2020A 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)
Damineli A IAG-USP, Brazil NRES observations of eta Carinae NRES observations of eta Carinae Periastron passage is an important tool to measure parameters of a binary system. The next Eta Carinae's periastron is centered on 17Feb2020, but variability impacts the spectrum during half a year (December2019-August2020). I plan to get 100 hires and high S/N spectra to perform a 3D Hydro simulation of the wind-wind collision and the "bore hole" effect. 2020A 26
Ragan S Cardiff University Cardiff University Undergraduate Astronomy Lab Cardiff University Undergraduate Astronomy Lab Cardiff University, School of Physics & Astronomy, Undergraduate Astronomy Lab 2020A 5 10 10
Jun H Korea Institute for Advanced Study AGN Reverberation Lags AGN Reverberation Lags AGN Reverberation Lags 2020A 30 16 15
Shi Y NJU Quasar Variability Quasar Variability Quasar Variability 2020A 50
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. 2020A 19 65
Modjaz M NYU NYU Research and Education NYU Research and Education Purchased time for NYU Research and Education programs. 2020A 2 0
Collins K Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory TESS follow-up TESS follow-up TESS follow-up 2020A 0
cucchiara a University of the Virgin Islands Searching for the fastest transients Searching for the fastest transients Searching for the fastest transients 2020A 10
Dragomir D MIT Hunting for the period of a warm giant exoplanet orbiting a bright star Hunting for the period of a warm giant exoplanet orbiting a bright star TESS observed the second transit of TOI 173.01 during sector 13 (in June/July 2019), so after the LCO deadline for 2019B proposals. If we submit this proposal as part of the normal time allocation process for 2020A, we will miss many valuable transit opportunities prior to December 1, as well as its peak observability window this season. If appropriate, we can submit a proposal to the regular call for 2020A to cover the December 6 window. We note that ongoing LCO programs for TESS follow-up (led by Markus Rabus and Karen Collins) are running low on time and cannot spend much (if any) time on TOI 173. 2019B 2020A 49
Youngblood A LASP at CU Boulder Mitigating the Effect of Stellar Activity on a Hubble Transit Observation of a Rocky Planet Mitigating the Effect of Stellar Activity on a Hubble Transit Observation of a Rocky Planet We propose to use the LCO 1-m imaging network in B band to monitor L 98-59 (M2-3 V, B=13.22 mag) at ~2-minute cadence simultaneously with the HST transit observation of the b planet. We select the B band over the U band for monitoring L 98-59 to simultaneously optimize longitudinal coverage (1-m network vs the smaller 2-m network) and achievable S/N on ~2-minute timescales (relevant for flare timescales). The scheduled HST visit is 4 orbits long (~6.4 hours), thus we request 7 hours of time critical observations with the 1-m network to achieve full coverage of the HST observations, both in- and out-of-transit (Figure 2). ~75 s exposure times will be used, which is optimized for fast cadence and S/N ≥ 100 to discern percent-level variations. We note that an award of 6.5 hours would be helpful if 7 is not available. 2020A 0
Storrie-Lombardi L LCO Targets for LSL research Targets for LSL research Targets for LSL research 2020A 0
Kenworthy M Leiden Observatory A new transiting exoring system A new transiting exoring system The goal of the proposal is to obtain regular cadence photometry of the star ASASSN J0600 for 40 days so that we can determine the structure of the occulting object, which we believe to be a newly discovered circumstellar disk. Extended eclipses due to dust or gas disks around companions are rare. This appears to be a brand new discovery - the ASASSN photometry is currently taking one data point every clear night at the telescope site The eclipse is now underway, and has already passed what we think is the midpoint. The next eclipse is not expected to happen for at least another 2200 days. Immediate and regular (every 2 hours) cadence observations will capture any substructure in this disk system, enabling interpretation in a refereed paper 2020A 22
Gaidos E University of Hawaii at Manoa Catch a Fading Star 2: High-Cadence Photometry of a A Bright Quasi-Periodic "Dipper" Star Catch a Fading Star 2: High-Cadence Photometry of a A Bright Quasi-Periodic "Dipper" Star Observations with the LCO 0.4m network are required within the next month to refine the ephemeris of the periodic dipping prior to scheduling the CFHT ESPaDOnS observations in early 2020A (starting February). Contemporaneous photometric observations are also needed to interpret the spectroscopy 2020A 100
Bolin B California Institute of Technology Rotationally Resolved Photometry of the first discovered Vatira 2020 AV2 Rotationally Resolved Photometry of the first discovered Vatira 2020 AV2 The observing window to observe 2020 AV2 with LCO will be open from now until 2020 January 30 UTC when 2020 AV2 will be airmass ∼>2.0 at the start of astronomical Twilight due to the location of this object in the evening sky (currently at RA = 21h, 41m, 49.75s) and will be observable for ∼30 minutes below airmass 3.0. After 2020 January 30, 2020 AV2 will be too low to observe for more than 10 minutes and will not be observable from ground-based observatories again until 2021. We require the use of LCO Time Critical allocation because of the necessity of coordinating multiple observatories to observe 2020 AV2 in a short-term sequence to obtain a lightcurve spanning 6 h. 2020 AV2 will be located at a declination of −2◦, thus well within the range suitable for LCO observatories with a <1” positional uncertainty. We will request non-sideral tracking for our observations due to the object moving at ∼2-3”/min. We will supply an official ephemeris when the object is confirmed and has an entry on JPL HORIZONS. The target is brightening and will be V∼ 17.5 through the observing window as predicted by ZTF observations taken through 2020 January 8 UTC2. We will obtain photometry in a rgzgr to limit the effects of the asteroid’s lightcurve on color measurements. We will use 60 s exposures in all three grz filters resulting in SNR >30 in all three filters adequate for our science goals. We will use background stars from the PanSTARRS catalogue (Tonry et al. 2012) to calibrate our photometry. 2020A 0 0
Hosseinzadeh G Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian Monitoring for a Repeated Lensing Flare from a Supermassive Black Hole Binary Candidate Monitoring for a Repeated Lensing Flare from a Supermassive Black Hole Binary Candidate We propose daily monitoring of a Kepler-identified AGN that exhibits a symmetric, 10-day flare. A supermassive black hole binary (SBHB) model fits this AGN light curve exquisitely and predicts that the flare will occur again between February and June of 2020. Detection with LCO would provide the first ever smoking-gun evidence for a sub-pc separation SBHB. Non-detection rules out this model, and still results in high cadence monitoring of peculiar AGN variability 2020A 9

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)
Tucker B Mt Stromlo Observatory, ANU Australian Science Teachers Association Observations Australian Science Teachers Association Observations Astronomy is a popular choice for both primary and high school students in Australia to study. Moreover, programs like the CSIRO CREST and BHP Billiton National Science Fair allow students to do year-long in-depth projects in a science area of their choice, and regularly inspire students to achieve great things. However, most schools and students, especially in regional and low-socio economic students, have access to cutting edge science facilities, especially in astronomy. In 2016, at Mt Stromlo, we founded the MSATT - The McNamara-Saunders Astronomical Teaching Telescope. MSATT has been used by students to do their own research projects. In the past two years, around 30 students from around Canberra have used it for some excellent projects. However, both the popularity of it and need to be present on site limits its use to other students. We are proposing to coordinate a program using the LCO 0.4m telescope to students and teachers across Australia to conduct projects similar to MSATT , but using the remote capabilities of LCO. This will be done in partnership with the Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA). 2020A 20 200

