particularly from early observations; (2) thorough studies of nearby SNe across all wavelengths; (3) building samples of exotic SNe; and (4) building statistically significant samples of SNe for comparison studies, host galaxy studies, rates, and luminosity functions. 2017AB 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 400 65 1067
Brown T LCO Using NRES to Validate and Characterize Exoplanets Found by TESS and Other Surveys (Commissioning and Precise Radial Velocities) Using NRES to Validate and Characterize Exoplanets Found by TESS and Other Surveys (Commissioning and Precise Radial Velocities) We propose to address two outstanding questions concerning exoplanets, both requiring large new datasets: (1) What is the exoplanet mass/period distribution, in particular for the poorly-represented ``Hot Neptune`` and ``Warm Jupiter`` populations, and (2) Why are the orbital axes of some planets so strongly inclined to the rotational axes of their parent stars? To do this, we will combine intensive observations with<br/>the new LCO- NRES spectrograph network with discovery data from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS -- to be launched near the end of calendar 2017), and from existing space- and ground-based transiting planet discovery facilities.<br/><br/>Our proposed project will carry out all of LCO&#39;s observing commitments to the TESS mission, but will greatly extend the TESS sample in order to answer the above science questions, which are uniquely accessible to LCO-NRES. The project will run for 6 semesters, obtain repeated spectra of some 500 exoplanet host stars<br/>and use a total of 12,700 observing hours, about half of which will come from the LCO Key Project pool. Our main activities will be to bring NRES up to its full potential as a global observing system, to develop software tools to enhance its scientific productivity, to carry out and analyze the needed observations for our science program, and to publish our scientific and technical results promptly. 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 250
Brown T LCO Using NRES to Validate and Characterize Exoplanets Found by TESS and Other Surveys (Stellar Obliquity and Photometry) Using NRES to Validate and Characterize Exoplanets Found by TESS and Other Surveys (Stellar Obliquity and Photometry) We propose to address two outstanding questions concerning exoplanets, both requiring large new datasets: (1) What is the exoplanet mass/period distribution, in particular for the poorly-represented ``Hot Neptune`` and ``Warm Jupiter`` populations, and (2) Why are the orbital axes of some planets so strongly inclined to the rotational axes of their parent stars? To do this, we will combine intensive observations with<br/>the new LCO- NRES spectrograph network with discovery data from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS -- to be launched near the end of calendar 2017), and from existing space- and ground-based transiting planet discovery facilities.<br/><br/>Our proposed project will carry out all of LCO&#39;s observing commitments to the TESS mission, but will greatly extend the TESS sample in order to answer the above science questions, which are uniquely accessible to LCO-NRES. The project will run for 6 semesters, obtain repeated spectra of some 500 exoplanet host stars<br/>and use a total of 12,700 observing hours, about half of which will come from the LCO Key Project pool. Our main activities will be to bring NRES up to its full potential as a global observing system, to develop software tools to enhance its scientific productivity, to carry out and analyze the needed observations for our science program, and to publish our scientific and technical results promptly. 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 100
Brown T LCO Using NRES to Validate and Characterize Exoplanets Found by TESS and Other Surveys (Stellar Classification) Using NRES to Validate and Characterize Exoplanets Found by TESS and Other Surveys (Stellar Classification) We propose to address two outstanding questions concerning exoplanets, both requiring large new datasets: (1) What is the exoplanet mass/period distribution, in particular for the poorly-represented ``Hot Neptune`` and ``Warm Jupiter`` populations, and (2) Why are the orbital axes of some planets so strongly inclined to the rotational axes of their parent stars? To do this, we will combine intensive observations with<br/>the new LCO- NRES spectrograph network with discovery data from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS -- to be launched near the end of calendar 2017), and from existing space- and ground-based transiting planet discovery facilities.<br/><br/>Our proposed project will carry out all of LCO&#39;s observing commitments to the TESS mission, but will greatly extend the TESS sample in order to answer the above science questions, which are uniquely accessible to LCO-NRES. The project will run for 6 semesters, obtain repeated spectra of some 500 exoplanet host stars<br/>and use a total of 12,700 observing hours, about half of which will come from the LCO Key Project pool. Our main activities will be to bring NRES up to its full potential as a global observing system, to develop software tools to enhance its scientific productivity, to carry out and analyze the needed observations for our science program, and to publish our scientific and technical results promptly. 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 700
