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)
Devlin L The University of Liverpool SSA Testing SSA Testing SSA Testing 2019B 20
Hernandez Santisteban J University of St. Andrews The rare outburst of a newly-discovered, nearby accreting white dwarf The rare outburst of a newly-discovered, nearby accreting white dwarf In this proposal we aim to carry out the first detailed study of the optical properties of the newly discovered, short-orbital period system TCP J21040470+4631129 in order to: i) Understand the accretion inflow via Doppler tomography of the emission lines H–, H— and He ii ⁄4686; ii) Use the Bowen-blend emission complex to trace the orbital motion of the donor star; iii) The combination of both measurements will allow us to infer the full orbital solution for the system; iv) Provide optical coverage to the ongoing multi-wavelength campaign of the system 2019B 4
Lister T LCO Groundbased optical tracking of the Gaia satellite Groundbased optical tracking of the Gaia satellite This DDT proposal asks to fill a potential gap in the coverage of the Gaia Ground Based Optical Tracking, caused by the non-availability of the Liverpool telescope. We ask for a total of four 25 × 60 sec exposure sequences in the rp filter on every third night between September 20 and October 3, 2019, while the Liverpool telescope is off-line, for a total of 2.5 hrs of observing time (including overheads). The exact dates are not crucial, they should just be spaced apart about evenly. Since these are astrometric observations, which can be affected by atmospheric influences, like DCR, the observations need to be performed at an hour angle of less than ±2.5 hrs. The justification for DDT is given by the fact that we require backup for the short notice downtime of the Liverpool telescope, one of GBOTs regular data sources, that this is a continuation of an ESA-LCO contract, and the PI is a member of the GBOT team and a LCO staff scientist. 2019B 3
Street R LCO TOM Toolkit Workshop Support TOM Toolkit Workshop Support TOM Toolkit Workshop Support 2019B 6 6
Lister T LCO Outburst monitoring of new interstellar object C/2019 Q4 Outburst monitoring of new interstellar object C/2019 Q4 Interstellar objects have been expected to be rare. Following ‘Oumuamua, the expectation was that only 1 per year might be possible once the LSST survey starts. Thus, the discovery of Q4 could not be anticipated. Waiting for LCO's 2020A semester would miss the comet's approach to perihelion, and would amount to a substantial loss to the study of outbursts for this unique object. We propose for this project through Tim Lister’s LCO affiliation. 2019B 1 11
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 60
Bachelet E LCO Chasing black holes with microlensing Chasing black holes with microlensing While about 50 stellar mass black holes are known in binary system, there is no actual detection of such objects in isolation. However, they are of primary importance for various fundamental physics topics : stellar evolution, initial mass function of the Milky Way, condensate matter etc... The goal of this proposal is to detect the first isolated stellar mass black hole using the microlensing technique. This method does not rely on the measurement on the light coming from the lens, it is therefore ideal to detect stellar remnants. The main microlensing signature of a single black hole is a long event duration (order of hundred of days for a black hole lens), with strong asymmetries in the light curve due to the orbital motion of the Earth, parametrized by the microlensing parallax. The Gaia space mission constantly surveys the entire sky and have detected more than 50 microlensing events so far. However, the Gaia cadence is too small (1 point per month) to accurately recover the microlensing parameters. This proposal will ensure the follow-up of the Gaia black hole candidates, in order to constrain the microlensing parameters, especially the microlensing parallax. LCO observations are crucial to complement the astrometric and photometric observations of Gaia and allow an accurate measurement of the mass and distance of the microlensing lenses. 2019B 41 43
Matheson T NOAO We Catch On Fast: Probing the Early Rise of Exotic ZTF Transients We Catch On Fast: Probing the Early Rise of Exotic ZTF Transients The early rises of the light curves of transient events are an invaluable probe of the physics of their progenitor systems. However, discovering events, particularly exotic transients, early enough to facilitate such studies has been challenging with human inspection of data from wide-field surveys. We have built a novel deep-learning algorithm for Real-time Automated Photometric Identification (RAPID) into the ANTARES broker system that is processing the alert stream from the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF). Now, with our ability to identify exotic transients quickly, we seek to complement the ZTF gr photometry with LCO uiZ imaging and spectroscopy. This will enable us to model the astrophysics of these sources and begin to understand their populations and environments. Our project will integrate the ANTARES broker with Telescope Observatory Management Systems and thus help test and refine vital infrastructure for the astronomical community before first light with LSST. 2019B 3 36
Sonnett S Planetary Science Institute Probing Solar System Evolution Through Trojan and Hilda Binary Asteroids Probing Solar System Evolution Through Trojan and Hilda Binary Asteroids One of the most influential and yet poorly constrained events in Solar System history is giant planet migration. The objects thought to be most affected by this migration are Jovian Trojan asteroids (hereafter, Trojans), which lie in stable orbits at Jupiter’s L4 and L5 Lagrange points, and Hilda asteroids, which are in 3:2 orbital resonance with Jupiter. These asteroid populations have fragile orbits that serve as a fossil of the motions that took place in the early Solar System. Gentle planetary migration models require Trojans to have formed in situ, in which case they would provide one of the only opportunities to study the chemistry of the primordial middle Solar System and the material that comprises Jupiter’s elusive core. However, rapid migration models instead suggest that Trojans were implanted from the outer Solar System, in which case Trojans and Hildas would be an excellent observable proxy for small outer Solar System bodies too faint for most telescopes. Models promoting radial mixing in the earliest epochs of Solar System formation also predict Trojans and Hildas to have a common origin. Recent pebble-accretion models also predict an intermediary formation location of Trojans (~15-20 AU) and a much closer origin for Hildas (~5-8 AU). Therefore, knowing the Trojan and Hilda formation location(s) would offer powerful, discerning constraints on competing Solar System formation and evolution models. Bulk density is one of the only observable properties that can be used to determine an asteroid's formation location, low densities being consistent with an ice-rich outer Solar System origin and high densities tied to warmer, silicate-rich inner Solar System formation. Identifying and characterizing binary asteroid systems are the only realistic means of determining density and thus assessing formation location, apart from a spacecraft fly-by. Determining the abundance of binaries relative to other asteroid populations also helps describe the dynamical environment(s) in which they formed. However, at the time of this writing, only 5 Trojan and no Hilda binaries have been discovered. We have identified 83 potentially binary Trojans and Hildas in need of densely sampled rotational light curves to confirm and characterize their binarity. We currently have complete datasets for 25 of the 83 targets and now seek follow-up for 33 of the remaining binary candidates. We propose to densely image them, compute their light curve solutions, model their phased light curves to solve for density, and statistically compare the densities and binary properties of Trojan, Hilda, outer Solar System, and inner Solar System asteroids. Intriguingly, nearly all of our targets span a size range famous for its puzzling absence of binaries. Thus, our targets may represent a rare stage of binary evolution, unique combination of binary formation mechanisms, and/or internal structures puzzlingly different from neighboring asteroid populations. This work will help contextualize and enhance the scientific value of the upcoming Lucy Space Mission to 5 Trojans, including 1 binary system, and should be completed just before its 2021 launch. 2019B 85 380 186
Matheson T NOAO Completing a Network of Next Generation SED standards with DA White Dwarfs Completing a Network of Next Generation SED standards with DA White Dwarfs We propose to collect g-band time-series photometry for 9 white dwarfs that are candidate spectrophotometric standards. We are establishing a global network of ~18th magnitude spectrophotometric flux standards using panchromatic HST photometry of hot DA white dwarfs. We can already achieve a sub-percent accuracy. Previous LCO data have allowed us to assess the variability or stability of most of our candidates. We still need observations of a subset to complete our network. The validation of the white dwarfs as stable stars is a fundamental step in the process of setting these stars as spectrophotometric standards. Light-curves for all the stars in the same field of view of the target white dwarfs will also be analyzed to enable the discovery of other transients and variables. 2019B 8
Arcavi I LCOGT Mapping the Diversity and Emission Mechanisms of Transients in Galaxy Centers Mapping the Diversity and Emission Mechanisms of Transients in Galaxy Centers Our investigation of transients in galaxy centers (aka "nuclear transients") powered by super-massive black holes (SMBHs) is continuing to yield exciting results. In addition to our study of a recently discovered class of tidal disruption events (TDEs), we have discovered another class of nuclear transients around active SMBHs, which may be TDEs in a new regime or a new accretion phenomenon altogether. In addition, we recently caught the first "changing look" AGN in the act, ruling out existing models for the nature of these events. LCO has been crucial in all of these discoveries. Here we propose to continue this successful program to study the emission properties of three new nuclear transients from the established classes or from new ones. LCO is the central component of a multi-facility multi-wavelength program to map the phase space of nuclear transients, which includes Swift, XMM, NuSTAR, and NICER for UV, and X-ray data. We have a well-proven strategy for identifying real nuclear transients from transient survey alert streams. The observations obtained as part of this campaign will allow us to continue to study the diversity of accretion physics and to develop nuclear transients as new tools for characterizing SMBHs. 2019B 82 84
Brandt T University of California, Santa Barbara Dynamical Masses Across the Sky with NRES, Hipparcos, and Gaia Dynamical Masses Across the Sky with NRES, Hipparcos, and Gaia We propose to target astrometrically accelerating nearby stars to discover new brown dwarf, white dwarf, and low-mass stellar companions. This will be a targeted search of bright stars and of long-period systems, ideally suited to an instrument like NRES capable of sparse cadence extending over several years. We will discover hundreds of binary systems and will measure precise dynamical masses of faint companions with periods as long as centuries. For a modest investment of telescope time, we will dramatically expand the number of brown dwarfs and low-mass stars with individually known masses, enabling a wide range of science by the community. As just one example, we will confirm whether the emerging disagreement between the modeled and observed masses of nearby T dwarfs indicates a need to radically re-evaluate models, or whether it points to something else like ubiquitous unresolved binarity. 2019B 100
Waalkes W University of Colorado Boulder Transits of the Cool TESS M Dwarf Planets Transits of the Cool TESS M Dwarf Planets The two-year main mission of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) started last summer. TESS will find thousands of new nearby transiting exoplanets, and some of the most important among them will be the small, cool planets transiting very nearby small, cool stars. TESS has the continuous coverage needed to find these planets, but its small aperture (0.1m) and limited dwell time (27 days for most of the sky) means that they will have large uncertainties remaining on their basic physical parameters. We propose to use the network of 1m Sinistros to gather precise transit light curves for the coolest TESS M dwarf planet candidates, to confirm their planetary nature, to improve measurements of their radii, and to refine their orbital periods. LCO can contribute meaningfully to the initial characterization of some of TESS' most exciting new exoplanets, as well as follow-up to search for transit timing variations and extra planets in systems discovered over the past year. 2019B 63
Sand D Texas Tech Explosion Physics and Progenitors from a Sub-day Cadence Supernova Search Explosion Physics and Progenitors from a Sub-day Cadence Supernova Search In the early hours to days after explosion, supernovae (SNe) provide unique clues on the nature of their progenitor stars and the physics of their explosion mechanisms. Motivated by the need to discover and fully characterize SNe within the first day of explosion, we have begun a pointed sub-day cadence SN search focused on nearby (D<40 Mpc) galaxies with two PROMPT 0.4m telescopes at CTIO and Meckering Observatory. This program, called DLT40, will discover ~5-10 SNe per year within a day from their explosion, along with ~10 further SNe per year at later times and a zoo of other transients and variable stars. Here we request follow-up 0.4m and 1m imaging to confirm our incoming SNe, and FLOYDS spectroscopy to classify the most promising objects. Young and nearby interesting transients will eventually be fed to the Global Supernova Program (LCO key project) for a complete follow-up and full characterization. 2019B 20 0 0
Siverd R Vanderbilt University Spectroscopy of EBs with Extreme Orbits Discovered by KELT Spectroscopy of EBs with Extreme Orbits Discovered by KELT Stars are perhaps the most fundamental and most frequently studied components of the observable universe. As both a driving force in galactic evolution and hosts of countless exoplanets, a detailed understanding of stars -- their fundamental parameters and how they evolve -- is crucial for many fields of astronomy. Eclipsing binary (EB) systems provide us with the opportunity to precisely measure masses, radii, temperatures, and luminosities of stars far outside our solar system. Systems with eccentric orbits, especially with measured apsidal motion (usually requiring a long observational baseline), provide additional opportunities to infer stellar structure, constrain evolution models, characterize tidal forces, and even confirm predictions of General Relativity. Few targets suitable for this kind of analysis are known, limiting our ability to probe stellar astrophysics. Five promising objects have been identified by the KELT transit survey. We propose to characterize their stars and orbits using NRES spectroscopy in order to derive valuable new stellar mass and radius measurements. 2019B 20
Chatelain J LCO Multicolor Light Curve for Unusual Jupiter Trojan (4709) Ennomos Multicolor Light Curve for Unusual Jupiter Trojan (4709) Ennomos The Jupiter Trojan asteroids exist in camps that are co-orbital with Jupiter, preceding and following in the orbit of the gas giant by 60° in either direction. They represent a large population of likely primordial objects that remain understudied due to a combination of their dark surfaces and their relatively large distances from Earth compared to Main Belt objects. Due to their dynamical position and bimodal color distribution, understanding these objects is key to understanding the formation mechanisms of the early Solar System. Of the more than six thousand objects in the Jupiter Trojan swarms, (4709) Ennomos is one of the most unusual. It’s in the trailing L5 Trojan camp, and there is evidence that a large portion of its light curve amplitude is caused by a high albedo spot that takes up as much as 30% of its surface. We wish to obtain high cadence, multi-filter lightcurves over the entirety of its rotation period at a new viewing geometry to allow us to calculate a pole orientation, search different latitudes for evidence of color variation, and potentially coordinate with Spitzer efforts to observe the asteroid in the thermal IR. Such observations will allow us to not only examine the surface features of this particularly interesting object, but also to explore the possibility of more complex and mottled surface characteristics for the Jupiter Trojans at large. This improved understanding of the complexity and variety of surface features on Jupiter Trojans will be critical for placing the targets of the forthcoming Lucy Mission in context within the larger Lagrangian swarms. 2019B 27
Crouzet N Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias Searching for transiting cold Jupiters around bright stars Searching for transiting cold Jupiters around bright stars Hot Jupiters are complex systems to study because they are coupled to their host stars. This coupling deeply impacts their properties and impairs our understanding of gas giant exoplanets in general. The next step in our understanding of giant planets will come from the discovery and characterization of transiting ones orbiting bright stars at large orbital separations. These “cold Jupiters” are decoupled from their host star, making them ideal benchmarks. We conducted a photometric transit survey from Antarctica and identified transit candidates with long orbital periods. We propose to use the LCO 40 cm telescopes to conduct a photometric follow-up of these candidates. Because of the long transit durations, the LCO network is uniquely suited to this follow-up: combining light curves obtained from telescopes located at different sites will allow us to reconstruct full transit curves. This follow-up should yield the discovery of transiting “cold Jupiters” that are suitable to atmospheric characterization. It will also serve as a pathfinder for future observations of terrestrial exoplanets in the habitable zone of their star with the LCO network. 2019B 105