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 discovered outside the optical/near-IR passbands. their radio emission, however, offers limited insight into their physical nature and, especially, cannot be used to establish the source redshift. 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, VLT), with the primary objective of obtaining a solid redshift 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. 2020A 0
Brahm R Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile Transiting Warm Jupiters in the TESS Era Transiting Warm Jupiters in the TESS Era The discovery and characterization of transiting giant planets orbiting bright stars is key for tackling at least two major theoretical challenges, namely i) which properties govern the structural composition of planets; (ii) how giant planets can be found orbiting significantly inside the snowline. The majority of the transiting giant planets that have been discovered have extremely small semi-major axes and hence their structural and orbital parameters should have been strongly affected by tidal/magnetic/radiative interactions with the host star, erasing most of the primordial information about the processes that govern planetary formation and evolution. The TESS mission will be able to detect 500 warm giant planets orbiting stars brighter than V=13. In the context of a large collaboration including researchers from most Chilean studying exoplanets, we propose to use a diverse range of instruments in order to lead the discovery and detailed characterization of the TESS warm Jupiters. 2020A 100
Gieren W Universidad de Concepcion The nature of first firm candidates for Galactic Cepheids in eclipsing binaries The nature of first firm candidates for Galactic Cepheids in eclipsing binaries Pulsating stars, as well as binary systems are fundamental objects for studying the Universe. We propose to investigate three very good candidates for Galactic Cepheids in eclipsing binary systems. Analysis of such systems can provide for the first time an opportunity to measure precision parameters of Galactic Cepheids. So far only very few such systems were discovered and studied by our team in the LMC. Characterizing classical Cepheids with solar metallicity would have an enormous impact on testing evolutionary and pulsation models of Cepheids. We could also provide precision determination of p-factors, very important for distance determination with Baade - Wesselink method. 2020A 80 12
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 supergiants (B-sg) are crucial to understand the evolution of massive stars, because main-sequence O-type stars are expected to evolve onto late O or early-B-sg in a few millions of years. Another endemic feature of O-type massive stars is the high-degree of multiplicity. Surprisingly, we have detected a sharp drop of the number of binaries between late-O and early-B sg stars (from 57% to 4%). This observational fact affects enormously any conclusion about the evolutionary connection between O-type and B-sg stars. In order to improve the completeness of multiplicity status in B-sg, we propose to perform a spectroscopic monitoring of a sample of 150 B-sgs brighter than V=9, including 17 eclipsing binaries, using CHIRON, CORALIE and NRES spectrographs. 2020A 54
Mendez R Universidad de Chile ** NEW SOLAR SYSTEM OBJECTS ** Astrometric and photometric characterization of the Gaia and GBOT discoveries ** NEW SOLAR SYSTEM OBJECTS ** 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 this info is sent to IAU’s Minor Planet Center. Our results from 2019A&B confirm that LCOGT is a very efficient network to validate the Gaia and GBOT alert detections of new SSOs. 2020A 0
Moyano M Universidad Católica del Norte Characterizing the Episodic Stellar Variability of the YoungStar AT Mic and its Impact on the Early Stages of Planet Evolution Characterizing the Episodic Stellar Variability of the YoungStar AT Mic and its Impact on the Early Stages of Planet Evolution M dwarfs are by far the most interesting targets for future exoplanetary missions. Their low luminosities place their potential habitable planets closer than their solar-type counterparts. However, activity studies of these systems are not complete, their potential impact on planetary hosts is poorly understood. We started a program to tackle this problem by selecting prominent nearby young targets that either harbor planets or are strong candidates to host them. Among these targets is AT Microscopi, a young variable multiple M dwarf system that might potentially harbor an Earth. We found that AT Mic exhibits flares that were not reported before. We propose to perform a nearly simultaneous photometric and spectroscopic survey of this system in order to study its newly discovered variability. We will use our results as input for models of exoplanetary atmosphere losses, so we can study if the M dwarfs are actually suitable planetary hosts that can eventually harbor life as we know it. 2020A 12
Olofsson J Instituto de Fisica y Astronomia Are dust clumps from a giant impact collision transiting TYC 8830 410 1? Are dust clumps from a giant impact collision transiting TYC 8830 410 1? TYC 8830 410 1 has been identified by our team as a very dusty, main sequence, Sun-like star. The large amounts of dust in its inner planetary system are consistent with the dust having an origin in a transient collisional event between massive, rocky bodies. TYC 8830 410 1 has also been observed by TESS and ASAS-SN to have stochastic variability and deep, ~1.2 magnitude deep eclipses. Based on our follow-up observations to date, we believe both the variability and eclipses are caused by dust orbiting the star ejected by a giant impact type event. If this link is confirmed then TYC 8830 410 1 would be the first ever system capable of informing us on the distribution and evolution of ejecta from giant impact type events, thus providing critical input to models and theories describing the rocky planet formation process. We request frequent LCOGT 0.4m monitoring observations of TYC 8830 410 1 to detect more eclipses and obtain a robust period for their occurrence if possible. 2020A 50
Caceres C Universidad Andres Bello Unveiling the nature of the short-term variability of dipper YSOs Unveiling the nature of the short-term variability of dipper YSOs In the last years a new class of variability has been detected in some young stellar objects (YSOs), where large decrements in their detected flux are observed. The strength of these dips are too large to be due to stellar variability, but recent studies have attributed it to occultations of the star by components of circumstellar disks that are close to the star. These components can be either warped inner disks not perfectly aligned with the line of sight, accretion columns or planetesimal belts (i.e. debris disks). As the nature of these dips is still unconstrained, more observational evidence is necessary to explain this phenomenon. To address this question, we proposed to carry out a long observational campaign to perform photometric follow-up of a large sample of dipper YSOs in the Lupus, Chamaleontis, and Taurus molecular clouds, with a varying cadence ranging from tens of minutes to several days. We propose to use the LCOGTN monitoring telescopes in the visible to probe the short term variability of these dippers, and each facility will probe a different time-variability scale. 2020A 100

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. 2020A 70
Roche P Faulkes Telescope Project PR FTP Education - Queue FTP Education - Queue FTP Education - Queue 2014A 2019B 2016B 2018B 2015A 2015B 2014B 2019A 2020A 2016A 2017AB 2018A 10 210 10 128 88
Roche P Faulkes Telescope Project PR FTP Education (Gaia Alerts) FTP Education (Gaia Alerts) FTP Education (Gaia Alerts) 2017AB 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 30 15 10

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 2020A HI STAR 2020A 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. 2020A 10 30 10 25 100
Armstrong J Institute for Astronomy HI STAR Projects II 2020A HI STAR Projects II 2020A 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. 2020A 10 30 10 25 100
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. 2020A 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)