Tsapras Y Heidelberg University ROME/REA - A three-color window to planets beyond the snow-line ROME/REA - A three-color window to planets beyond the snow-line Current planet formation theories predict that planets with semi-major axes between 1-10 AU should be abundant, yet they lie beyond the detection limits of most planet finding techniques. To this day, this important region of planetary parameter space remains largely unexplored. Discovering them is critical in understanding the physical processes that drive planet formation. - We propose a 3-year gravitational microlensing Key Project to discover new exoplanets in the cold outer regions of planetary systems, including free-floating planets and, potentially, planets around stellar remnants. Previous microlensing programs were limited in their ability to characterize source stars and could not obtain uninterrupted 24/7 observational coverage. We propose a novel approach that combines a multi-wavelength survey with reactive follow-up observations, and which relies on the unique capabilities of the global Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) network and its newly deployed wider-field cameras. - We will achieve enhanced sensitivity to planets with smaller masses (less than 10 MEarth) by placing better constraints on the spectral type of the source stars and by employing software that optimizes light curve coverage during the most planet-sensitive sections of the microlensing event. We will thus be able to better constrain the physical properties of these new planets exclusively based on LCO data. 2017AB 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 600
Robertson P University of California, Irvine High-Cadence Monitoring of the Sun's Coolest Neighbors High-Cadence Monitoring of the Sun's Coolest Neighbors In 2017, the new near-IR Habitable-zone Planet Finder (HPF) spectrograph will begin surveying nearby mid-late M dwarfs for low-mass exoplanets. We propose to use the LCO network to acquire V- and i-band photometry of our HPF survey targets every night they are observable. These observations will facilitate the identification of rotation periods, magnetic cycles, and other activity phenomena, providing valuable insight into the magnetic fields of fully convective stars, and be crucial in the separation of Doppler exoplanet signals from activity-induced noise. Our targets are bright enough to be observed with any of the LCO telescopes, and distributed across the northern sky. Thus, our program takes maximal advantage of LCO`s flexibility, especially as the new northern and equatorial telescopes come online. 2017AB 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 100 1400
Edelson R University of Maryland LCO/Swift/multi-mission intensive accretion disk reverberation mapping of AGN LCO/Swift/multi-mission intensive accretion disk reverberation mapping of AGN Intensive Disk Reverberation Mapping of Active Galactic Nuclei (IDRM of AGN) uses high-cadence LCO/Swift monitoring to measure interband lags across the optical/UV/X-rays due to "light echoes" between the central X-ray source and the accretion disk and within the disk. The four IDRM campaigns analyzed to date indicate disk sizes ~3 times larger than expected and also show a puzzling disconnectedness with the X-rays. This poses severe problems for the standard thin disk reprocessing model. We propose simultaneous LCO monitoring of two AGN for which we have already-approved intensive Swift monitoring (Fairall 9 and Mrk 142) and a third that lies near enough to the ecliptic pole to get 351 days continuous TESS coverage (Mrk 876). These AGN all have higher or lower black hole masses and/or higher Eddington rates that any previously probed with IDRM, greatly increasing our source parameter space coverage. Ground-based monitoring is needed to expand the Swift coverage to longer wavelengths at higher S/N, probing the outer regions of the disk. Only LCO can reliably sample at the sub-daily rate required by this experiment. 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 52 82 845