Street R LCO Characterizing Microlensing Events in the Galactic Plane Characterizing Microlensing Events in the Galactic Plane New and upcoming facilities will be able to survey wider regions of the sky to fainter limiting magnitudes than ever before, making it feasible to detect statistically meaningful samples of even rare astrophysical phenomena in more varied regions of the Galaxy, such as microlensing. This technique provides a means to discover and characterize faint and even non-luminous objects which are otherwise difficult to observe beyond ~1kpc from the Earth (or at all), including planets, brown dwarfs and even isolated stellar remnants. A number of ongoing surveys have already delivered microlensing discoveries across the Galactic Plane including Gaia, VVV and ASASSN. Most recently, the Zwicky Transient Facility began issuing real-time discovery alerts from their public survey of the Plane. However, additional observations are required in order to rule out false positive detections, characterize genuine events and to determine the physical properties of the lens. We propose to conduct follow-up observations to microlensing events selected from the ZTF alert stream. In the process, we will built and test the alert-response infrastructure necessary to scale this program to handle the upcoming alert stream from the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. 2019B 3 140
Bachelet E LCO Microlensing Source Characterization with FLOYDS Microlensing Source Characterization with FLOYDS Gravitational microlensing is an unique tool capable of detecting planets very distant (>1 kpc) from the Earth, since the method does not rely on the detection of the lens light. To ensure the constraint on the mass and distance, it is however mandatory to have a good knowledge of the microlensing source, especially its angular diameter. This is generally obtained by using color observations during the magnification of the event. The ROME/REA key project at LCO surveys 4 square degrees of the Galactic Bulge from April to October since 2017. Three color observations are systematically obtained to derive Spectral Energy Distributions (SED) of all of the ~ 300 microlensing events detected each year. The goal of this proposal is to conduct a spectroscopic follow-up of the brightest microlensing events in order to : - reduce the uncertainties on lenses mass and distance - attempt to extract the spectrum of brightest lenses - compare spectroscopic observations with SED from the ROME/REA key project - rule out binary sources models The LCO spectra obtained for this proposal are a crucial step to validate the ROME/REA strategy for the brightest events. 2019B 12 4
Saha A NOAO Follow-up of nova candidates in M31 from the ZTF public stream Follow-up of nova candidates in M31 from the ZTF public stream Mass-accreting white dwarfs (WDs) constitute an important probe of various astrophysical processes such as accretion, thermonuclear explosions, shocks, etc. In particular, novae are recurring thermonuclear runaway explosions on the surface of WDs accreting mass slowly (typically <=10^-7 Msun/yr) from a non-degenerate companion star. Consequently nova-producing systems (novae in short) are considered one of the candidates for the elusive progenitors of type Ia supernovae (SNeIa). Nevertheless, there are results pointing to the contrary, for example observational evidence that indicates the mass of the WD decreases during a nova outburst and hence cannot grow to the Chandrasekhar mass limit. These results are, however, based on studying only a handful of nova systems. A more direct constraint on the role of novae as SNIa progenitors comes from the disagreement between the nova and SNIa rates. However, such works have to-date probed only slow-declining (> 2 weeks) novae, while the most massive WDs, close to the Chandrasekhar mass limit, are expected to produce fast novae and with a short recurrence period. Rates of fast novae have not been constrained in any galaxy to-date. Systematic studies of these fast novae, that can now be afforded with high-cadence wide-area imaging surveys such as ZTF, will provide the strongest constraint on nova-producing SNIa progenitors. An essential component of such studies is the confirmation of candidate objects identified through the imaging surveys. Since novae are characterized by strong Balmer emission following the outburst and lasting for months, narrow-band H-alpha imaging of the candidate objects provides a relatively cheap way (as compared to spectroscopy) for confirmation. Through this proposal, we aim to conduct follow-up observations in narrow-band H-alpha using the Spectral Imager on the Haleakala Observatory, of candidate novae including recurrence of old novae in M31 that we have identified from the public stream of ZTF served by the ANTARES broker. 2019B 10
Siverd R Vanderbilt University Spectroscopy of Classical Be stars and their disks simultaneous with TESS photometry Spectroscopy of Classical Be stars and their disks simultaneous with TESS photometry Be stars are near-critically rotating non-radially pulsating B-type stars that episodically eject mass and form orbiting viscous 'decretion' disks. As such, they are valuable astrophysical laboratories for a variety of processes. Despite their commonalities, Be stars show diverse behavior with widely ranging timescales and magnitudes. Because of the complicated nature of Be stars and their variability, it is often necessary to observe these systems in multiple modes to determine the origin of the detected signals. We are proposing to obtain multiple spectroscopic observations of particularly active Be stars simultaneous with photometric observations from the NASA TESS mission. This combination of photometry + spectroscopy will allow us to study what happens before, during, and after episodes of mass ejection. Mass ejection episodes have a characteristic signal in photometry, and the TESS data will show exactly when and for how long these episodes occur. The spectroscopic data contains information about the density profile, kinematics, and geometry of the ejected material. Combining these observables will allow us to study mass ejections in unprecedented detail, which is important because the mechanism by which mass is ejected is so far unknown but may be rooted in pulsation. Finally, we will use these data to constrain models of disk build-up and dissipation, from which disk viscosity can be measured, and the rate of mass and angular momentum loss from the star can be calculated. These are important quantities in astrophysical disks and in stellar evolution models, and Be stars represent possibly the most accessible systems for constraining these values. 2019B 86
Mathur S Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias Activity cycles in Kepler Asteroseismic Targets Activity cycles in Kepler Asteroseismic Targets The position of the Sun compared to other solar-like stars have been questioned for some time, in particular with the study of the magnetic activity of solar-like stars through spectroscopic observations. Is the Sun a peculiar star? Recently, the investigation of some Kepler solar-like targets showed that stars enter a transition phase in terms of their rotation and magnetism for a given Rossby number. Subsequently, it was suggested that the Sun is in that transition phase where magnetic braking stops, leading to higher surface rotation rates, and where magnetic activity cycles become longer. However, we need more observational data to test and refine this theory. We propose to begin long-term monitoring of CaII H and K emission for a sample of 15 solar-like stars for which rotation rates have been measured with the Kepler data and for which we have seismic constraints on their ages and structures. 2019B 72
Siverd R Vanderbilt University Discovering Hot Transiting Planets in the Solar Neighborhood with KELT Discovering Hot Transiting Planets in the Solar Neighborhood with KELT Transiting exoplanets with bright host stars are scientifically very productive because they provide a unique opportunity to accurately measure physical system parameters (mass, radius, temperature, composition). Unfortunately, a relatively small fraction of known transiting planets are bright enough for detailed characterization. Wide-field photometric surveys are an efficient way to discover such systems but generally require follow-up observation by larger telescopes to identify false positives and obtain high-precision light curves in standard bandpasses. The KELT project is a wide-field transit survey originally designed to find new transiting planets around bright (V~7.5-11) FGK stars with high scientific value. The development of new analysis techniques allowed the KELT project to confirm numerous planets around hotter B- and A-type stars that have been otherwise mostly ignored. To date, ~half of the known hot Jupiters with B- or A-type hosts have been discovered by KELT, most of which are excellent testbeds for atmospheric study. Now in its 14th observing year, KELT has published numerous discoveries from both its Northern and Southern telescopes that include follow-up data from LCO. As our time baseline has grown, new candidates have emerged with longer periods (10 - 20 days), many of which will not be flagged by the TESS mission. With capable telescopes at many different longitudes, the LCO network is particularly well suited to our photometric needs. Its importance is even greater for the candidates with longer periods that are now emerging. We propose to continue this successful high-precision photometry program to discover new transiting exoplanets of high scientific value. 2019B 20 75 300
Rebull L IPAC Photometric monitoring of young stars: clues to the magnetopsheric accretion process Photometric monitoring of young stars: clues to the magnetopsheric accretion process With the aim to decipher the complex magnetospheric accretion/ejection process in young stellar systems, we organize in 2019 two coordinated multi-instrument, multi-wavelength campaigns on 2 young stellar objects. The observing campaigns combine high-resolution optical and near-infrared spectroscopy and spectropolarimetry, and multi-color photometry. We will thus monitor the various diagnostics of the magnetospheric accretion process, including optical and near-infrared line profile shape and variability, magnetic field measurements from Stokes V Zeeman-Doppler Imaging analysis, and characterize the color behavior of the system as its brightness varies. LCOGT provides the most suited instruments to perform the photometric part of these campaigns. We thus request a total of 12.2 hours, including overheads, to monitor the 2 targets in (u')g'r'i' filters over a couple of weeks each, using 1m telescopes equipped with the Sinistro camera. Performing for the first time (quasi-) simultaneous high resolution optical and infrared spectroscopy/polarimetry on a couple of young stellar objects over several rotational cycles together with multi-color photometric monitoring will allow us to fully address issues related to the central physical process operating in young stars, namely the magnetic star-disk interaction process. 2019B 13
Kupfer T KITP/UC Santa Barbara The Fast and the Furious - A ZTF high cadence survey of the Galactic Plane The Fast and the Furious - A ZTF high cadence survey of the Galactic Plane The Fast and the Furious is a high-cadence survey in the Galactic Plane covering the full inner Plane visible from the Northern hemisphere as part of observations of the Zwicky Transient Facility. The goal is to identify an unbiased sample of short period pulsators and ultracompact binaries such as interacting AMCVn type binaries and detached white dwarf/He-star binaries with periods below 2 hours. Our survey will provide a comprehensive census of short period variables and allow for a detailed population study of different classes of short variable objects like ultracompact binaries and fast pulsators. Here we request a total of 80 hours with the 0.4 telescopes, 128 hours with the 1 m telescopes and 32 hours with the 2 m telescopes to obtain high signal-to-noise ratio follow-up lightcurves of the 30 most interesting systems found in the Fast and the Furious survey. The individual multi-color lightcurves will allow us to measure the orbital period and the overall photometric variability precisely and in combination with spectroscopy measure precise system parameter such as masses, inclination and radii. 2019B 32 128 80
Parviainen H Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias Constraining the masses of TOI-270 c and d using transit timing variations Constraining the masses of TOI-270 c and d using transit timing variations We propose to use the unique photometric capabilities of LCO's' network of 1m-class telescopes to observe transits of two dynamically interacting sub-Netpunes orbiting the bright M-dwarf TOI-270 (Guenther et al., 2019). These planets are sensitive tests of planet formation models and are among the most interesting targets for atmospheric characterisation. We request 76h on the LCO-1m telescopes in 2019B to observe 9 transits of TOI-270 c and 4 transits of TOI-270 d. The proposed LCO observations will enable us to refine the ephemerides for the two planets and constrain their masses via the measurement of Transit Timing Variations (TTVs). These measurements are an essential step towards the determination of the bulk and atmospheric composition of the planets. 2019B 76
Chakrabarti S RIT Lensed supernovae at low redshift Lensed supernovae at low redshift We propose to continue our observations targeting strong-lensing galaxies to discover multiply-imaged supernovae (SNe) suitable for time-delay cosmography. In recent years, precise measurements of the Hubble-Lemaıtre constant ($H_{0}$) have emerged as a primary driver of cosmological investigations. There is now a significant discrepancy, at a level of 4.4σ, between the Hubble parameter ($H_{0}$) determined locally (Riess et al. 2019) and that determined from the cosmic microwave background (Planck Collaboration et al. 2016). This discrepancy calls for an independent determination of $H_{0}$. We plan to continue our automated search for lensed SNe with LCO’s 1-m Sinistro in a low-redshift sample. This sample is comprised of all the SWELLS sources, and the lowest redshift sources of the SLACS sample, which are all normal star-forming galaxies at low-redshift ($z_source$ < 1). These observations will provide a measurement of $H_{0}$ from time-delays. With our magnitude limit of 22.2 mag, expect a detection rate of ~ 1 lensed SN per year from this sample of 100 sources. Follow-up of SN candidates can be done by the Global Supernova Project, on which Co-PI Curtis McCully is a Co-I. 2019B 0 118
Lister T LCO Characterization of NEOs with the LCO NEO Follow-up Network Characterization of NEOs with the LCO NEO Follow-up Network Near Earth Objects (NEOs) are our closest neighbors and research into them is important not only for understanding the Solar System’s origin and evolution, but also to understand the physical structure and composition of NEOs in order to better protect human society from potential impacts. NEOs originate in collisions between bodies in the main asteroid belt and have found their way into near-Earth space via complex dynamical interactions. Understanding the formation and subsequent orbital and rotational evolution of NEOs requires a more complete sample of the taxonomy or type of material that makes up NEOs as a function of object diameter and orbit type or origin location. We wish to obtain 4 band multi-color measurements and optical spectra so that we might estimate compositional and taxonomic properties of a sample of NEOs. Additionally we will obtain single filter light curves which will allow us to determine rotation periods and inform deductions on the bulk density and material and determine pole directions radar-targeted and potential mission destination NEOs. Finally we will determine precise astrometry of specific NEOs to measure the Yarkovsky drift and secular change in semi-major axis. This proposal requests 94.5 hours of 1-m time, 75 hours of 0.4-m (to follow brighter targets) and 13 hours of 2-m FTN FLOYDS time for spectroscopic follow-up of brighter NEO targets. 2019B 13 91 68
Rabus M LCO/UCSB Coordinated photometric follow-up of TESS candidates Coordinated photometric follow-up of TESS candidates The TESS survey has started to produce hundreds of transiting planet candidates. We ask for time to photometrical follow-up these candidates with the LCO 1m and 0.4m telescopes. Through these observations, first, we will establish that the target star was the source of the transit signal. Furthermore, the observations will help us to exclude common sources of false positives caused by the large PSF of TESS, which can contain and blend eclipsing binaries (EB). These EBs when observed resolved with ground-based telescopes can cause deep eclipses inconsistent with a planetary transit. Also, multi-color time-series observations can be helpful to identify most eclipsing binaries systems, particularly when the components have different effective temperatures. For planetary transits with a depth suitable for ground-based follow-up (>1 mmag. deep), we will use the LCO light curves for ephemeris refinement and detect any possible transit timing variations. These observations are a coordinated effort within TFOP and are crucial for confirming or discarding the planetary origin of the transit signal. 2019B 10 183 358
Suárez Mascareño A Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias Photometric monitoring of Proxima Centauri and Barnard’s star to complement ESPRESSO observations Photometric monitoring of Proxima Centauri and Barnard’s star to complement ESPRESSO observations Simultaneous photometry is a very valuable addition to precise radial velocity observations. It helps disentangling keplerian signals from activity induced signals. ESPRESSO is conducting right now the most precise RV campaign ever tried on Proxima Centauri and Barnard’s star. As part of the ESPRESSO consortium we propose to use 20 hours of the 1-m telescope network and 40 hours of the 40-cm telescope network to perform simultaneous photometry on both stars during the ESPRESSO campaign. 2019B 60