Sánchez Béjar V IAC Photometric monitoring of the young solar analog V1298 Tau hosting four transiting planets Photometric monitoring of the young solar analog V1298 Tau hosting four transiting planets V1298 is a young solar analog with an estimated age of 23 Myr. Recently, Trevor et al. (2019, AJ, 158, 59) reported the presence of a warm Jupiter-sized transiting planet around this pre-main sequence star based on the analysis of K2 Campaign 4 photometry. The star and its planet belong to Group 29, a young association in the foreground of the Taurus-Auriga star- forming region. Later radial velocity (RV) follow-up observations in the optical and near-infrared of this target allow the authors to constraint the mass of the object to be less than 2.2 MJup, confirming its planetary nature (Beichman et al. 2019, RNAAS, 3, 89), and to determine that the RV variations due to stellar activity were of the order of 200m/s in the visible (Trevor et al. 2019, AJ, 158, 59). More recently, they presented the discovery of three additional transiting planets --- all between the size of Neptune and Saturn --- based on the same K2 data. The confirmation of giant planets at this very young age may challenge our current theories of planet formation, in particular the core accretion theory, and put strong constraint to the timescale of planet formation and dynamical evolution. 2020A 45
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 continue our photometric monitoring every ~10h of an 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 2020A, we propose to explore possible periodicities of up to ~170d. 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. The request for time at the 0.4-m on this proposal is to continue the follow up of this object. In 2019A we were allocated 128h, out of which 79h were executed. As the maximum visibility of the object is around end of May, we request a similar amount of executed time during semester 2020A (79h). 2020A 79
Acosta-Pulido J Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias Disentangling the blazars emission through multifrequency observations - the optical case Disentangling the blazars emission through multifrequency observations - the optical case Among the AGNs, Blazars are the most extreme variable class. They show flux changes in a broad spectral range, from radio-frequencies to high energies (X-rays and γ-rays), as well as high polarization at optical, near-infrared and radio wavelengths. The most accepted scenario involves a jet of accelerated relativistic particles, closely aligned with the line of sight, and starting near to a supermassive black hole. Due to this orientation, the jet emission is strongly amplified and usually overcomes the galaxy emission. Nowadays, a moderate number of blazars are monitored daily by the high-energy space observatories and also regularly observed from ground by Cherenkov telescopes, showing rather erratic variability patterns. In order to understand more about their behavior, follow-up programs have been setup at ground-based observatories to simultaneously cover a broad frequency range. Particularly, the multi-frequency approach provides important information about the localization of the γ−ray emission relative to the emission at other frequency ranges (for example, Carnerero et al, 2015), as well as helping to disentangle between leptonic and hadronic models (Böttcher et al, 2013). As today, no clear evidences have been established to confirm or refute any model due to the variety of observed events. Given the unpredictable behaviour observed in blazars, an unbiased and regular monitoring is worthwhile, in order to catch the most variety of events, which are the test-bed for theoretical modelling. Insight can be obtained by analyzing a number of flares in several objects but, due to the unpredictable nature of such events, it is difficult to foresee how much time and how many sources will be needed before the issue is completely solved. On the other hand, there are recent claims about periodic behavior with scales of several years (Sandrinelli et al, 2017), including our own analysis, which reveals similar scales (Otero-Santos et al, submitted). They can be induced by jet-precession, helical motion within the jet, binary black-holes, etc. or any other mechanisms. 2020A 21
Palle E Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias Simultaneous photometric observations to Red Dots radial velocity campaign Simultaneous photometric observations to Red Dots radial velocity campaign We are asking for photometric support observations to our radial velocity survey for small planets around the closer M dwarf stars. The survey in part of the Red Dots projects, and is run using the HARPS spectrograpph in La Silla Observatory. The photometric data is useful to disentangle the radial velocity signals from planetary bodies from those related to stellar activity and rotation. 2020A 90

Las Cumbres Observatory - Education Programs

PI Name PI Institution Title Semesters FLOYDS (2m) Spectral (2m) NRES (1m) Sinistro (1m) SBIG (0.4m) GHTS REDCAM (4.0m) GHTS REDCAM IMAGER (4.0m)
Fitzgerald M Edith Cowan University Our Solar Siblings queue Our Solar Siblings queue 2014B 2015A 2015B 2016A 2016B 2017AB 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 250
Gomez E LCO LCO Education development LCO Education development 2019B 2018B 2016B 2015A 2015B 2014B 2020A 2019A 2016A 2017AB 2018A 1 9 20 500
Gerbaldi M Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris Astrolab - Starlight in the university lab Astrolab - Starlight in the university lab Astrolab - Starlight in the university lab 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 50
Rodríguez Eugenio N Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias PETeR (Educational Project with Robotic Telescopes) PETeR (Educational Project with Robotic Telescopes) PETeR (Educational Project with Robotic Telescopes) 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 20
Freed R Institute for Student Astronomical Research Astronomy Research Seminars for High School and Undergraduate Instructors and Students Astronomy Research Seminars for High School and Undergraduate Instructors and Students Astronomy Research Seminars for High School and Undergraduate Instructors and Students 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 50
Sienkiewicz F MicroObservatory Exoplanet Exploration Partnership Exoplanet Exploration Partnership Exoplanet Exploration Partnership 2018A 2020A 70
Boyce P BRIEF STEM Through Astronomy Research - San Diego STEM Through Astronomy Research - San Diego STEM Through Astronomy Research - San Diego 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 100
Tock K Stanford Online High School Stanford Online High School Stanford Online High School Addition to Education Partners Program 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 50
Gomez E LCO Serol's Cosmic Explorers Serol's Cosmic Explorers 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 20
Thurber B Educational Continuum Org, GHOU 100 Hours for 100 Schools 100 Hours for 100 Schools 100 Hours for 100 Schools will build the on-going collaborative programme between Global Hands-On Universe and LCO, 50 hours for 50 nations. This programme will deliver unique activities in astronomy to teachers all over the world, with 100 schools from at least 50 countries being selected. Each school will use LCO to image deep sky objects for use in their classrooms with their students. 2019A 2019B 2020A 75
Liu B YATL YATL Astronomy Research Project for High School YATL Astronomy Research Project for High School Youth Astronomy Teachers' Link (YATL) is a Chinese astronomy education NGO affiliated with Beijing Normal University Education Foundation. YATL works to build connections between young astronomers, astronomy teachers and students who are interested in astronomy. With the observing time awarded by LCO, the project will provide high school students with the opportunity to do real astronomical research, meet prestigious astronomers and present their results at international conferences. 2019A 2019B 2020A 20
Peticolas L Sonoma State University Bringing Astronomy Research to Underrepresented Groups Bringing Astronomy Research to Underrepresented Groups This program is unique in its requirement for publication by students, and has been successful due to the large Community-of-Practice involved in the program. This proposal would expand the seminar to other groups of students, outside of Cuesta. The longer-term goal is to expand the program nationally, incorporating a larger community being established through the Global Telescope Network (GTN). Working with advanced amateurs, such as AAVSO members, as well as NASA and other subject matter experts, we hope to include research projects on eclipsing binaries, asteroids and exoplanet transits. This is a pilot program aimed at scaling the research seminar nationally and internationally. 2019A 2019B 2020A 75