Arcavi I LCOGT / UCSB Discovery and Follow-up of Optical Counterparts to Gravitational-Wave Events Discovery and Follow-up of Optical Counterparts to Gravitational-Wave Events The discovery of the first gravitational-wave signal from a neutron-star merger last year, followed by the first kilonova, initiated the era of gravitational-wave - electromagnetic-wave multi-messenger astronomy. Using LCO, we obtained some of the earliest and best-sampled optical to near-infrared observations of the rapidly-evolving kilonova (not possible with almost any other facility). This discovery provided a wealth of insights into many open issues in astrophysics, including the neutron-star equation of state, the source of heavy elements in the Universe, and the first "standard-siren" constraints on the Hubble constant. Yet many open questions remain, most of which can be tied to the nature of the early optical emission. Competing models can be distinguished only with very early observations for a sample of events. We propose a key project to obtain such observations for ~10 new kilonovae to be discovered during the next LIGO-Virgo observing run, and perhaps for the first optical counterpart to a neutron-star - black-hole merger. Our proposal for automatic ultra-rapid triggering of a galaxy-targeted search in the localization region following gravitational-wave events, and high-cadence followup of counterpart candidates, is based on a strategy that was highly successful during the previous event. The coming year presents us with the opportunity to go from a single source to the first sample of joint gravitational - electromagnetic wave events. LCO's unique robotic, global, and rapid-response capabilities are ideal for significantly advancing this exciting new field. 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 0 58 154 0

Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope

PI Name PI Institution Title Semesters FLOYDS (2m) Spectral (2m) NRES (1m) Sinistro (1m) SBIG (0.4m) GHTS REDCAM (4.0m) GHTS REDCAM IMAGER (4.0m)
Moskovitz N Lowell Observatory The Mission Accessible Near-Earth Object Survey (MANOS) The Mission Accessible Near-Earth Object Survey (MANOS) The Mission Accessible Near-Earth Object Survey or MANOS began in 2013 as a physical characterization survey of newly discovered, sub-km, spacecraft-accessible NEOs. With $sim0 new NEOs discovered monthly these criteria help to identify only the most interesting objects for follow-up study. Our main goal is to build a comprehensive data set of astrometry, photometry and spectroscopy through queue, remote, in-situ, and target of opportunity observations. We propose here a second generation MANOS that will continue this important work while building upon the success of the initial survey. Over the next three years this NASA-funded effort will grow our sample of NEO physical properties to $sim00 objects, enabling a variety of science investigations including an unprecedented look into the diversity of NEO physical properties, the compositional distribution of NEOs, and the role of planetary encounters in modifying NEO properties. This will have direct implications for future spacecraft mission planning, asteroid impact hazard assessment, and the ability to rapidly respond to future time critical events such as the discovery of a pre- impacting asteroid 2019B 2020A 6
Massaro F University of Turin The optical spectroscopic campaign of Gamma-ray Blazar candidates: 10 yrs after the Fermi launch The optical spectroscopic campaign of Gamma-ray Blazar candidates: 10 yrs after the Fermi launch One of the main scientific objectives of the Fermi-NOAO Cooperative Arrangement is: studying candidate counterparts, including redshift determination of previously unknown BL Lacs and high-redshift blazars. We propose to extend our optical spectroscopic campaign, already approved in Fermi Cycle 6, 9 and 10, to reveal the nature of all the blazar candidates of uncertain type (BCUs) and all the blazar-like objects, potential counterparts of the unidentified gamma-ray sources (UGSs) selected according to our methods based on the IR colors, to the Fermi 8 year source list. Our legacy project is crucial to prepare the future releases of the Fermi catalogs and to improve our knowledge of the blazar population. 2019B 2020A 5
Macri L Texas A&M University Cosmography of the Innermost Zone of Avoidance with the 2MASS Redshift Survey Cosmography of the Innermost Zone of Avoidance with the 2MASS Redshift Survey We propose to extend the 2MASS Redshift Survey (2MRS) across the Zone of Avoidance (ZoA). The recently-completed 2MRS is being extensively used for studies of the dipole, peculiar velocity fields and group and clustering properties. However, 2MRS does not cover the lowest Galactic latitude ranges ($|b|<5-8^circ$). Filling this gap in whole-sky maps can improve substantially on these efforts. Our target galaxies are based on a newly-defined `extinction- corrected' ZoA catalog complete to $K_S<11.25$. We have conducted 21-cm observations of these galaxies that uncovered a number of new and partly unsuspected structures. Visual examination of the remaining galaxies reveal a large fraction with fairly high central surface brightness. Subsequent optical spectroscopy on a selected range of these galaxies suggests a success rate of about 80% for useful redshifts. We request 4.5 nights with SOAR/Goodman to observe the faintest $sim100$~galaxies in our sample (brighter objects will be observed with 2-m class telescopes). We will fill in the innermost ZoA and complete the cosmography of bright galaxies in the nearby Universe. These observations will benefit the graduate work of T.~Lambert at the University of Cape Town and will also be used to train senior undergraduates majoring in Astronomy. 2019B 2020A 42