Australian National University

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)
Yong D Australian National University Binarity in Carbon-enhanced metal-poor stars Binarity in Carbon-enhanced metal-poor stars The oldest, most chemically primitive stars in the Milky Way Galaxy’s halo offer an unparalleled opportunity for fundamental insight into the nature of the first stars in the universe and the origin of the chemical elements. Given their prevalence at lowest metallicity, Carbon-enhanced metal-poor stars (CEMP) are profoundly important objects for understanding chemical enrichment in the early universe. While the CEMP-no subclass is the dominant population below metallicity [Fe/H] = –3, their binary fraction remains poorly constrained. Recent results suggest that the binary fraction may depend upon the carbon abundance. The goal of this proposal is to undertake long-term radial velocity monitoring of 12 CEMP-no objects to refine the binary frequency. Improved observational constraints will enable us to better understand the nucleosynthetic process(es) responsible for the strong carbon excess in these ancient stars, i.e., is the carbon related to their binary status, or was it imprinted in their natal molecular clouds by an external source? 2019B 60
Ireland M Australian National University The Delta Scuti Star RZ Microscopii The Delta Scuti Star RZ Microscopii Pulsations of δ Sct stars are the most promising observable for determining fundamental parameters of A and early-F stars, but they are notoriously difficult to model because of a complex non-radial modal structure. The system RZ Mic is a perfect system for δ Sct mode determination and modelling: a semi-detached eclipsing binaries with a δ Sct component. These observations follow on from successful observations of TT Hor (now published). This proposal also acts as a catch all for ANU time for small projects, including 2019A projects that were not quite completed and need a few more hours of data. 2019B 15 15 40 200

Chilean Astronomical Community

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)
Tejos N Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso Rapid Imaging Follow-up of Fast Radio Bursts with LCOGTN Rapid Imaging Follow-up of Fast Radio Bursts with LCOGTN We propose to continue our target of opportunity (ToO) program to study the nature and origin of fast radio bursts (FRBs). Analogous to the gamma-ray bursts, the FRBs are an enigmatic class of transient sources dis- covered outside the optical/near-IR passbands. eir radio emission, however, offers limited insight into their physical nature and, especially, cannot be used to establish the source redshi. We propose to use LCOGTN to perform rapid imaging follow-up observations of real-time FRB alerts, in order to localize a putative optical counterpart or galaxy host. We will then perform rapid response spectroscopic follow-up observations from large-class telescopes (e.g. Gemini, Keck), with the primary objective of obtaining a solid redshi estimation to FRBs. Our science goals range from establishing the energetics and progenitors of the FRBs to leveraging these phenomena for cosmological constraints on the mean density of the intergalactic medium. 2019B 0
Brahm R Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile Transiting Warm Jupiters in the TESS Era Transiting Warm Jupiters in the TESS Era e discovery and characterization of transiting giant planets orbiting bright stars is key for tackling 2 major theoretical challenges: 1) what properties govern the internal structure of planets, and 2) how giant planets can be found orbiting inside the snowline. e majority of the transiting giant planets that have been discovered in the past decades have extremely small semi-major axes and hence their structural and orbital parameters should have been strongly affected by interactions with the host star, erasing most of the primordial information about the processes of planetary formation and evolution. It is expected that the TESS mission will be able to detect hundreds of warm giant planets orbiting stars brighter than J=11. In the context of a large collaboration between researchers from different Chilean institutions we propose to use a diverse range of instruments offered by the CNTAC to lead the discovery and detailed characterization of transiting warm Jupiters. 2019B 100
Retamales G Universidad de La Serena B-type supergiant binaries as a key to understand the evolution of massive stars B-type supergiant binaries as a key to understand the evolution of massive stars B-type supergiant (B-sg) stars are crucial to understand the evolution of massive stars, since they are the evolved descendants of O stars. However, unlike for O-type stars, the multiplicity of B-sg stars is not well constrained, due to an observational bias or different evolutionary scenarios in action. We have compiled a database of more than 1000 B-sg stars, where only less than 10% are classified as spectroscopic binaries. erefore, a detailed study of large samples of B-sg stars becomes necessary. Based on the lack of high quality monitoring of B-sg stars in the literature, we have initiated a campaign to gather a large database of high S/N and high resolution multi- epoch optical spectra of southern Galactic B-sgs. We propose to observe a set of 150 B-sgs brighter than V=9, including 17 SB2 eclipsing binaries, using CHIRON, CORALIE and NRES spectrographs. is is the second proposal. Requested observations are essential for the development of a PhD thesis at ULS. 2019B 50
Bayo A Universidad de Valparaiso Photometric monitoring of young stars: clues to the magnetopsheric accretion process Photometric monitoring of young stars: clues to the magnetopsheric accretion process With the aim to decipher the complex magnetospheric accretion/ejection process in young stellar sys- tems, we have organized coordinated multi- instrument, multi-wavelength campaigns on two YSOs in 2019. We will perform for the first time (quasi-) simultaneous high-resolution optical and near-infrared spec- troscopy/polarimetry over several rotational cycles. e laer, along with multi-color photometric monitoring, will allow us to study the various diagnostics of the magnetospheric accretion process, including optical and near-infrared line profile shape and variability, magnetic field measurements from Stokes V Zeeman-Doppler Imaging analysis, and characterize the color behavior of the system as its brightness varies. We therefore request 12 h of 1m telescope time to complement the multi-color photometric monitoring of these YSOs. 2019B 9
Mendez R Universidad de Chile Astrometric and photometric characterization of the Gaia and GBOT discoveries Astrometric and photometric characterization of the Gaia and GBOT discoveries This project, started in 2019A, aims at characterizing new Solar System Objects (SSO) in the context of the Gaia space mission. These SSOs are detected by the probe itself in the frame of the Gaia data processing (the Gaia-FUN-SSO project) or by ground-based telescopes involved in the positioning of the probe (the GBOT project). In both cases an imaging follow-up through observations on alert must be carried out in order to determine the orbits of these objects, which cannot be computed from the first observations made only on very short orbital arcs at the detection date. Our team has all the tools and expertise to quickly process the alerts, and to produce the necessary ephemeris. Analysis takes place immediately after receiving the data using our specialized astrometric pipeline, and the is info sent to the IAU's Minor Planet Center. We request non-sidereal tracking and "Time Critical" status at the LCOGT 1m telescope network. 2019B 57
Probing the geometry of the Universe with quasars Probing the geometry of the Universe with quasars The presence of the dark energy is the most important puzzle of the present-day cosmology. Its existence and properties should be thus confirmed by many independent methods. Active galactic nuclei can serve as important probes of the Universe geometry at redshis above 1. We propose to monitor 3 selected quasars in order measure the time delay. Based on simple theory of accretion disks and mechanism of formation of broad line regions we will calculate distance with a precision of about 0.06 mag. 2019B 16
Olivares F Millennium Institute of Astrophysics, Department of Astronomy, Universidad de Chile Photometric Follow-up of Gaia Transients Photometric Follow-up of Gaia Transients Extragalactic and Galactic transients are currently being detected in large numbers by many all-sky surveys. Gaia, the European space mission, is unique among them as it scans the entire sky down to 20th mag and deliv- ers superb astrometry and low-resolution spectroscopy for every discovered transient. However, Gaia follow- up observations suffer from very low cadence, therefore we require well organized and frequent ground-based follow-up. In particular, Gaia transients can help discover and study black holes at stellar masses, masses similar to those producing gravitational waves, and super-massive black holes in the center of galaxies. In this program we propose to collect detailed photometric multi-band data of nuclear transients and rare mi- crolensing events in the Galactic plane (bulge excluded) detected by the Gaia and OGLE surveys. is way we will supplement interesting discoveries in the Southern hemisphere, which oen lack proper photometric follow-up programs. 2019B 28
Moyano M Universidad Católica del Norte Probing the Sub-Neptune Desert with the Next Generation Transit Survey Probing the Sub-Neptune Desert with the Next Generation Transit Survey The Next Generation Transit Survey is the most sensitive ground-based exoplanet transit survey (photomet- ric precision ∼0.1%), having found the shallowest transit depth discovered from the ground (0.13%). Over 4 years of operations, NGTS will discover Neptune, sub-Neptune and Super- Earth sized planets around stars brighter than 15th mag, as well as over 100 new hot Jupiters. Around 20 of the Neptune and sub-Neptune sized planets discovered by NGTS will orbit stars bright enough for investigations of their atmospheres. We cur- rently have 200 candidates that have passed our stringent tests. We require multi-band follow-up photometry to further weed out false positives and to refine system parameters, prior to spectroscopic follow-up and full characterisations of the systems. 2019B 30