Boyajian T LSU Where's the flux Where's the flux KIC 8462852 is a star that citizen scientists identified to have unusual brightness variations. This otherwise seemingly normal F star underwent erratic and completely unpredictable dips in flux ranging from <1% to more than 20%, with each event lasting from days to weeks at a time. In addition to this puzzling variability, the star was later discovered to undergo variable secular declines in its brightness over month, year, decade, and even century-long timescales. We propose to conduct weekly, multi-band photometric monitoring of this star with the LCO 40-cm network in order to measure the extent and chromaticity of the secular dimming throughout the 2019 calendar year. Additionally, this proposal will allow for our community to respond and follow the start of any “dip” identified by more frequent AAVSO measurements, through Reddit. 2019A 2019B 2020A 50
Fitzgerald M Macquarie University OSS research project OSS research project 12 week open access course in astronomy fundamentals for teachers. 2020A 100
Edwards B University College London (UCL Refining Exoplanet Ephemerides Refining Exoplanet Ephemerides ORBYTS (Original Research by Young Twinkle Students) is an educational programme in which secondary school pupils (16-17 y/o) work on scientific research linked to the Twinkle Space Mission under the tuition of PhD students and other young scientists. 2020A 100
Gomez E Western Carolina University Aninoquisi To'sdigo'ti'a Aninoquisi To'sdigo'ti'a This project will engage middle grade and high school students in the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians in a science project to observe exoplanet transits in nearby stars. This is also part of a project to support Cherokee language revitalization by connecting language arts and science. 2020A 2
Heenatigala T AstroEPO Astrometry Research Group of Sri Lanka Astrometry Research Group of Sri Lanka Astronomy research is still not an active field in Sri Lanka. This is mainly due to lack of resources availability and our universities are yet to setup department or courses (credited). Due to these critical circumstances, many students miss out on opportunities, especially those who wish to pursue a career in astronomy or related sciences. Through applying to LCO’s Global Sky Partner programme, we are not only hoping to use the valuable LCO facilities to observe but also allow this group of students to experience a true scientific process of applying and reviewing their work. 2020A 5
Rogerson J Canada Aviation and Space Museum Scintillating Citizens Scintillating Citizens The goal of this project will be to put the act of collecting and analyzing photometric data in the hands of the visitors to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum website. 2020A 15
Sparks R NSF's OIR Lab Observing With Einstein Schools Observing With Einstein Schools The Einstein Schools program is a project of the International Astronomical Union. Einstein Schools explore the life and science of Albert Einstein and create a variety of projects based on his research. Einstein Schools receive access to curated resources to get them started on their projects. Einstein schools have the opportunity to be paired with a professional astronomer or scientist to mentor them as they work on their projects. The Einstein Schools program provides a website for schools to share their results and projects. Einstein Schools focus on middle and high schools around the world. There are currently 200 Einstein Schools located in 40 countries around the world. 2020A 30
Restrepo Quiros L Galileo Teacher Training Program Study of Transient Phenomena in Solar Stars Study of Transient Phenomena in Solar Stars With this project we hope to detect transitory variability in a sample of stars that we will observe throughout the year and that includes HD162826 (sister candidate of the Sun) and HD93083 (who has been determined to have an exoplanet and has been designated by the IAU to receive its name by vote of groups in Colombia). Short-term phenomena that are expected to follow are, for example, changes in magnitude over several consecutive days, which could be associated with fulgurations, large groups of stellar spots, faculae, prominences or exoplanet transit. 2020A 20
Pundak D Kinneret College, Israel Variable Stars at Kinneret College Variable Stars at Kinneret College Our groups exciting, engaging, and innovative with educational projects in astronomy. We are convincing that via astronomy, we could encourage students to learn science and math. By being involved with the LCO education program, we are hoping both: first to learn from your research experience and pedagogical approaches; second, to contribute from ours. We have two telescopes, one Meade 16" and the second one is a small radio telescope - 2.5m. We already made 48 astronomy matriculation projects and some hundreds of small inquiry projects. At our center, we have six astronomy teachers and nine astronomy courses. 2020A 16
Narcisse R Société Haïtienne d'Astronomie Astwonomi Lakay Astwonomi Lakay Establishing astronomy course in State University of Haiti via the National School of Geology (ENGA) and Science Faculty since november 2019 to June 2020. A special astronomy curriculum has been developped with lab as using images from LCO robotic telescopes from january to june 2020. Students will have to prepare & present research also, using the telescopes facilities. Astwonomi Lakay will be developped in many sites : State University of Haiti as stated, but also in special journeys or workshops on professional & primary schools and church. The university curriculum will be adapted accordingly and special pedadogic approach will be used for children in primary school, teacher student from professional school and general amateur astronomers from church community. 2020A 31

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)
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. 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 is one of 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 6 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 43 of the 83 targets and now seek follow-up for 28 of the remaining binary candidates. We propose to densely image them, compute their light curve solution, 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. One exceptional aspect of this sample is the fact that 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. 2020A 171 361 24
Bachelet E LCO Constraining masses and distances of stellar mass black holes with microlensing Constraining masses and distances of stellar mass black holes with microlensing We intend a ground photometric follow-up of long duration Gaia microlensing candidates. The goal is to obtain well-sampled lightcurves to constrain the microlensing model parameters, especially the microlensing parallax. Indeed, while Gaia will provide excellent astrometry measurements that would allow the measurement of the angular Einstein ring radius, its sampling is to low to well constrain the photometric models. The unique combination of Gaia astrometry and LCO lightcurves will allow the systematic measurement of the mass and distance of the lenses and , potentially, lead to the detection of the first isolated stellar mass black-hole. 2020A 63 40 38
Soderblom D Space Telescope Science Telescope Optical photometry and spectroscopy in coordination with HST, XMM-Newton, and more Optical photometry and spectroscopy in coordination with HST, XMM-Newton, and more We have an accepted HST Cycle 27 program to obtain ultraviolet spectra of four targets with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS), and in coordination with XMM. Overall the purpose is to get good S/N UV spectra of these four very active solar-type stars to assess factors that influence habitability and planetary atmospheres. The four targets were selected because they are part of a TESS program to obtain high-precision photometry. We wish LCO photometry and NRES spectroscopy as close as possible in time to the HST+XMM observations. The HST plan windows are now set, and two of the stars will be observed in LCO period 2020A, one this December and one in February. The plan windows are only 1 to 2 days long. From the LCO photometry we will get the light curves of the stars, indicating spot coverage and the phasing of the spots relative to the HST+XMM observations. Note from the table below that we already know the rotation periods of the targets, but the phasing is critical. Please note that although these stars are being observed by TESS, that does not occur during the HST plan windows and so the LCO data is vital. NRES spectra will provide quantitative information on the activity levels of the stars at the time of the HST+XMM observations from the Ca II H and K lines. 2020A 0 0