Martinez-Vazquez C Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory The hunt of RR Lyrae stars in ultra-faint systems The hunt of RR Lyrae stars in ultra-faint systems This proposal is part of an on-going effort to search for variable stars and to improve and determine precise distances in ultra-faint systems that have not been studied in such detail yet. We plan to collect time series observations of seven ultra-faint (M$_V >$ --4) Milky Way dwarf satellite systems discovered in the recent years, using the Goodman Imager at SOAR and DECam at Blanco. We will search for RR Lyrae variables, core-helium burning low mass stars with ages $>$ 10 Gyr. Because they obey well calibrated period-luminosity relations they are excellent standard candles. The detection of this kind of stars in our targets will help us not only to determine the distance to the system but also to infer their nature (clusters or galaxies), since accurate distance measurements are crucial to know their physical size and total absolute magnitude. Furthermore, from their pulsation properties, they can also provide clues about the contribution of UFDs in the formation of the halo of the Milky Way and disentangle the mysteries about the hierarchic architecture of Galaxy Formation and Evolution theories. 2019B 2020A 2
Thanathibodee T University of Michigan Time-Domain Spectroscopy of Young Stars in Orion OB1 Time-Domain Spectroscopy of Young Stars in Orion OB1 Low-mass pre-main sequence stars (K and M type), also known as T Tauri stars, exhibit enhanced activity, both stellar and circumstellar. Accreting stars produce a strong and wide H$alpha$ profile, due to material infalling at free-fall velocities from surrounding protoplanetary disk onto the stellar surface. The resulting hot shocks produce continuum emission that can veil absorption features, especially in the optical, and contribute significant excess at UV wavelengths. As both stellar activity and accretion can be highly variable, these features change with time. However, there are few time-domain spectroscopic studies of T Tauri stars, and essentially none for stars nearing the end of their accretion phase, a stage when young planets are expected to be in the last stages of formation. We will use Goodman on SOAR to obtain time-series spectroscopy of a sample of T Tauri stars in the Orion OB1 region, with ages 4-10 Myr, showing signatures of very low accretion levels. Thi s study will provide new insight into how sun- like stars end their accretion phase, which has important implications for our understanding of the conditions for planet formation. 2019B 2020A 26 1
Street R LCO Microlensing Source Characterization Microlensing Source Characterization Microlensing provides a means to detect planets 1-10 AU from their host stars, in a region of parameter space which is currently under- populated. However, accurate characterization of lensing planetary systems depend on the accurate characterization of the source star. We request SOAR/Goodman observations of ongoing microlensing events selected from the ROME/REA survey in order to reduce uncertainties on lens masses and distances, identify binary sources, and verify our photometric analysis from that survey. We request that these observations be made in AEON, queue-scheduled mode as a pilot program. 2019B 2020A 2
Knight M University of Maryland Roasting Small Bodies: Testing the Effects of Low Perihelion Distance on Coments and Asteroids Roasting Small Bodies: Testing the Effects of Low Perihelion Distance on Coments and Asteroids Small perihelion distance ($q$) orbits are a common dynamical end state for comets and asteroids. However, it has been shown that fewer such asteroids exist than are predicted by dynamical models. This under- abundance was attributed to thermally-driven disruption, with low-albedo asteroids being more likely to be disrupted further from the Sun. This is supported by the discovery of an over-abundance of Sun-approaching meteor showers, which was interpret as being due to the disruption of low-$q$ asteroids. Our own recent studies of low-$q$ objects 322P/SOHO~1 and 96P/Machholz~1 found unusual nucleus properties that suggest there are strong evolutionary mechanisms at work on small bodies that approach very close to the Sun. We are currently surveying low-$q$ objects in order to characterize their physical properties and thus to yield insight into the evolution of small bodies in the Solar System. We propose to continue this survey by observing two current and one former low-$q$ asteroids with SOAR on 0.5 night during 2019B. This research is supported by a funded NASA Near Earth Object Observations program (PI: M. Knight) for which observations of low-q asteroids constitute a central component. 2019B 2020A 4