Direct submissions

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)
Sickafoose A SAAO Continued Observations of Stellar Occultations by Trans-Neptunian Objects Continued Observations of Stellar Occultations by Trans-Neptunian Objects We propose to continue our program of observations of stellar occultations by Trans-Neptunian Objects from the LCO sites for the predicted shadow paths in 2019B: Ixion on 02 June and 30 June; 29P on 13 June and 16 October; 2017 OF69 on 22 June; 95626 (2002 GZ32) on 27 June; Quaoar on 06 July and 04 August; Huya on 08 July; 307261 (2002 MS4) on 09 July and 31 July; Pluto on 17 July and 20 November; Chariklo on 08 August and 04 September; 145452 (2005 RN43) on 12 September; 202421 (2005 UQ513) on 09 October; 55637 (2002 UX25) on 16 October and 07 November; Echeclus on 29 October. If successful, our goals include looking for signs of atmospheric collapse on Pluto, and constraining the physical and atmospheric properties for the other objects. A total of 60 hours is requested: 48.75 h on the 1-m telescopes and 12.5 h on the 0.4-m telescopes. 2019B 49 32

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)
Lewis F Faulkes Telescope Project, Cardiff LMXB LMXB Continued monitoring of ~ 40 quiescent and outbursting Low-mass X-ray binaries. 2019B 90
Roche P Faulkes Telescope Project PR FTP Education - Queue FTP Education - Queue FTP Education - Queue 2014A 2019B 2016B 2018B 2015A 2015B 2014B 2019A 2016A 2017AB 2018A 10 190 10 128 88
Roche P Faulkes Telescope Project PR FTP Education (Gaia Alerts) FTP Education (Gaia Alerts) FTP Education (Gaia Alerts) 2017AB 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 30 15 10

Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii

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)
Armstrong J Institute for Astronomy HI STAR Projects HI STAR Projects The Hawaii Student Teacher Astronomy Research program (HI STAR) is a week long summer program for middle and high school students. At the summer program students work with mentors on starting a research project which the students will continue through the year. The goal ot the HI STAR program is to have students conduct astronomy research projects, enter their projects in the science fair, and eventually major in science, engineering, or technology when they go to college. Typical student research projects include variable stars; asteroid recovery, rotation, and color; exoplanets; galaxies; etc. While this is an EPO program the students are conducting research and some students may submit peer reviewed papers on their research so a proprietary period is desirable. 2019B 10 30 10 25 90
Armstrong J Institute for Astronomy HI STAR Projects - Time Critical HI STAR Projects - Time Critical The Hawaii Student Teacher Astronomy Research program (HI STAR) is a week long summer program for middle and high school students. At the summer program students work with mentors on starting a research project which the students will continue through the year. The goal ot the HI STAR program is to have students conduct astronomy research projects, enter their projects in the science fair, and eventually major in science, engineering, or technology when they go to college. Typical student research projects include variable stars; asteroid recovery, rotation, and color; exoplanets; galaxies; etc. While this is an EPO program the students are conducting research and some students may submit peer reviewed papers on their research so a proprietary period is desirable. 2019B 5 5 10
Armstrong J Institute for Astronomy HI STAR Projects II HI STAR Projects II The Hawaii Student Teacher Astronomy Research program (HI STAR) is a week long summer program for middle and high school students. At the summer program students work with mentors on starting a research project which the students will continue through the year. The goal ot the HI STAR program is to have students conduct astronomy research projects, enter their projects in the science fair, and eventually major in science, engineering, or technology when they go to college. Typical student research projects include variable stars; asteroid recovery, rotation, and color; exoplanets; galaxies; etc. While this is an EPO program the students are conducting research and some students may submit peer reviewed papers on their research so a proprietary period is desirable. 2019B 10 30 10 25 90
Armstrong J Institute for Astronomy HI STAR Projects II - Time Critical HI STAR Projects II - Time Critical The Hawaii Student Teacher Astronomy Research program (HI STAR) is a week long summer program for middle and high school students. At the summer program students work with mentors on starting a research project which the students will continue through the year. The goal ot the HI STAR program is to have students conduct astronomy research projects, enter their projects in the science fair, and eventually major in science, engineering, or technology when they go to college. Typical student research projects include variable stars; asteroid recovery, rotation, and color; exoplanets; galaxies; etc. While this is an EPO program the students are conducting research and some students may submit peer reviewed papers on their research so a proprietary period is desirable 2019B 5 5 10
Shih H University of Hawaii Maui College 0m4 Educational Use 0m4 Educational Use The Institute for Astronomy will provide students in classes opportunity to learn research with robotic telescopes. 2019B 50

Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias

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)
Murgas F Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias Photometric support to ESPRESSO's GTO monitoring of M dwarf Photometric support to ESPRESSO's GTO monitoring of M dwarf Obtain simultaneous photometric measurements of M dwarfs simultaneous to the RV measurements of ESPRESSO GTO, to account fo possible stellar activity. 2019B 46
Acosta-Pulido J Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias Disentangling the blazars emission through multifrequency observations - the optical case (cont.) Disentangling the blazars emission through multifrequency observations - the optical case (cont.) Immediate objectives: Here we request observing time to continue our photometric monitoring program in the optical range of a sample of bright gamma-ray blazars, using the LCO-0.4 m network. An important part of the requested data will be incorporated in the Ph.D. thesis work of Jorge Otero Santos (SO-FPI student). He will be dealing with the follow-up of sources observed with MAGIC telescopes and in the near future with CTA/LST. Moreover, our data will be part of a common multi-wavelength observing effort carried out by the GASP-WEBT Collaboration, which aims at obtaining densely sampled low-energy light curves to compare with the high-energy light ones. Insight can be obtained by analyzing a number of flares in several objects but, due to the unpredictable nature of such events, we cannot tell how much time and how many sources will be needed before the issue is completely solved. Robotic telescopes are particularly suited for intensive monitoring programs like ours, mainly due to the efficient operation mode, providing a very regular monitoring at relative low operational cost. 2019B 20
Alonso R Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias Searching for a second occultation in EPIC 204376071 Searching for a second occultation in EPIC 204376071 We aim to monitor photometrically every ~10h a recently found unique object that exhibited a 80% drop in flux lasting one day, in the course of one campaign of the K2 mission (Rappaport et al. 2019). Different scenarios have been proposed to explain this feature, some of them requiring a periodic behavior of these events. With LCO observations during 2019B, we propose to explore possible periodicities of up to ~130d. If a second identical event is found, it would mean some of the suggested scenarios could be discarded, and it would allow to plan follow-up observations on larger facilities, with the goal of a better understanding of the origin of these events. We have requested time at the 1-m network through the regular call for this project, aiming to obtain one point in two colors every 10h with these telescopes. The request for time at the 0.4-m on this proposal is to 1) increase the time coverage and reliability of a potential detection, which might involve only one or two data points, and 2) warrant that the object is receiving a follow-up to determine its ephemeris should the time at the 1-m network not be granted. 2019B 128

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 350
Gomez E LCO LCO Education development LCO Education development 2019B 2018B 2016B 2015A 2015B 2014B 2019A 2016A 2017AB 2018A 1 10 166
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 88
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 0
Dominik M Fascination Astronomy Fascination Astronomy Fascination Astronomy 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 20
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 50
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 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 54
Sienkiewicz F MicroObservatory Exoplanet Exploration Partnership (regular observations) Exoplanet Exploration Partnership (regular observations) Exoplanet Exploration Partnership (Regular priority observations) 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 90
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 30
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 25
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 40
Swift J The Thacher School Thacher Supernovae Thacher Supernovae Thacher Supernovae 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 2
Tock K Stanford Online High School Stanford Online High School Stanford Online High School Addition to Education Partners Program 2018B 2019A 2019B 35
Gomez E LCO Serol's Cosmic Explorers Serol's Cosmic Explorers 2018B 2019A 2019B 10
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 20
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 15
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 5
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 31
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 95
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 23
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 1
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 48
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 41