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. This is a proposal to continue a pilot program as we work to better understand and improve NRES performance and data reduction, while still producing high-impact science. 2020A 100
Siverd R Vanderbilt University Intensive Time-Series Spectroscopy of Classical Be Stars and their Disks Simultaneous with TESS Photometry Intensive Time-Series 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. Through two Guest Investigator programs with the NASA TESS mission, we are obtaining high-precision time series at 2-minute cadence for a sample of ~1300 Be stars across the sky. However, numerous phenomena contribute to Be star variability with timescales and amplitudes that interfere with pulsation mode measurement (the effects are photometrically indistinguishable). Additional information is thus required to disentangle the observed variation and isolate pulsation modes. Simultaneous high-resolution spectroscopy offers an effective way to break this degeneracy by providing a velocity component to the observed photometric changes. The velocities can be used to disentangle the superimposed signals and also to localize changes to specific regions of the photosphere or circumstellar disk. We propose a campaign to monitor the best few Be stars in the TESS GI sample simultaneously with NRES. The resulting data set will allow us to disentangle the superimposed signals in the TESS photometry and provide an unprecedented look at the mechanism of mass ejection in Be stars. 2020A 150
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. 2020A 20 0 0
Johnson M Las Cumbres Observatory LCO Follow-Up and Confirmation of Transiting Planet Candidates around A-Type Stars LCO Follow-Up and Confirmation of Transiting Planet Candidates around A-Type Stars The Kepler mission discovered thousands of transiting exoplanets, enabling the measurement of the occurrence rate of planets as small as Earth with orbital periods up to 400 days around FGKM dwarfs. Kepler, however, did not observe enough more massive (i.e., A-type; 1.5-2.5 MSun) to measure planet occurrence rates. Measuring these rates will help us to answer key open questions regarding how planets form, migrate, and evolve. The TESS mission is currently conducting an all-sky survey for short-period transiting planets, and will observe enough A stars to enable a precise measurement of the occurrence rate for hot Neptunes and Jupiters, and warm Jupiters. TESS, however, suffers from a high false positive rate, necessitating the use of ground-based follow up observations to confirm or validate planet candidates. We propose to conduct an intensive program of photometry and spectroscopy using LCO in order to produce a clean sample of A star planets to enable an occurrence rate measurement. 2020A 45 40 220
Collins K Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory 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-SG1 and are crucial for confirming or discarding the planetary origin of the transit signal delivered by TESS. 2020A 10 381 430
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 will have 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 continue to contribute meaningfully to the initial characterization of some of TESS' most exciting new exoplanets. 2020A 0
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 We request to continue our investigation of transients in galaxy centers (aka "nuclear transients") powered by super-massive black holes (SMBHs) which is yielding exciting results. In addition to the main class of optical/UV tidal disruption events (TDEs), we are also studying another class of nuclear transients (discovered by us) around active SMBHs, which may be related to TDEs in a new regime, or which represents a new accretion phenomenon altogether. We also caught the first "changing look" AGN in the act, ruling out obscuration models for the nature of these events. LCO has been crucial in all of these discoveries. We propose to continue this successful program to study the emission properties of these and other new types of nuclear transients, in addition to continuing to follow TDEs from the now establish classes. LCO is the central component of a multi-wavelength and multi-facility 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 nuclear transients from transient survey alert streams. We aim to collect well-sampled photometry and spectroscopy of three new nuclear transients this semester. The observations obtained as part of this campaign will allow us to persist in our systematic mapping of the diversity of accretion physics and to develop nuclear transients as new tools for characterizing SMBHs. 2020A 70 54
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 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 for 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 86 hours of 1-m time, 38 hours of 0.4-m (to follow brighter targets), 8 hours of 2m (for fainter light curve targets) and 11 hours of 2-m FLOYDS time for spectroscopic follow-up of brighter NEO targets. 2020A 12 8 79 38
Notsu Y University of Colorado Boulder A unified understanding of flare profile changes of chromospheric lines A unified understanding of flare profile changes of chromospheric lines We propose U&V-band photometric observations of nearby a M-dwarf flare star YZ CMi using LCO telescopes at CTIO (LSC) site, which is simultaneously observed with CTIO SMARTS1.5m/CHIRON (high-dispersion optical spectroscopy). We use U&V-band data of LCO to get continuum intensity changes during flares efficiently. We have already conducted similar simultaneous spectroscopic and photometric observations of M-dwarf flare stars in the previous terms with CTIO SMARTS1.5m/CHIRON and APO 3.5m/ARCES. We have detected two clear events with different properties. One shows Balmer line intensity enhancements with possible slight blue asymmetries (cf. Honda et al. 2018) but this can be “non-white light flare event” without any optical continuum intensity changes. The other is a clear “white light event” but the Balmer line profiles does not show any clear blue asymmetries. These new data can give us a clue to investigate the time evolution of chromospheric dynamics during M-dwarf flares by combining with Radiative hydrodynamic calculations (e.g., Kowalski & Allred 2018). However, the number of events is still very small, and the previous observation target or time resolutions are not enough. Then in particular, we do not know what the physical conditions are causing blue asymmetries. Therefore, we need to observe more events of M-dwarf superflares in order to investigate whether blue asymmetries are common events of M-dwarf stellar flares, and whether Balmer lines can be used to characterize filament eruptions in the early stages of coronal mass ejections. 2020A 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. 2020A 35
Chakrabarti S RIT Searching for the home star of Oumuamua Searching for the home star of Oumuamua Oumuamua is the first unambiguously identified object of interstellar origin. Its nearly mythical status has prompted many investigations. Yet its origin is still unclear. In our previous work, (Bailer-Jones et al. 2018), we determined Oumuamua’s backward trajectory using the 7 million stars with full 6D phase space information present in Gaia DR-2 and looked for past close encounters. Scattering by a binary system (or giant planet) is likely to produce the observed high ejection velocities of Oumuamua. We have searched the cross-matched Hipparcos-Gaia catalog constructed by Brandt (2018) that gives us accelerations and a means to determine initial evidence of binarity. Of the list of 29 sources, there are two sources that have significant accelerations (> 5-sigma) and four that may be accelerating (significance of 2-sigma or below). Thus, our initial method of determining binarity seems to be robust and yields results that agree with prior data. Our primary goal is to determine whether the plausible home stars of Oumuamua may be binaries or have massive planets. Here we aim to determine if the sixteen brightest candidate home stars from Bailer-Jones et al. (2018) may be binaries by using NRES to determine radial velocities that are precise to approximately 100 m/s. NRES is the ideal instrument to carry out this pilot survey and we request a total of 63 hours to observe sixteen sources. 2020A 63
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. 2020A 51