Foley R UCSC Young Supernova Experiment Young Supernova Experiment The Young Supernova Experiment (YSE) is a 3.5-year project to discover and photometrically follow $sim$^$ astrophysical transients. This novel survey takes advantage of other public transient surveys to discover {it and identify} transients within hours of explosion while providing the necessary high-fidelity training set for LSST. This survey will (1) obtain the sample of low-$z$ Type Ia supernovae (SNe) necessary for {it WFIRST} and other future cosmology surveys, (2) discover dozens of exotic transients and supernovae within hours of explosion, and (3) produce a large, homogeneous sample of common SNe for demographic studies, LSST planning, and classification challenges. While YSE will obtain high-fidelity $griz$ light curves of every transient it discovers, we require spectroscopy to take full advantage of this sample. With SOAR, we will obtain spectral classifications and redshifts for the bulk of this sample. 2019B 2020A 41
Spectroscopy of Infant Supernova and Rapidly Evolving Transients Discovered by The KMTNet Supernova Program - Time Critical Spectroscopy of Infant Supernova and Rapidly Evolving Transients Discovered by The KMTNet Supernova Program - Time Critical We propose to conduct ToO optical spectroscopic follow-up observations of infant (i.e. a few hours to a few days after explosion) supernovae (SN) and rapidly-evolving transients discovered by the KMTNet Supernova Program (KSP), which is optimized for detecting such events. Early SN observations can provide vital constraints on both the explosion mechanism and progenitor system, with detailed behavior depending on the progenitor radius, envelope structure, and composition, as well as potential non- spherical behavior, interactions with circumstellar material and/or binary companions and mixing of radioactive elements. KSP produces continuous, high-cadence, multi-band optical light curves capable of probing this behavior. We plan to use SOAR Goodman spectrograph to obtain spectroscopy of $sim infant SN and rapid transients. These spectra will allow us to measure redshifts, ejecta velocities, SN/transient types, abundances, and the presence of CSM material, all of which provides necessary constraints for models of early SN emission and rapidly-evolving transients. 2019B 2020A 0
Kilpatrick C University of California, Santa Cruz SOAR Followup spectroscopy of LIGO/Virgo Gravitational Wave candidates - Time Critical SOAR Followup spectroscopy of LIGO/Virgo Gravitational Wave candidates - Time Critical The August 2017 discovery of the optical counterpart of a binary neutron star merger -- a kilonova called AT~2017gfo -- was one of the highlights of observational astrophysics of the early 21st century. The merger was first detected by the LIGO/Virgo Collaboration (LVC) via the merger's gravitational wave (GW) signal (GW170817), and the counterpart AT~2017gfo was localized at optical wavelengths less than half a day later. After being offline almost continuously for 18 months, the LVC is now preparing for its next observing campaign, O3, which will start in April, 2019 and will last approximately one year. Here we propose to obtain spectroscopy of new optical counterparts to LVC GW events. We have brought together representatives from all 4 US searches who co- discovered AT~2017gfo and a broad swath of the international community in a consortium to use SOAR in characterizing the next neutron star mergers, or even the first neutron star / black hole merger. While the kilonova AT~2017gfo was nearby and bright, upgrades to the LVC have increased the horizon for GW signals and events during O3 will be on average 3 times more distant. The optical counterparts will likely be fainter and much harder to distinguish from background transient sources without spectroscopy. Nonetheless, if AT~2017gfo was a typical kilonova, we expect that up to $sim% of LVC O3 kilonovae will be in reach of the SOAR-4m$+$Goodman spectrograph. We propose to continue our Target of Opportunity program, first awarded time in 2018B, for the rapid spectroscopic classification of kilonova candidates and nightly follow up for detailed optical analysis. 2019B 2020A 0
Chomiuk L Michigan State SOAR Follow-up of Galactic Transients - Time Critical SOAR Follow-up of Galactic Transients - Time Critical Galactic transient candidates with g<18 and ASAS-SN discovery or photometry will be observed spectroscopically. The follow-up would likely be 1-3 epochs of Goodman spectroscopy typically spaced over 2 weeks, unless the photometry shows extremely fast evolution that would indicate the 3 epochs should be used more quickly or that fewer than 3 epochs would be possible. Up to 4 events and up to 3 interrupts per event will be observed, with cap of 5 interrupts total. 2019B 2020A 0