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)
Mann C Nanohmics, Inc Stellar flare echo detection feasibility study Stellar flare echo detection feasibility study Stellar flare echo detection feasibility study 2019B 104
cucchiara a University of the Virgin Islands Searching for the fastest transients Searching for the fastest transients Searching for the fastest transients 2019B 10
Jun H Korea Institute for Advanced Study AGN Reverberation Lags AGN Reverberation Lags AGN Reverberation Lags 2019B 31 13
Shi Y NJU Quasar Variability Quasar Variability Quasar Variability 2019B 100
Modjaz M NYU NYU Research and Education NYU Research and Education Purchased time for NYU Research and Education programs. 2019B 20 20
Russell D New York University Abu Dhabi NYU, Abu Dhabi Research and Education NYU, Abu Dhabi Research and Education Purchase of telescope hours for NYU, Abu Dhabi, Research and Education programs. 2019B 20 65
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 3
Alonso R Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias Recovering the eclipse of a double-line brown dwarf binary Recovering the eclipse of a double-line brown dwarf binary Double-line eclipsing binaries provide the most direct route for the absolute determination of the masses and the radii of stars. The same is true for brown dwarfs. However, due to their intrinsically faint luminosities, small sizes, and low binary fractions, brown dwarf – brown dwarf eclipsing binaries are rare. Only one has been identified to date, over a decade ago. Thanks to photometric timeseries acquired with the SPECULOOS Southern Observatory (during its commissioning), we have identified a second brown dwarf – brown dwarf eclipsing system, residing in a remarkable young sub-stellar triple system. NIRSpec & UVES spectra reveal a double-line binary, enabling a measure of its orbital period, relative masses and sizes. In this proposal, we request urgent follow-up photometry with LCOGT to capture a second eclipse and establish precise ephemerides for this system. 2019B 8
Burke J LCO/UCSB Education Time for CTY Summer Classes Education Time for CTY Summer Classes Education Time for CTY Summer Classes 2019B 1
Gaidos E University of Hawaii at Manoa Catch a Fading Star: Colors of Transiently Dimming Young Stars Catch a Fading Star: Colors of Transiently Dimming Young Stars Catch a Fading Star: Colors of Transiently Dimming Young Stars 2019B 350
Sonnett S Planetary Science Institute Probing Solar System Evolution Through Trojan and Hilda Binary Asteroids - Time Critical Probing Solar System Evolution Through Trojan and Hilda Binary Asteroids - Time Critical One of the most influential and yet poorly constrained events in Solar System history is giant planet migration. The objects thought to be most affected by this migration are Jovian Trojan asteroids (hereafter, Trojans), which lie in stable orbits at Jupiter’s L4 and L5 Lagrange points, and Hilda asteroids, which are in 3:2 orbital resonance with Jupiter. These asteroid populations have fragile orbits that serve as a fossil of the motions that took place in the early Solar System. Gentle planetary migration models require Trojans to have formed in situ, in which case they would provide one of the only opportunities to study the chemistry of the primordial middle Solar System and the material that comprises Jupiter’s elusive core. However, rapid migration models instead suggest that Trojans were implanted from the outer Solar System, in which case Trojans and Hildas would be an excellent observable proxy for small outer Solar System bodies too faint for most telescopes. Models promoting radial mixing in the earliest epochs of Solar System formation also predict Trojans and Hildas to have a common origin. Recent pebble-accretion models also predict an intermediary formation location of Trojans (~15-20 AU) and a much closer origin for Hildas (~5-8 AU). Therefore, knowing the Trojan and Hilda formation location(s) would offer powerful, discerning constraints on competing Solar System formation and evolution models. Bulk density is one of the only observable properties that can be used to determine an asteroid's formation location, low densities being consistent with an ice-rich outer Solar System origin and high densities tied to warmer, silicate-rich inner Solar System formation. Identifying and characterizing binary asteroid systems are the only realistic means of determining density and thus assessing formation location, apart from a spacecraft fly-by. Determining the abundance of binaries relative to other asteroid populations also helps describe the dynamical environment(s) in which they formed. However, at the time of this writing, only 5 Trojan and no Hilda binaries have been discovered. We have identified 83 potentially binary Trojans and Hildas in need of densely sampled rotational light curves to confirm and characterize their binarity. We currently have complete datasets for 25 of the 83 targets and now seek follow-up for 33 of the remaining binary candidates. We propose to densely image them, compute their light curve solutions, model their phased light curves to solve for density, and statistically compare the densities and binary properties of Trojan, Hilda, outer Solar System, and inner Solar System asteroids. Intriguingly, nearly all of our targets span a size range famous for its puzzling absence of binaries. Thus, our targets may represent a rare stage of binary evolution, unique combination of binary formation mechanisms, and/or internal structures puzzlingly different from neighboring asteroid populations. This work will help contextualize and enhance the scientific value of the upcoming Lucy Space Mission to 5 Trojans, including 1 binary system, and should be completed just before its 2021 launch. 2019B 3 36 18
Sand D Texas Tech Explosion Physics and Progenitors from a Sub-day Cadence Supernova Search - Time Critical Explosion Physics and Progenitors from a Sub-day Cadence Supernova Search - Time Critical In the early hours to days after explosion, supernovae (SNe) provide unique clues on the nature of their progenitor stars and the physics of their explosion mechanisms. Motivated by the need to discover and fully characterize SNe within the first day of explosion, we have begun a pointed sub-day cadence SN search focused on nearby (D<40 Mpc) galaxies with two PROMPT 0.4m telescopes at CTIO and Meckering Observatory. This program, called DLT40, will discover ~5-10 SNe per year within a day from their explosion, along with ~10 further SNe per year at later times and a zoo of other transients and variable stars. Here we request follow-up 0.4m and 1m imaging to confirm our incoming SNe, and FLOYDS spectroscopy to classify the most promising objects. Young and nearby interesting transients will eventually be fed to the Global Supernova Program (LCO key project) for a complete follow-up and full characterization. 2019B 10 10
Siverd R Vanderbilt University Spectroscopy of EBs with Extreme Orbits Discovered by KELT - Time Critical Spectroscopy of EBs with Extreme Orbits Discovered by KELT - Time Critical Stars are perhaps the most fundamental and most frequently studied components of the observable universe. As both a driving force in galactic evolution and hosts of countless exoplanets, a detailed understanding of stars -- their fundamental parameters and how they evolve -- is crucial for many fields of astronomy. Eclipsing binary (EB) systems provide us with the opportunity to precisely measure masses, radii, temperatures, and luminosities of stars far outside our solar system. Systems with eccentric orbits, especially with measured apsidal motion (usually requiring a long observational baseline), provide additional opportunities to infer stellar structure, constrain evolution models, characterize tidal forces, and even confirm predictions of General Relativity. Few targets suitable for this kind of analysis are known, limiting our ability to probe stellar astrophysics. Five promising objects have been identified by the KELT transit survey. We propose to characterize their stars and orbits using NRES spectroscopy in order to derive valuable new stellar mass and radius measurements. 2019B 10
Siverd R Vanderbilt University Spectroscopy of Classical Be stars and their disks simultaneous with TESS photometry - Time Critical Spectroscopy of Classical Be stars and their disks simultaneous with TESS photometry - Time Critical Be stars are near-critically rotating non-radially pulsating B-type stars that episodically eject mass and form orbiting viscous 'decretion' disks. As such, they are valuable astrophysical laboratories for a variety of processes. Despite their commonalities, Be stars show diverse behavior with widely ranging timescales and magnitudes. Because of the complicated nature of Be stars and their variability, it is often necessary to observe these systems in multiple modes to determine the origin of the detected signals. We are proposing to obtain multiple spectroscopic observations of particularly active Be stars simultaneous with photometric observations from the NASA TESS mission. This combination of photometry + spectroscopy will allow us to study what happens before, during, and after episodes of mass ejection. Mass ejection episodes have a characteristic signal in photometry, and the TESS data will show exactly when and for how long these episodes occur. The spectroscopic data contains information about the density profile, kinematics, and geometry of the ejected material. Combining these observables will allow us to study mass ejections in unprecedented detail, which is important because the mechanism by which mass is ejected is so far unknown but may be rooted in pulsation. Finally, we will use these data to constrain models of disk build-up and dissipation, from which disk viscosity can be measured, and the rate of mass and angular momentum loss from the star can be calculated. These are important quantities in astrophysical disks and in stellar evolution models, and Be stars represent possibly the most accessible systems for constraining these values. 2019B 20
Lister T LCO Characterization of NEOs with the LCO NEO Follow-up Network - Time Critical Characterization of NEOs with the LCO NEO Follow-up Network - Time Critical Near Earth Objects (NEOs) are our closest neighbors and research into them is important not only for understanding the Solar System’s origin and evolution, but also to understand the physical structure and composition of NEOs in order to better protect human society from potential impacts. NEOs originate in collisions between bodies in the main asteroid belt and have found their way into near-Earth space via complex dynamical interactions. Understanding the formation and subsequent orbital and rotational evolution of NEOs requires a more complete sample of the taxonomy or type of material that makes up NEOs as a function of object diameter and orbit type or origin location. We wish to obtain 4 band multi-color measurements and optical spectra so that we might estimate compositional and taxonomic properties of a sample of NEOs. Additionally we will obtain single filter light curves which will allow us to determine rotation periods and inform deductions on the bulk density and material and determine pole directions radar-targeted and potential mission destination NEOs. Finally we will determine precise astrometry of specific NEOs to measure the Yarkovsky drift and secular change in semi-major axis. This proposal requests 94.5 hours of 1-m time, 75 hours of 0.4-m (to follow brighter targets) and 13 hours of 2-m FTN FLOYDS time for spectroscopic follow-up of brighter NEO targets. 2019B 8
Rabus M LCO/UCSB Coordinated photometric follow-up of TESS candidates - Time Critical Coordinated photometric follow-up of TESS candidates - Time Critical The TESS survey has started to produce hundreds of transiting planet candidates. We ask for time to photometrical follow-up these candidates with the LCO 1m and 0.4m telescopes. Through these observations, first, we will establish that the target star was the source of the transit signal. Furthermore, the observations will help us to exclude common sources of false positives caused by the large PSF of TESS, which can contain and blend eclipsing binaries (EB). These EBs when observed resolved with ground-based telescopes can cause deep eclipses inconsistent with a planetary transit. Also, multi-color time-series observations can be helpful to identify most eclipsing binaries systems, particularly when the components have different effective temperatures. For planetary transits with a depth suitable for ground-based follow-up (>1 mmag. deep), we will use the LCO light curves for ephemeris refinement and detect any possible transit timing variations. These observations are a coordinated effort within TFOP and are crucial for confirming or discarding the planetary origin of the transit signal. 2019B 164 51
Lubin P UC Santa Barbara The Search for Directed Intelligence and the Trillion Planet Survey The Search for Directed Intelligence and the Trillion Planet Survey SETI has historically been focused on the well-understood radio and microwave transmission bands. We have embarked on a large optical / near IR survey program to search for optical SETI transients. Ideally we will use the Sedgwick telescope once it is back to operational status. We are currently working on the design of a multi color camera system to test on Sedgwick as a prototype should LCO be interested in a multi color camera. We have a Code V optical analysis of a multi color camera that may be feasible for the LCO 1 and 2 meter telescopes should such a need arise at LCO for multi color transient surveys. We are also discussing use of a high QE InGaAs camera to allow for J band surveys. We also plan to test this at Sedgwick if possible. We have several NASA supported programs related to the application of and future large scale deployment of directed energy systems for a wide variety of applications from planetary defense, aiding asteroid mining to rapid interplanetary and ultimately relativistic transport of small spacecraft. The implications of this technology as seen from a SETI perspective have significant implications for surveys to search for other civilizations that may also possess this technology. The detectability such a civilization is vastly higher than that of similarly advanced civilizations using radio techniques. For example, if a single such advanced civilization exist anywhere in our galaxy and implement a simple strategy we refer to as “intelligent targeting” than we would be able to detect them using sub meter class telescopes on earth with a “blind-blind” survey that requires neither side to know of the other. This is discussed in detail along with SNR calculations and survey simulations in our 2016 paper entitled “The Search for Directed Intelligence”. Our request is to continue our advancement of this technique by observing both our own galaxy and nearby galaxies including M31. In total we are observing more than one trillion stars and hence exo-planets. The name of the survey is hence called the “TPS or Trillion Planet Survey”. To place this in perspective we are searching more than one million times the number of stellar systems than are all of the radio SETI groups combined. This is a “high risk – high return” program. In order to allow our custom data pipeline the highest probability of detecting a signal, we would like to continue collecting at least 5000 images of our galaxy, M31 and other nearby galaxies. Currently, we have imaged 15 sections of M31 with around 200 science images per section. We would like to double that number which could be accomplished easily with about 100 hours of 0.4m telescope time. 2019B 100
Bachelet E LCO LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Bachelet, E. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Bachelet, E. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Bachelet, E. 2019B 1 1 2 5
Boroson T Las Cumbres Observatory LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Boroson, T. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Boroson, T. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Boroson, T. 2019B 1 1 2 5
Brown T LCO LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Brown, T. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Brown, T. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Brown, T. 2019B 1 1 2 5
Chatelain J LCO LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Chatelain, J. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Chatelain, J. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Chatelain, J. 2019B 1 1 2 5
Gomez E LCO LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Gomez, E. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Gomez, E. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Gomez, E. 2019B 1 1 2 5
Harbeck D LCO LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Harbeck, D. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Harbeck, D. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Harbeck, D. 2019B 1 1 2 5
Howell A Las Cumbres Observatory LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Howell, A. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Howell, A. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Howell, A. 2019B 1 1 2 5
Johnson M Las Cumbres Observatory LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Johnson, M. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Johnson, M. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Johnson, M. 2019B 1 1 30 2 40
Lister T LCO LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Lister, T. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Lister, T. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Lister, T. 2019B 1 1 2 5
McCully C LCO LCO Sci staff DD allocation: McCully, C. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: McCully, C. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: McCully, C. 2019B 1 1 2 5
Murgas F Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Murgas, F. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Murgas, F. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Murgas, F. 2019B 1 1 2 5
Pickles A LCO LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Pickles, A. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Pickles, A. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Pickles, A. 2019B 1 1 2 5
Rabus M LCO/UCSB LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Rabus, M. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Rabus, M. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Rabus, M. 2019B 1 1 2 5
Rosing W Las Cumbres Observatory LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Rosing, W. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Rosing, W. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Rosing, W. 2019B 1 1 2 5
LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Storrie-Lombardi, L. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Storrie-Lombardi, L. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Storrie-Lombardi, L. 2019B 5
Street R LCO LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Street, R. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Street, R. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Street, R. 2019B 1 1 2 5
Volgenau N Las Cumbres Observatory LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Volgenau, N. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Volgenau, N. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Volgenau, N. 2019B 1 1 2 5
Beccue T LCO DD allocation: T. Beccue DD allocation: T. Beccue Director's discretionary allocation for Tim Beccue. 2019B 20
Loerincs J LCO DD allocation: J. Loerincs DD allocation: J. Loerincs DD allocation: J. Loerincs 2019B 20

National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences

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)
Zang W Tsinghua University Followup of High-Magnification Spitzer Microlensing Events Followup of High-Magnification Spitzer Microlensing Events We will conduct a 2019 LCO-Spitzer microlensing program using the LCO network to follow-up ∼ 15 high-magnification microlensing events being observed by the Spitzer microlens parallax program. These events have the highest intrinsic sensitivity to planets, but must be followed intensively over the peak of the event in order to maximize that sensitivity. We will use LCO observations to find and characterize 2±1 planetary perturbations as well as any binary perturbations and finite-source effects. By combining these data with the Spitzer parallax data, we will measure the masses of the planets and the distance between the Sun and the planetary systems. Through a complete statistical analysis of the Spitzer microlensing parallax sample including these events observed by LCO, we can make strong constraints on the galactic distribution of planets. From 2017 and 2018 observations, the LCO-Spitzer program has captured at least three planetary events. We propose 60 hours 1-m telescope time to contribute to the 2019 LCO-Spitzer program (about 170 hrs 1-m and 170 hrs 0.4-m time in total), which, as agreed to with the LCO Observatory Director Todd Boroson, will be exchanged into 60 hours of 0.4-m telescope time and 30 hours of 1-m telescope time. The PI will lead real-time data reduction, observations schedule and modeling. This will also be a part of PhD thesis of the PI Weicheng Zang and the co-investigator Hongjing Yang. 2019B 220 170
Zang W Tsinghua University Followup of High-Magnification of Spitzer Microlensing Events - Time Critical Followup of High-Magnification of Spitzer Microlensing Events - Time Critical We will conduct a 2019 LCO-Spitzer microlensing program using the LCO network to follow-up ∼ 15 high-magnification microlensing events being observed by the Spitzer microlens parallax program. These events have the highest intrinsic sensitivity to planets, but must be followed intensively over the peak of the event in order to maximize that sensitivity. We will use LCO observations to find and characterize 2±1 planetary perturbations as well as any binary perturbations and finite-source effects. By combining these data with the Spitzer parallax data, we will measure the masses of the planets and the distance between the Sun and the planetary systems. Through a complete statistical analysis of the Spitzer microlensing parallax sample including these events observed by LCO, we can make strong constraints on the galactic distribution of planets. From 2017 and 2018 observations, the LCO-Spitzer program has captured at least three planetary events. We propose 60 hours 1-m telescope time to contribute to the 2019 LCO-Spitzer program (about 170 hrs 1-m and 170 hrs 0.4-m time in total), which, as agreed to with the LCO Observatory Director Todd Boroson, will be exchanged into 60 hours of 0.4-m telescope time and 30 hours of 1-m telescope time. The PI will lead real-time data reduction, observations schedule and modeling. This will also be a part of PhD thesis of the PI Weicheng Zang and the co-investigator Hongjing Yang. 2019B 2
Dong S Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Peking University Photometric Follow Ups of A Complete Sample of Massive Star Explosions Photometric Follow Ups of A Complete Sample of Massive Star Explosions We propose to carry out multi-band follow-up observations of an unprecedented magnitude-limited (V < 17 mag) and spectroscopically complete sample of core collapse supernovae (CCSNe) produced by massive stars. The detection efficiency of the ASAS-SN survey is well quantified, the sample is minimally biased by host galaxy properties, and it is more complete for CCSNe close to the centers of galaxies than other surveys. We aim to systematically explore the luminosity functions, the 56Ni mass functions and the full diversity of the CCSNe population. The full sample expected to complete in 1.5 years will have in total ∼ 200 objects. This fundamental data set does not presently exist and will offer key statistical insights for understanding CCSNe and their properties across their full range of properties and environments. 2019B 80