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. Many of the known hot Jupiters with B- or A-type hosts have been discovered by KELT (up to ~half if our in-prep discoveries are included), 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. We further propose to augment this effort with a small pool of NRES spectroscopy time to be used for orbital confirmation. We believe that given recent improvements in instrument stability, NRES could play a critical role in upcoming discoveries. 2020A 0 30 50 200
Suárez Mascareño A Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias Photometric monitoring of ESPRESSO GTO stars Photometric monitoring of ESPRESSO GTO stars Simultaneous photometry is a very valuable addition to precise radial velocity observations. It helps disentangling keplerian signals from activity induced signals. The ESPRESSO GTO is conducting right now the most precise RV campaign ever attempted. As part of the ESPRESSO consortium we propose to use 60 hours of the 1-m telescope network and 100 hours of the 40-cm telescope network to perform simultaneous photometry on a sample of 10 stars of the ESPRESSO GTO. The obtained photometric time-series will be used to detrend the RV measurements from the effects of stellar activity. 2020A 60 100
Chakrabarti S RIT Lensed supernovae at low redshift Lensed supernovae at low redshift We propose to continue our observations targeting a set of known strong-lensing galaxies to discover multiply- imaged supernovae (SNe) suitable for time-delay cosmography. There is now a 5.3 sigma discrepancy between early and late universe probes of the Hubble parameter. Time delay cosmography provides an independent route to determine the Hubble parameter, and can potentially help to resolve this controversy. We will target the known lenses in the SWELLS, SLACS, and BELLS surveys, and for moderate magnification factors expect a detection rate of approximately 1 lensed supernova per year. This pilot survey will also complement large surveys such as the Zwicky Transient Facility, that will reach about 20 mag. We are targeting a set of known galaxy lenses with deeper observations following a strategy similar to that outlined in Shu et al. (2018). Both of these types of programs will likely be necessary to obtain lensed SNe detections prior to LSST. We are focusing on known lens systems in the south, while ZTF is expected to cover a similar number in the north. Since ZTF will not resolve lensed galaxies, identifying a lensed SN unless it is an a known lens is not trivial, and ZTF’s larger survey area therefore does not translate to more expected detections of lensed SNe. By enabling several independent determinations of the magnification for the same set of sources, these observations will provide a robust and comprehensive framework for an independent determination of H_0 to resolve a fundamental challenge to the ΛCDM paradigm. Follow-up of SN candidates can be done by the Global Supernova Project, on which Co-PI Curtis McCully is a Co-I, and on the Liverpool telescope, by co-I Fournon’s group, who also have a ToO program on Gemini. We have also joined the LensWatch collaboration, which is coordinating targeted lensed SN search programs like this one, and partnering with lensed SN follow-up programs on the VLT, Keck, and HST. 2020A 5 200
Lubin P UC Santa Barbara Observational Astrophysics Class - UCSB - Fall 2019 - Lubin Observational Astrophysics Class - UCSB - Fall 2019 - Lubin I am teaching Physics 134 (Observatihttps://observe.lco.global/apply/create/28/#onal Astrophysics) in the fall 2020 quarter. This class takes students in their junior and senior year through the theory and practice of visible light observational astrophysics. We typically have about 40 students in the class with students teams of 2-3 students each working on 1-3 observational programs. The requested observing time will be the total of all groups. We will likely use less than the requested time. I have the students work on a wide variety of observational topics including HR diagrams, SN follow up, SN searches, variable star observations, exoplanet occultation, optical SETI searches, etc. 2020A 60
Bachelet E LCO LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Bachelet, E. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Bachelet, E. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Bachelet, E. 2020A 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 2020A 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 2020A 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. 2020A 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. 2020A 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. 2020A 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. 2020A 1 1 2 5
Lister T LCO LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Lister, T. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Lister, T. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Lister, T. 2020A 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. 2020A 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. 2020A 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. 2020A 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. 2020A 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. 2020A 1 1 2 5
Storrie-Lombardi L LCO LCT Sci staff DD allocation: Storrie-Lombardi, L. LCT Sci staff DD allocation: Storrie-Lombardi, L. LCT Sci staff DD allocation: Storrie-Lombardi, L. 2020A 1 1 2 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. 2020A 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. 2020A 1 1 2 5
Beccue T LCO DD Allocation: Beccue, T. DD Allocation: Beccue, T. Director's discretionary allocation for Tim Beccue. 2020A 10
Hopkinson A Las Cumbres Observatory DD Allocation: Hopkinson, A. DD Allocation: Hopkinson, A. Director's discretionary allocation for Alice Hopkinson. 2020A 10

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)
Dong S Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Peking University Hunting for Extreme Supernovae Hunting for Extreme Supernovae We propose to carry out multi-band photometric observations to search for extreme supernovae from un- targeted time-domain surveys. This program builds upon our successes in the previous semesters using LCO(GT) to follow up nearby supernovae. Our approach has allowed us to make a number of discover- ies with un-precedented properties, including the most luminous superluminous supernova (SLSN), the closest and also the first SLSN in a spiral galaxy, a rare 2009dc-like peculiar Ia-like supernova and the fastest declining Type I supernova yet discovered. Our proposed observations can probe extreme physical conditions that lead to such exceptional stellar explosions. By estimating from observations with our past LCOGT observations and verified with the exposure time calculator, we request 50 hr with LCOGT 1m. 2020A 50
Wang X National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences Photometric follow-up of apparent decaying orbital WASP-12 b Photometric follow-up of apparent decaying orbital WASP-12 b Thousands of transiting exoplanets have been discovered in the past 20 years. Some unique exoplanet systems can provide opportunities to help us understand the planetary formation and evolution processes. WASP-12 b is one of them. It has been monitored for a decade and been found to have a apparent decrease in the period. There are mainly three models, orbit decay, apsidal precession and the perturbation from additional planet, to explain this phenomenon. Based on the literature and our new transit-mid times, we can not distinguish them. According to the simulations of procession model and decay model, the observation after 2020 will help us to validate one of the first two orbit models of WASP-12 b. For the last possibility, we also need more data to confirm or rule out it. Therefore we propose to use LCOGT 1-m telescopes network to conduct photometric follow-up observations to derive precise transit-mid times to address this problem. In total, we request 30 hours (3 nights) for this program. 2020A 30
Wang X Tsinghua University, China Rapid Observations of Young Supernovae and Fast-evolving Transients Rapid Observations of Young Supernovae and Fast-evolving Transients Wide-field synoptic surveys of the sky, together with multi-wavelength and multi- messenger experiments, bring us into a golden age of time-domain astronomy. Numerous interesting transients discovered by new wide-field surveys demand extensive photometric and spectroscopic follow- up observations. This program gives opportunities to the chinese community interested in supernova or transient studies to join the LCO Global Supernova Project and follow the most interesting transients in an efficient way. Through a continuous collaboration with the LCO Global Supernova Project, we can conduct systematic studies of the following scientific objectives: (1) constraining the progenitors of different subclasses of SNe, particularly from very early observations; (2) building samples of exotic stellar explosions like those fast evolving transients; and (3) building statistically significant samples of SNe for comparison studies and in preparation to LSST, host galaxy studies, rates, and luminosity functions. 2020A 60
Yi T Xiamen University A peculiar compact-object-hosting binary: O’Connell’s puzzle A peculiar compact-object-hosting binary: O’Connell’s puzzle The ellipsoidal variable is an important ingredient in the fields of close binaries, cataclysmic variables, and X-ray binaries. We present an interesting system with previously collected photometric and spectroscopic observations. The system shows ellipsoidal modulation, but the light curve is asymmetric (two distinct maxima), known as the O’Connell effect, which is one of the most challenging phenomena to model in binary physics. Our analyses suggest that the binary may hold a compact object, most likely a high-mass white dwarf. We propose to use the LCO 1-meter telescope with the Sinistro imager to conduct time-series multi-color observations. We will follow the entire variation period of the target to study the variations at different bands and the evolution of the color index. By combining the observations with our previously accumulated data, constraints will be placed on the structure of the system. The observations will improve our understanding of the tidally interacting binaries. We request ∼12 hours in total for this program. 2020A 12
Yang H Tsinghua University Follow up High-magnification Microlensing Events to Explore Planet Mass Ratio Function at q<=10^-3 Follow up High-magnification Microlensing Events to Explore Planet Mass Ratio Function at q<=10^-3 We will conduct a microlensing follow up program in 2020A using the LCO network to densely observe ∼ 10 high-magnification microlensing events. These events have the highest intrinsic sensitivity to planets, but must be followed intensively over the peak of the event in order to capture that sensitivity. We will use LCO observations to find and characterize at least 1 planet-host mass ratio q<∼10−3 planetary perturbations in 2020A and ∼ 12 in total next three years. Our detections will enlarge the microlensing planet sample for q<∼10−3, which is crucial for resoving the discrepancy between the observed microlens planet mass ratio function at q<∼10−3 from different microlensing groups and thus constraining the core planet formation theories. For 2018–2019 follow up observations, our LCO program has captured six planetary events, including the smallest mass-ratio (q ∼ 1.3 × 10−5) microlens planet OGLE-2019- BLG-0960Lb. The PI will lead all the work including high-magnification event prediction, real-time data reduction, telescopes schedule modeling and paper writing. This will also be part of the PhD thesis of the PI (Hongjing Yang). 2020A 60
Gan T Tsinghua Followup observations for TESS hot Jupiters around M dwarfs Followup observations for TESS hot Jupiters around M dwarfs We will use LCO to observe transiting hot Jupiter candidates around M dwarfs identified by the TESS survey. Our detection will enlarge such planet sample by adding at least 16 (8 old + 8 new) candidates (only three such planets have been confirmed in total at present) combining with the efforts we have made, which is crucial for the further study about the occurrence rate for hot Jupiters around M type stars and constraining theoretical models of planet formation and migration. Given the large pixel scale (21′′) of TESS, blending of stars will be common. Photometric variations produced by a faint nearby eclipsing binary (NEB) during the assumed transit could result in a false planetary detection in TESS. Thus we will exclude such cases by direct detection or deep imaging. More importantly, we need to reject fully blended eclipsing binaries (BEB) by scheduling multi-band observations to check the chromaticity. For 2018 and 2019 observations, the programs we joined in (KEY2017AB-003d , PI: Avi Shporer; LCO2019B- 024, PI: Markus Rabus) have already confirmed 8 transit signal for planet candidates of such cases with both blue (B/gp) and red band (ip/zs) observations (TOI 234.01 has been confirmed as a 0.7 MJ planet with VLT/ESPRESSO). We propose 60 hours 1-m telescope time to continue this work. The PI will lead all the work including the planet candidate selection, telescopes scheduling, real-time data reduction and paper writing. This will be part of the PhD thesis of the PI (Tianjun Gan). 2020A 60
Hu S Shandong University, Weihai What’s the origin of the micro-variability for blazar What’s the origin of the micro-variability for blazar Blazar is one special type of radio load Active Galactic Nuclei(AGN) which has relativistic jet almost aligned to our line of sight. It has large amplitude variability in all wavelengths. Variability is a crucial method to research the central structure, energy radiation mechanism of AGN, to understand the produc- tion and propagation of shock, turbulence in relativistic jet, the acceleration and cooling mechanism of electrons and so on. But the origin of the variability is still an open question. Micro-variability is com- monly observed for high duty cycle blazars. Different mechanisms and models, such as the shock in the jet, the magnetic recconnection, the geometric reasons and so on were proposed to explain the observed micro-variability of blazar. We still do not know which one is ture and palys role. This question is key to understand the physics in the AGN jet. Longer continous micro-variability light curve is crucial to research the physical mechanism and process of the jet. Las Cumbres Observatory provides such a good opportunity for continuous observations by telescopes located in different sites with continuous longitude. 2020A 70
Wang Z Shanghai Astronomical Observatory Time-resolved photometry of a candidate gamma-ray binary Time-resolved photometry of a candidate gamma-ray binary Interacting binaries containing a compact star primary may have observable γ-ray emission, particularly when the compact star is a pulsar. Studies of such binaries allow us to improve our understanding of binary evolution and high-energy emission processes. In our search for possible γ-ray emitting binaries among the unidentified Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) sources, we find a candidate with a possible period of ∼77.5 days. We identify an optical counterpart from its flux variations in our previous targeted observations and moreover, a similar periodic signal from the source is found in archival optical data. The latter helps strengthen our identification. In order to fully study this candidate binary, different optical and X-ray observations are being planned. Here we request V RI three-band monitoring of the source over 90 days. From the monitoring, we aim to determine its period accurately and derive properties for the binary by modeling the three-band light curves. 2020A 9
Liang E Guangxi University ToO Observations for Time-Domain Astronomy ToO Observations for Time-Domain Astronomy The key project of Guangxi University is time-domain astronomy. Prompt response for Photometry and Spectroscopy observations to the Target of Opportunity (ToO) sources with 1m and 2m telescopes in different time zones are required. The ToO sources are included the gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and their afterglows, the electromagnetic (EM) counterparts of gravitational wave events, the high energy outbursts of active galactic nuclei (AGNS), and other interesting optical transients discovered by our Ground-based Wide Angle Cameras (GWAC). We also make optical monitoring for some AGNs of interests. 2020A 15 35

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)
Vallely P The Ohio State University Multi-Band Photometric Monitoring of TESS Transients Discovered by ASAS-SN Multi-Band Photometric Monitoring of TESS Transients 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 $sim days, before relaxing at later times to a 5-day cadence. Scaling from past LCO SNe observations and verified with the exposure time calculator, we request 60 hr with LCO 1m per semester to monitor 15 SNe. 2020A 60