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 28
Youngblood A NASA Goddard Space Flight Center A Comprehensive, Multi-Wavelength Survey of M Dwarf Activity A Comprehensive, Multi-Wavelength Survey of M Dwarf Activity We propose to obtain high-cadence U and B band photometry of 2 active M dwarfs, EQ Peg and EV Lac, as part of our ongoing X-ray, UV, and optical flare survey of M dwarfs of all combinations of mass and age. An essential task on the journey to finding life beyond the solar system is to determine which places are suitable for life. While terrestrial planets orbiting M dwarfs are highly sought after, their habitability is in question owing to high activity levels and close-in habitable zones. The Swift satellite will be obtaining high-cadence X- ray spectroscopy and NUV photometry of these M dwarf targets simultaneously with the TESS satellite’s red-optical photometry at 2- minute cadence. Simultaneous U band photometry from LCO fills in a missing wavelength gap between the NUV and the red-optical to constrain the spectral energy distribution of the flares, which informs stellar physical processes as well as the impact on exoplanet atmospheres via heating and chemistry. 2019B 20
Thanathibodee T University of Michigan Simultaneous Photometric Monitoring of Young Low-Mass Stars in the HST ULLYSES Project Simultaneous Photometric Monitoring of Young Low-Mass Stars in the HST ULLYSES Project A comprehensive understanding of the processes that occur during the formation and evolution of stars and their planetary systems requires multi-wavelength, time-series observations of significant samples of young stars, with broad wavelength and timescale coverage. The recently announced HST UV Legacy Library of Young Stars as Essential Standards (ULLYSES) project will utilize 500 orbits over Cycles 27-29 to provide a public library of far-UV and near-UV spectra of $sim young, low-mass stars, probing accretion processes and the structure of their disks using continuum and line emission. To complement the HST UV observations and enhance the scientific return of the ULLYSES project, we propose to use the LCO network of 1m/Sinistro instruments to monitor the ULLYSES targets simultaneously with the HST observations. This program will: a) result in crucial information on the short-term variability of disk accretion (minutes-hours), b) place the HST observations in the context of longer-term variability (days) due to the complex interplay between the stars and their disks, and c) provide the needed ground-based calibration for the coordinated spectroscopic observations of the ULLYSES targets. The data in this program will be made public immediately (no proprietary period). 2019B 25
Thanathibodee T University of Michigan Simultaneous Photometric Monitoring of Young Low-Mass Stars in the HST ULLYSES Project - Time Critical Simultaneous Photometric Monitoring of Young Low-Mass Stars in the HST ULLYSES Project - Time Critical A comprehensive understanding of the processes that occur during the formation and evolution of stars and their planetary systems requires multi-wavelength, time-series observations of significant samples of young stars, with broad wavelength and timescale coverage. The recently announced HST UV Legacy Library of Young Stars as Essential Standards (ULLYSES) project will utilize 500 orbits over Cycles 27-29 to provide a public library of far-UV and near-UV spectra of $sim young, low-mass stars, probing accretion processes and the structure of their disks using continuum and line emission. To complement the HST UV observations and enhance the scientific return of the ULLYSES project, we propose to use the LCO network of 1m/Sinistro instruments to monitor the ULLYSES targets simultaneously with the HST observations. This program will: a) result in crucial information on the short-term variability of disk accretion (minutes-hours), b) place the HST observations in the context of longer-term variability (days) due to the complex interplay between the stars and their disks, and c) provide the needed ground-based calibration for the coordinated spectroscopic observations of the ULLYSES targets. The data in this program will be made public immediately (no proprietary period). 2019B 50
Darnley M Liverpool John Moores University M31N 2008-12a: The remarkable recurrent nova in M31 - quiescence and eruption M31N 2008-12a: The remarkable recurrent nova in M31 - quiescence and eruption The annual eruptions of the recurrent novae M31N,2008-12a are powered by the highest mass white dwarf and accretion rate seen in any CV. With all models now concluding the the white dwarf mass in novae increases with time, the ultimate fate of this system depends upon the composition of the white dwarf and the stability of mass transfer in the system. We propose a series of LCO-network observations that will both detect and follow-up the next eruption. These will then probe the early conditions of the 2019 eruption of M31N,2008-12a. These will reveal details about, for e.g., the initial ejecta morphology and velocity, the interaction with the system components, and the proposed jets. The long- term nature will allow us to further probe the temporal evolution of accretion -- is it stable enough to permit the growth of the white dwarf to the Chandrasekhar Limit? 2019B 0 9 10
Kilpatrick C University of California, Santa Cruz Constraining Supernova Progenitor Systems with the LCO Global Telescope Network Constraining Supernova Progenitor Systems with the LCO Global Telescope Network Supernovae (SNe) and other explosive transients come from stellar progenitor systems with a wide variety of initial masses, multiplicities, and local environments. We want to directly connect the properties of these stars to their resulting explosions in order to better understand the evolutionary pathways and ignition mechanisms that lead to these luminous transients. This is only possible when the progenitor site is constrained from deep, high-resolution pre-explosion imaging, especially from HST. We propose to use the unique monitoring capabilities of the LCO Global Telescope Network to obtain light curves and spectra of core-collapse SNe with pre-explosion HST imaging. Our spectra will be used to validate nearby core-collapse SNe and determine their basic type and evolution in their spectral features. We will use the light curves to follow the basic energetics of core-collapse SNe, including emission powered by cooling of the stellar envelope, interaction with circumstellar material, and 56Ni-powered emission. In exceptional cases where light curves are observed at early times, we will use our observations to constrain the radius of the progenitor star via shock cooling emission. Combined with information about the SN progenitor stars, we will draw comparisons between the SN progenitor stars and the mass, energy, and composition of their explosions. 2019B 9 8
Mann A UNC Chapel Hill The Mass-Luminosity-Age Relation of Low-Mass Stars The Mass-Luminosity-Age Relation of Low-Mass Stars Dynamical masses of low-mass, pre-main-sequence stars are critical for measuring the initial mass function, parameters of young planets, and ages of young clusters and star forming regions. Currently, we must rely on evolutionary models to convert observables (e.g., absolute magnitude and age) to stellar mass. However, models can disagree by more than a factor of two, and the handful of young stars with directly measured masses show mixed agreement with all model grids. There are too few young stars with empirical masses to derive a correction or model-free relation. We have identified 40 low-mass binaries (80 stars) with separations and periods amenable to measuring their orbits, drawn from nearby young moving groups or clusters aged 10--650 Myr, which are actively monitoring these targets with Keck/NIRC2 imaging and aperture masking to determine the total mass for each system. Here we propose for complementary radial velocity information from LCO/NRES of these visual binaries, providing a measurement of the mass ratio. In combination, this will enable us to calibrate the mass-luminosity-age relation and test models of pre-main-sequence evolution. 2019B 25
Lebofsky L University of Arizona Astrometric Follow-up of VIs and PHAs Astrometric Follow-up of VIs and PHAs We seek to use the LCO 2-m telescopes to obtain astrometric observations of recently discovered Near Earth Objects (NEOs) that are classified as Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs), including the subset of Virtual Impactors (VIs) that have the potential to impact Earth in the next century. A number of observing teams make astrometric observations of such objects to extend their observational arcs and to improve the characterization of their orbits. We will use the LCO 2-m telescopes to observe these objects in circumstances that are under- served by other teams. Specifically, we seek to observe the subset of objects that have evaded observation by other teams before they recede from Earth at the end of their discovery apparition. 2019B 4
Foley R UCSC Young Supernova Experiment Young Supernova Experiment Time-domain surveys are now consistently finding supernovae (SNe) and other transients within hours of explosion. These observations are a unique window into the explosion and progenitor system, probing the circumstellar environment before the SN overruns the material and while the gas is still recombining after being ``flash ionized'' by the SN shock breakout. Interaction with a potential companion star is also visible in the first hours. We are starting the Young Supernova Experiment to detect extremely young explosions. Using a novel technique to combine our data with public data, we will clearly identify interesting targets as they rise, detecting $sim transients per month within a few hours of explosion. Here we request ToO observations to obtain spectra of these young explosions, with which we classify the objects and probe the physics of the transients and their immediate environment. 2019B 0 4
Hung T UC Santa Cruz Multi-Color Photometric Monitoring of Tidal Disruption Events Multi-Color Photometric Monitoring of Tidal Disruption Events In the past 9 months, time domain astronomy has seen an order-of- magnitude growth in the discovery rate of tidal disruption events (TDEs) with the newly commissioned Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF). TDEs are rare transients that occur when stars approach too close to supermassive black holes (SMBH) and are ripped apart by tidal stress. Theoretical work on how fast the disrupted star falls back to the SMBH has provided basis for inferring black hole mass from timing observations of TDEs. Capitalizing on the powerful discovery capability of ZTF, our team is dedicated to building the first statistically significant TDE sample that will allow us to advance toward probing SMBHs using TDE observables. As such, we propose for LCO time to monitor 3 new TDEs in 2019B with multi-band optical photometry, complementary to data that will also be obtained by ZTF and swift. In conjunction with multi- wavelength follow-up observations of TDEs, the LCO data will play a crucial role in testing current TDE models as well as for constraining TDE emission parameters (luminosity, Eddington ratio, etc). 2019B 21
Boyajian T LSU KIC 8462852: Wheres The Flux now? KIC 8462852: Wheres The Flux now? The strange flux-dips found in {it Kepler} data of the star thisstar have given rise to one of the most enigmatic astronomical discoveries in recent time, as no satisfying explanations for these dips have been found yet. We will conduct long-baseline, multi-band photometric monitoring of this star with the LCO 40-cm network in order to a) detect the start of next eclipse events and alert the community to trigger a range of observations and b) to help to characterize the nature of the occulting material by simultaneously measuring the eclipse depths in multiple filters. The detection (or not) of a dip during this time will inform us to whether the events observed in the combined time series from {it Kepler} and more recently from LCO are caused by a swarm of objects in a $sim 750$~d orbit. The data will also be used to track the star's long term brightness variations, and any chromaticity associated to it. We will augment these LCO monitoring data with coordinated multi- wavelength observations with the SWIFT satellite, as well as high cadence observations from the TESS satellite. These LCO data are the backbone to alerting over a dozen TOO proposals across the globe linked to study this object. 2019B 220
De Rosa R Stanford University Reconnaissance of Gaia planet candidates Reconnaissance of Gaia planet candidates Future ground and space-based direct imaging missions to search for wide orbit giant planets will leverage absolute astrometry from Hipparcos and Gaia to target nearby, young stars that have direct evidence of orbiting substellar companions. A significant source of contamination for this approach is spectroscopic binaries. These can mimic the astrometric signal of a wide-orbit substellar companion due to the sparse astrometric measurements of Hipparcos and Gaia aliasing the photocenter orbit over the course of the mission. We are proposing to obtain NRES spectra of a subset of the $sim0 early-type stars that exhibit a significant acceleration between the Hipparcos and Gaia missions. These observations will be sensitive to spectroscopic binaries that could be significantly biasing the measured astrometric acceleration. Stars that we measure to have a constant velocity represent prime targets for deep direct imaging observations to search for the wide-orbit substellar companion responsible for the measured astrometric acceleration. 2019B 31
Coughlin M California Institute of Technology Identification of optical counterparts to gravitational-wave and short gamma-ray burst events using LCO Identification of optical counterparts to gravitational-wave and short gamma-ray burst events using LCO We propose to use the Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) to follow-up optical counterpart candidates to gravitational-wave (GW) and short gamma-ray burst (SGRB) triggers. To facilitate counterpart detection, wide-field optical telescopes, such as the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) and Dark Energy Camera (DECam), will be imaging the sky localization regions of GW and Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM) triggers. Due to the significant size of the localizations, many potential candidates will be detected. For this reason, we propose to use the LCO network to follow-up transients identified by these telescopes and others for the purpose of identification and classification of optical counterparts to these GW or SGRB events. As the only 4,$pi$ robotic facility, the LCO network is ideal for low- latency, high-cadence multiband photometry, which will be required to differentiate potential candidates. After selecting candidates, we will use the LCO network for two purposes: 1) discriminate between candidate counterparts in the localization regions to identify the true counterpart, and 2) obtain high-cadence, multi-band imaging of secure counterparts to discriminate between models for early optical emission. 2019B 7 22
Hartman J Princeton University Confirming and Characterizing Transiting Planets from HAT+TESS with LCO Confirming and Characterizing Transiting Planets from HAT+TESS with LCO Transiting planets around bright stars are key objects for exploring the physical properties of planets outside the Solar System. Our group is leading an effort to discover and characterize these planets drawing on a sample of several hundred candidate planets that have been identified by the HAT and TESS surveys. Candidate planets that are identified by these surveys must be confirmed through high-precision photometric and spectroscopic follow-up observations. Here we propose to use the Sinistro imagers on the LCO 1m network and the Spectral imagers on the LCO 2m telescopes to carry out the requisite photometric observations for dozens of candidates, which will contribute to the discovery and characterization of many new well characterized planets. We will focus on long-period candidates with infrequent transits, candidates around M dwarf stars, and candidate Super-Earths and Neptunes. Through this work we seek to contribute to the discovery of the best transiting planet systems for detailed follow-up studies, including transmission spectroscopy with JWST. 2019B 22 280
Kochanek C The Ohio State University A Systematic Study of A Complete Sample of Massive Star Explosions from ASAS-SN A Systematic Study of A Complete Sample of Massive Star Explosions from ASAS-SN We propose to carry out multi-band follow-up observations of an unprecedented magnitude-limited ($V<17,$mag) and spectroscopically complete sample of core collapse supernovae (ccSNe) produced by massive stars. The detection efficiency of the ASAS-SN survey is well quantified, the sample is minimally biased by host galaxy properties, and it is more complete for ccSNe close to the centers of galaxies than other surveys. We aim to systematically explore the luminosity functions, the $^$Ni mass functions and the full diversity of the ccSNe population using roughly 200 objects. This fundamental data set does not presently exist and will offer key statistical insights for understanding ccSNe and their properties across their full range of properties and environments. 2019B 80
Metcalfe T Space Science Institute Activity Cycles in Asteroseismic Solar Analogs Activity Cycles in Asteroseismic Solar Analogs The magnetic activity of the Sun becomes stronger and weaker over roughly an 11-year cycle. Decades of observations from Mount Wilson and Lowell revealed that other stars also show regular activity cycles, and identified two distinct relationships between the length of the cycle and the rotation rate of the star. The solar cycle appears to be an outlier, falling between the two stellar relationships, potentially threatening the foundation of the solar-stellar connection. Recent work suggests that the Sun's rotation rate and magnetic field may be in a transitional phase that occurs in all middle-aged stars, but additional observations are needed to test and refine this hypothesis. We propose to continue long-term monitoring of Ca~{sc ii} H~and~K emission initiated in 2017B for a sample of 34 bright stars with known rotation rates ($P_{rm rot} < 22$ days), to discover short activity cycles ($P_{rm cyc} < 5$ years) that are precursors of the 11-year solar cycle. For most of t hese targets, asteroseismic masses and ages are soon expected from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), currently scheduled for launch in April 2018. 2019B 50
Van Roestel J California Institute of Technology The population of compact variable stars by the Zwicky Transient Facility The population of compact variable stars by the Zwicky Transient Facility Using the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), we are in the process of systematically studying the population characteristics of compact binaries while also discovering rare compact objects. We use the population of compact binaries to test common envelope physics and determine the exact nature of supernova Ia progenitors. The shortest period compact binaries are also interesting because they emit gravitational waves which will be detected by the space based GW detector LISA. In addition, we are starting to uncover the population of detached and accreting NS & BH -- main sequence binaries. We propose to use LCO photometry to verify periodicity of sources, regularly monitor sources for outbursts, and use LCO spectroscopy to characterize compact binaries discovered by ZTF. 2019B 20 10 60
Miles-Paez P The University of Western Ontario The Spitzer search for Earth-sized planets around ultra-cool dwarfs: using LCO 2-m telescopes to confirm transits The Spitzer search for Earth-sized planets around ultra-cool dwarfs: using LCO 2-m telescopes to confirm transits We are currently running 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 2 m telescope network to confirm the achromatic signature of exoplanetary transits. Two of our 15 targets are continuously observable with the LCO in semester 2019B. We seek 30 hours per target 2019B 50
Vallely P The Ohio State University Multi-Band Photometric Monitoring of Bright TESS Supernovae Discovered by ASAS-SN Multi-Band Photometric Monitoring of Bright TESS Supernovae Discovered by ASAS-SN We propose to obtain multi-band light curves of supernovae detected by ASAS-SN in the TESS fields using the network of 1m LCO telescopes. This builds on our success in detecting the brightest supernova to be monitored by Kepler, ASASSN-18bt. Since the TESS full frame images will not be publicly available for 4-6 months, these ground-based observations are essential for finding and characterizing these events to fully capitalize on the high precision, rapid cadence photometry provided by the TESS observations. We estimate that our sample will include $sim SNe over the 2-year TESS mission, or approximately 15 SNe per semester. $BVri$ images will be taken using a 2-day cadence for the first $sim days, before relaxing at later times to a 5-day cadence. Scaling from past LCO SNe observations and verified with the exposure time calculator, we request 60 hr with LCO 1m per semester to monitor 15 SNe. 2019B 50

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 411 24 1045 300
Howell A Las Cumbres Observatory The Global Supernova Project - Time Critical The Global Supernova Project - Time Critical 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. 2018B 2019A 2019B 8
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 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 50
Collins K Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory 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 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. Our proposed project will carry out all of LCO'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 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. 2018B 2019A 2019B 783
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 680
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 1802
Robertson P Penn State University 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 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 236 66 816
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 1 1 1
Arcavi I LCOGT Discovery and Follow-up of Optical Counterparts to Gravitational-Wave Events - Time Critical Discovery and Follow-up of Optical Counterparts to Gravitational-Wave Events - Time Critical 2019A 2019B 109 124 285 228

Scottish Universities Physics Alliance

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)
Schmidt R Heidelberg University Lensed Quasar Monitoring (continuation) Lensed Quasar Monitoring (continuation) Monitor variability of multiple quasar images to discover microlensing effects and to measure inter-image time delays that can constrain lens masses and cosmological parameters. 2019B 50
Cameron A University of St Andrews Transiting Exoplanets (continuation) Transiting Exoplanets (continuation) Follow-up photometry of exoplanet transit candidates to eliminate false positives prior to spectroscopic confirmation. 2019B 10 20 40
Scholz A University of St Andrews TOYS : Time-domain Observations of Young Stars (continuation) TOYS : Time-domain Observations of Young Stars (continuation) We plan to continue to use LCO telescopes for monitoring the variability of young stars. In particular, we aim to understand obscurations by circumstellar matter and accretion bursts. This requires multi-filter photometric data to track the evolution of the broadband spectrum, as well as low-resolution spectroscopy to measure emission line fluxes. Our targets are generated by large-scale variability surveys with other facilities, including HOYS-CAPS (Froebrich et al. 2018), Transients (Herczeg et al. 2017) and Gaia Alerts. 2019B 20 60
Dominik M Follow-up of Astrophysical Transients (continuation) Follow-up of Astrophysical Transients (continuation) Follow-up of astrophysical transients from e.g. Gaia. 2019B 50
Buie M Southwest Research Institute Seasonal Variations on Pluto (continuation) Seasonal Variations on Pluto (continuation) This request is for synoptic monitoring images of Pluto from which lightcurve photometry and astrometry will be derived. The photometry will be used to place constraints on the seasonal evolution of surface volatiles on Pluto. Observations in B and V will add to the long-term monitoring dataset that reaches back to Pluto's discovery in 1930. Short-term and long-term variations have both been measured but current understand cannot predict the timing or magnitude of future variations. 2019B 33
Blagorodnova N Radboud University OPTICON 19B-053 : Stellar mergers in the nearby Universe OPTICON 19B-053 : Stellar mergers in the nearby Universe Stellar mergers are key to understand one of the most important (yet unsolved) processes in binary evolution: the phase of common envelope. Mergers are accompanied by the ejection of the binary common envelope, observed as a luminous red transient. In some cases, the envelope is ejected before the full merger of the system, resulting in a critical production channel for short period binaries of considerable interest to modern astrophysics: stripped-envelope or Type Ia supernova progenitors, cataclysmic variables and gravitational wave sources. However, only ~10 transients associated to mergers have been studied to date (Galactic plus extragalactic). The Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) transient survey in the North and the BlackGEM survey in the South are expected to discover together ~5 stellar mergers per year alone at distances closer than 30 Mpc, providing valuable constraints on the final state of binaries in our Local Universe. Spectroscopic and photometric observations with OPTICON telescopes are needed to quickly identify the promising candidates and trace the optical evolution of these systems, revealing the geometry and the envelope mass ejected in the outburst. 2019B 8 11
Inserra C Cardiff University OPTICON 19B-009 : Photometric monitoring with LCO for ePESSTO+: The advanced Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey of Transient Objects OPTICON 19B-009 : Photometric monitoring with LCO for ePESSTO+: The advanced Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey of Transient Objects A new generation of wide-field sky surveys, some monitoring the sky several times per night, mean we are now in a golden era of transient astronomy. PESSTO/ePESSTO has revolutionised the exploitation of these surveys, developing efficient synergies with multi-messenger experiments and making the NTT a crucial global facility (85+ papers). We have provided legacy datasets for the electromagnetic counterpart of gravitational waves, the lowest metallicity supernovae and long-lived supernovae, as well as unveiled a diversity in the most luminous supernovae. Our team has been awarded a 2-year extension called ePESSTO+ at ESO which will continue to spectroscopically monitor transient objects found by all-sky surveys such as the Zwicky Transient Facility, Gaia, ASSASN and ATLAS. We request LCO time to add the critical photometric monitoring of the lightcurves of these objects. We will continue to make annual data releases, including lightcurve data for the ePESSTO+ key science targets. 2019B 65
Eisner N University of Oxford OPTICON 19B-054 : Follow-up of Candidate Transiting Planets Discovered by Citizen Scientists in TESS Data OPTICON 19B-054 : Follow-up of Candidate Transiting Planets Discovered by Citizen Scientists in TESS Data We propose to use LCO's unique network of fully robotic imagers and echelle spectrographs to followup transiting planet candidates identified by citizen scientists in TESS data, as part of the Zooniverse Planet Hunters TESS (PHT) project (planethunters.org). Our sample consists of single-transit events and/or transits around unusual (variable or binary) stars, which were not identified by the TESS pipeline or any other standard transit search algorithm, orbiting bright (V<10) stars. We will use a combination of repeat transit observations (using 0.4m-SBIG or 1m-Sinistro) to identify blends and improve period estimates, and reconnaissance spectroscopy (using NRES) to derive stellar parameters, identify spectroscopic binaries, and place limits on the companion masses. The LCO observations will play a key role in identifying the best candidates for subsequent high-precision RV follow-up to measure companion masses. Our candidates will add substantially to the sample of small, long-period (P>30 d) and/or young transiting planets with measured masses. 2019B 50 10 80
Zielinski P Warsaw University Astronomical Observatory OPTICON 19B-040 : Galactic Black Holes from Gaia astrometry and time-domain photometry OPTICON 19B-040 : Galactic Black Holes from Gaia astrometry and time-domain photometry Most of about 50 known stellar-mass black holes were found in binaries (X-ray binaries and GW mergers). Gravitational microlensing is the only tool capable of detecting single black holes, which are not interacting with anything. However, despite more than 15,000 microlensing events found to date, we are not able to tell which ones are due to black holes due to degeneracies in microlensing solutions. Only a combination of photometry from the ground and astrometric time-series from Gaia will yield unique mass measurements and hence a discovery of galactic black holes. Therefore it is essential to construct well-covered light curves of microlensing events on-going now during the operation of Gaia. We propose to use the network of telescopes (LCO, REM, Aristarchos and LT) to guarantee time domain photometry and classification spectra for microlensing candidates found by Gaia and other surveys, for which Gaia will soon provide its astrometric curves. 2019B 27

South African Astronomical 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)
Buckley D SAAO Radial Velocities of the Radio Transient TYC 8332-2529-1 Radial Velocities of the Radio Transient TYC 8332-2529-1 The optical counterpart of the first serendipitous MeerKAT radio transient, discovered recently during ThunderKAT monitoring of the in the GX339-4 field, has been identified as the bright late G-star, TYC 8332-2591-2. From ASAS photometry the star is seen to vary sinusoidally, with an amplitude of ~0.05 magnitude on a ~21 day timescale. Furthermore, high resolution echelle spectroscopy with SALT HRS (R ~ 15,000) on two epochs has revealed radial velocity changes of ~50 km/s, indicative of binarity. However, the star shows no evidence of chromospheric activity (e.g. absence of emission lines of CaII or H-alpha), so would not appear to be an RS CVn binary, which might have explained the radio emission, which is still a mystery. The blue part of the spectrum shows some evidence of another hotter companion, possibly a white dwarf. These proposed LCO NRES observations - 25 spectra spanned a month or so - will be used to determine the radial velocity curve of the system, thus helping to tie down the mass function and therefore help to understand the nature of system, and in particular, why it is a radio source. 2019B 13
van Soelen B University of the Free State Optical ToO observations with LCO for H.E.S.S. Optical ToO observations with LCO for H.E.S.S. The H.E.S.S. gamma-ray telescope, located near the Gamsberg in Namibia, is currently the world's most sensitive very high energy (VHE: E > 100 GeV) gamma-ray telescope. Most extragalactic sources detected by H.E.S.S. are strongly variable across the entire electromagnetic spectrum, from radio to gamma-ray frequencies, on time scales ranging from just a few minutes, to months and years. This requires carefully co-ordinated, simultaneous multiwavelength observations to obtain meaningful insight into the multiwavelength variability patterns. H.E.S.S. regularly partakes in such coordinated multi-wavelength campaigns. Here we are proposing to obtain time on the LCO network to allow us to undertake coordinated optical observations with H.E.S.S. ToO observations. The most likely triggered observations will be of extra-galactic sources such as Blazars and Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). 2019B 32
Miszalski B SAAO Proving the binary origin of hard X-ray central stars of planetary nebulae: NGC 6543 and NGC 6826 Proving the binary origin of hard X-ray central stars of planetary nebulae: NGC 6543 and NGC 6826 Proving the binary origin of hard X-ray central stars of planetary nebulae: NGC 6543 and NGC 6826 2019B 90

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 $sim00 objects, enabling a variety of science investigations including an unprecedented look into the diversity of NEO physical properties, the compositional distribution of NEOs, and the role of planetary encounters in modifying NEO properties. This will have direct implications for future spacecraft mission planning, asteroid impact hazard assessment, and the ability to rapidly respond to future time critical events such as the discovery of a pre- impacting asteroid 2019B 20
Massaro F University of Turin The optical spectroscopic campaign of Gamma-ray Blazar candidates: 10 yrs after the Fermi launch The optical spectroscopic campaign of Gamma-ray Blazar candidates: 10 yrs after the Fermi launch One of the main scientific objectives of the Fermi-NOAO Cooperative Arrangement is: studying candidate counterparts, including redshift determination of previously unknown BL Lacs and high-redshift blazars. We propose to extend our optical spectroscopic campaign, already approved in Fermi Cycle 6, 9 and 10, to reveal the nature of all the blazar candidates of uncertain type (BCUs) and all the blazar-like objects, potential counterparts of the unidentified gamma-ray sources (UGSs) selected according to our methods based on the IR colors, to the Fermi 8 year source list. Our legacy project is crucial to prepare the future releases of the Fermi catalogs and to improve our knowledge of the blazar population. 2019B 20
Macri L Texas A&M University Cosmography of the Innermost Zone of Avoidance with the 2MASS Redshift Survey Cosmography of the Innermost Zone of Avoidance with the 2MASS Redshift Survey We propose to extend the 2MASS Redshift Survey (2MRS) across the Zone of Avoidance (ZoA). The recently-completed 2MRS is being extensively used for studies of the dipole, peculiar velocity fields and group and clustering properties. However, 2MRS does not cover the lowest Galactic latitude ranges ($|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 45
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 5
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 29 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 14
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 5
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 60
Foley R UCSC Young Supernova Experiment - Time Critical Young Supernova Experiment - Time Critical 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 12
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 5
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 30
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 13

Tel Aviv University: Israeli Center of Research Excellence

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)
Katz B Weizmann Institute of Science SNe IAS100 SNe IAS100 . 2019B 20
Faerman Y The Hebrew University of Jerusalem dwarf SN hosts dwarf SN hosts . 2019B 10
Mackebrandt F Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research V391Peg V391Peg . 2019B 8
Tal-Or L Tel-Aviv University CARMENES followup CARMENES followup . 2019B 22
Tsevi M Tel Aviv University TESS followup TESS followup . 2019B 70
Trakhtenbrot B Tel Aviv University changing-look AGNs changing-look AGNs . 2019B 56 14

University of Texas

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)
Froning C UT Austin The Mega-MUSCLES Treasury Survey: Measurements of the Ultraviolet Spectral Characteristics of Low-mass Exoplanetary Systems The Mega-MUSCLES Treasury Survey: Measurements of the Ultraviolet Spectral Characteristics of Low-mass Exoplanetary Systems Understanding what happens to rocky planets and their atmospheres in the habitable zones (HZs) of low mass stars is currently one of the greatest astronomical challenges. The nearest Earth mass planets in the HZ orbit M dwarfs, and these are prime targets for spectroscopic biomarker searches in the next decade (Shields et al. 2017). JWST will be able to observe the atmospheres of rocky planets transiting nearby M dwarfs. A few such planets are already known and TESS is predicted to find many more, including ~14 habitable zone planets (Sullivan et al. 2015). To interpret observations of these exoplanet atmospheres, we must understand the high-energy SED of their host stars: soft X-ray/EUV irradiation can erode a planet's gaseous envelope and FUV/NUV-driven photochemistry shapes an atmosphere's molecular abundances, including potential biomarkers like O2, O3, and CH4. At present, we do not have sufficient observations and panchromatic stellar models to accurately predict the UV spectrum of a particular M dwarf. Without the stellar UV spectrum, we will not be able to interpret observations of the atmospheres of potentially habitable planets in these systems: acquisition of broadband observations of M dwarfs while HST is still available is therefore a timely and necessary task. 2019B 28
Vanderbosch Z University of Texas at Austin Monitoring a New White Dwarf with Transiting Circumstellar Material Monitoring a New White Dwarf with Transiting Circumstellar Material We have discovered a white dwarf (WD J0139+5245) using the public Zwicky Transient Facility data which exhibits transit events suggestive of the presence of circumstellar rocky and/or dusty debris. The two observed transits are 45 −60% deep, last ∼ 25 days each, and are separated by ∼ 110 days. The transits are asymmetric in shape with sharp declines and gradual rises, similar in appearance to those of WD 1145+017, the only known white dwarf with transiting disintegrating rocky material. In WD 1145+017, this transit shape has been attributed to a rocky body with a cometary tail of dusty material. We request 30 hours of time from LCOGT’s northern hemisphere 1.0m telescopes to now monitor this object in multiple filters to look for additional transits and determine whether the transit depths exhibit a wavelength dependence. Reddening and/or bluing of the white dwarf during transit can be caused by limb darkening, by scattering due to dust grains of specific sizes, or by absorption from circumstellar gas. Multi-filter observations can therefore be used to constrain the nature of the transiting material. Additionally, the LCOGT data can be used to actively monitor the object to determine when it is in and out of transit. This information will be used to trigger observations from other facilities to obtain spectroscopy and high speed photometry both in and out of transit. 2019B 30 5
Wu Y University of Texas at Austin Measuring the Primordial Star-disk Obliquity Measuring the Primordial Star-disk Obliquity Measuring the angular offset between the rotational axes of stellar spin and cir- cumstellar disks provide new clues on the origin of misaligned planetary orbits. With accurate stellar and disk properties from ALMA, Gaia, and TESS, it is now possible to accurately de- termine the primordial star-disk obliquity distribution for a large number of young stars. In 2019A, we initiated a new NRES survey to ascertain the underlying obliquity distribution of disk-bearing stars and examine any age and mass dependences. Here we request 30 hours in 2019B to continue and finish this survey. 2019B 30
Tofflemire B University of Texas at Austin The Origin of Periodic Dimming Events on Young, Low-Mass Stars The Origin of Periodic Dimming Events on Young, Low-Mass Stars The Kepler-K2 survey of young clusters has revealed a continuum of variability from young stars and their interaction with the circumstellar environment. While most of the observed variability can be explained by a combination of accretion variability, disk occultation, and/or star-spot modulation, a new class of variables has emerged that has proven difficult to interpret in this context. These are the “scallop shell” or persistent flux dipping systems, which host periodic, narrow dimming events that are tied to the stellar rotation period, and vary in morphology and depth from event to event. Critically, these sources show no evidence for active accretion, circumstellar disks, or binarity. Proposed origins range from magnetically confined clouds to transiting protoplanets to extreme star-spot variability. Currently, TESS is also discovering these sources in young moving groups. The limited duration and wavelength information of the white-light discovery light curves are not able to distinguish between the proposed scenarios. To determine the origin of this variability, we propose to monitor 10 flux-dipping systems with multi-color photometry over 2.5 rotation periods. These data will determine the long term variability/stability of dimming events and their wavelength dependence. 2019B 25 38
Rizzuto A UT Austin The Cluster Birth Environment: Kinematics and Membership in Sco-Cen The Cluster Birth Environment: Kinematics and Membership in Sco-Cen The majority of stars form as parts of a larger cluster or association of forming stars. The details of this initial cluster environment, such as density and stellar content, directly affect the resulting planetary systems that survive to maturity. While numerous groups of young stars have been identified, the details of their formation environment have been obscured by insufficient precision of available astrometric measurements. With the second Gaia data release, which provides microarcsecond parallax and proper motions for most young stars within 200 pc of the sun, kinematic traceback of stellar populations to the epoch of formation will be possible. We propose to continue observing Sco-Cen targets, and will observe a further ∼200 members of the Sco-Cen association (τ = 10 − 20 Myr) with NRES to obtain the missing radial velocities required for accurate traceback. Our targets span the higher-mass population of the association that will most strongly influence primordial planetary systems, and will not receive sufficiently accurate radial velocity measurements from Gaia. 2019B 70
Tofflemire B University of Texas at Austin Characterizing Eclipsing Binaries in Young Clusters: Simultaneous Spitzer Monitoring - TESS Followup Characterizing Eclipsing Binaries in Young Clusters: Simultaneous Spitzer Monitoring - TESS Followup Eclipsing binaries (EBs) provide benchmark measurements of stellar masses and radii that are a foundational component of theoretical stellar astrophysics. Large areas of parameter space remain poorly constrained by observations, however, particularly at low masses and young ages. Additionally, those sources that have been studied in this regime reveal sig- nificant deviations from existing stellar models. Recently, K2 has discovered a sample of EBs in the Upper Sco association (τ∼10 Myr), and currently, TESS is discovering EBs in young moving groups across the southern sky (τ<100 Myr). Both samples offers an excit- ing opportunity to improve stellar models and explore physical processes that are unique to low-mass stars. For 4 EBs, 3 from Upper Sco (K2), and 1 from β Pic (TESS), we propose to monitor a primary and secondary eclipse with LCO that are simultaneous with awarded Spitzer DDT observations this semester. These multi-wavelength observations will provide a valuable lever to break degeneracies in eclipse modeling (limb-darkening, star-spot features), and provide precise radius measurements. For one of these source we also request 5 NRES spectra to aid in determining the binary orbital parameters. Finally, we propose for eclipse monitoring for 5 additional young EBs our team is currently mining from TESS light curves. 2019B 5 47 26
Rizzuto A UT Austin TESS Young Exoplanet Followup with LCO TESS Young Exoplanet Followup with LCO The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will search for transiting planets orbiting thousands of young stars in the nearest 150 pc. Many of these targets, including members of nearby young moving groups and young stellar associations were provided to the the TESS team by this collaboration, and we have begun spectroscopic observations with McDonald observatory resources. We have also developed a transit search and lightcurve detrending pipeline that is optimized for dealing with highly variable young stars, and expect to have completed our planet search just weeks after the data is public. We request LCO ground based observations of any young transiting exoplanet candidates, either alerted by the TESS team or detected by our custom pipeline, to rule out activity induced transit-like events using multi-wavelength transit photometry. This ground based follow-up will be key to future characterization efforts, as the short time-baseline (∼30 days) of the TESS field windows means additional ground-based transits will be required to improve ephemeris estimates even for very short-period exoplanets. 2019B 9