Metcalfe T Space Science Institute Activity Cycles in Asteroseismic Solar Analogs Activity Cycles in Asteroseismic Solar Analogs The magnetic activity of the Sun becomes stronger and weaker over roughly an 11-year cycle. Decades of observations from Mount Wilson and Lowell revealed that other stars also show regular activity cycles, and identified two distinct relationships between the length of the cycle and the rotation rate of the star. The solar cycle appears to be an outlier, falling between the two stellar relationships, potentially threatening the foundation of the solar-stellar connection. Recent work suggests that the Sun's rotation rate and magnetic field may be in a transitional phase that occurs in all middle-aged stars, but additional observations are needed to test and refine this hypothesis. We propose to continue long-term monitoring of Ca~{sc ii} H~and~K emission initiated in 2017B for a sample of 34 bright stars with known rotation rates ($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. 2020A 60
Bailyn C Yale Multi-Wavelength Observations of the Prototype Quiescent Black Hole Binary A0620-00 Multi-Wavelength Observations of the Prototype Quiescent Black Hole Binary A0620-00 We propose to carry out a multi-wavelength study of the quiescent black hole X-ray transient A0620-00. This source has been in quiescence since its outburst in 1975. The goal is to see whether the intriguing and suggestive results of previous such observations are the results of systematic trends or of chance stochastic alignments. Specifically we will test the long-term trend toward X-ray brightening, the strongly inverted radio spectrum, and the radio/X-ray anti-correlation. 2020A 10
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, many wide-field optical telescopes, such as the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), 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 and spectroscopy, which will be required to differentiate potential candidates. Using candidate selection templates of ZTF 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. 2020A 0 0 0
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. 2020A 25 270
Espaillat C Boston University Tracing the star-disk connection in accreting, pre-main-sequence stars Tracing the star-disk connection in accreting, pre-main-sequence stars The details of the connection between mass accretion and ejection processes in young stellar objects are unclear, but a correlation has been observed between the accretion rate onto the star and the mass loss rate via the jet. Here we request LCO observations to be coordinated with approved VLA observations to test this correlation. This would be a follow up of a small, simultaneous VLA-{it HST} variability study of the well-studied accreting, young star GM Aur. Analysis of this data reveals a tentative correlation between the mass accretion rate and the observed jet emission based on three epochs of VLA-{it HST} data taken with a weekly cadence. However, more finely time-sampled data are necessary to confirm and establish the connection between accretion and ejection processes. 2020A 13
Chen G UC Davis High-cadence Lens Monitoring for Time Delay Cosmography High-cadence Lens Monitoring for Time Delay Cosmography This LCO monitoring program is part of an ongoing effort to measure $H_0$ to 1% using the time delays in 40 strongly lensed quasars. This will clarify the current discrepancy in the $H_0$ measurements between early and late Universe. Our goal with LCO is to measure time delays in up to 15 Northern systems from top-notch optical R-band light curves obtained with daily cadence and high-SNR. Each time delay will be measured to $sim% in one full visibility period of any specific lensed quasar. {bf As a first step, this pilot program considers one fairly easy target} with bright quasar images of wide angular separation. If successful, we would like to make the LCO the main Northern telescope of the COSMOGRAIL, H0LiCOW, STRIDES, and SHARP collaborations, all working together towards the common goal of measuring $H_0$ to 1% in the next 3-4 years. The LCO monitoring will fully complement our current monitoring with the MPIA 2.2m telescope at ESO La Silla Observatory and allow US participants to become fully part of the only consortium, world-wide, doing time-delay cosmography. 2020A 58
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 Many open questions in supernova (SN) physics rely on the connection between core-collapse SNe and their massive progenitor stars. It is now possible to directly investigate SN progenitor stars, but only for the small fraction of nearby SNe with deep, high-resolution pre-explosion imaging. Each such event is therefore a rare and unique opportunity in which we can compare a SN explosion to the mass, metallicity, and local environments of the star that exploded. 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 {it 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 $^$Ni- powered emission. In rare 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. 2020A 8 11
Thanathibodee T University of Michigan Characterizing the Photometric Variability of the Proto-planet Host Star PDS70 Characterizing the Photometric Variability of the Proto-planet Host Star PDS70 The best documented case of planets forming in the primordial disk of a young star is the PDS70 system. As such, it has received intense attention in the last few months, including imaging from the optical to the sub-mm, with ALMA, as well as detailed modeling of the planets-disk- star interactions. However, the variability of the system is not yet well characterized. TESS observations indicate quasi-periodic variability, probably associated with stellar activity, and non-periodic dips in the light curve, which could be due to warps in the innermost disk, and/or variable accretion onto the star. Here we propose to use the LCO 1m/Sinistro imagers to obtain color information on the variability of PDS 70, which may help discern the nature of the dips and the overall variability and allow for a better understanding of the connection between the star, disk, and planets in their formation phase. 2020A 11
Kelley M University of Maryland Outburst Discovery for Interstellar Object 2I/Borisov Outburst Discovery for Interstellar Object 2I/Borisov With an orbital eccentricity of 3.3, comet 2I/Borisov is the second interstellar small body to be discovered, and the first to be definitively cometary. Unlike 1I/`Oumuamua, Borisov is expected to be well placed in the sky and bright enough to study for several months. It presents our first opportunity to study an extra-solar small body as an individual object using the same techniques we use to study Solar System comets and asteroids. We propose to characterize its cometary activity, i.e., mass loss, as it passes through perihelion and recedes from the Sun. We seek to discover any outbursts in activity greater than $Delta m=-0.5$~mag in strength, and immediately announce them to the community, as well as trigger our own follow-up studies. The lightcurve from this proposal will provide insight into the behavior of our own Oort cloud comets, but also provide critical context for all observers studying comet Borisov. 2020A 21
Bentz M Georgia State University Reverberation Mapping of the Nearby Seyfert NGC3783 Reverberation Mapping of the Nearby Seyfert NGC3783 NGC 3783 is one of the brightest and nearest broad-lined Seyfert galaxies. As such, it is one of only a handful of objects where we can attempt to directly compare black hole mass measurements based on reverberation mapping (which is limited by temporal resolution) and stellar dynamical modeling (which is limited by spatial resolution). To date, such comparisons have only been carried out for two Seyferts. Our team has been working to increase the number of such comparisons, and we have three additional objects in progress. We have exhausted the sample of northern hemisphere targets, but LCO provides a unique set of capabilities for carrying out spectrophotometric monitoring programs in the southern hemisphere. NGC 3783 is our top priority southern target. All black hole mass estimates at different look-back times are based on reverberation mapping and/or dynamical modeling results for $<200$ nearby objects. Direct comparisons of these techniques are necessary to understand the magnitude of the biases and limitations inherent in each technique and to investigate the possibility of offsets in their resultant mass scales, which may profoundly affect our understanding of black hole growth and evolution. 2020A 25 16
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. 2020A 0 4
Walter F Stony Brook University Photometry of Intermediate-age post-Novae Photometry of Intermediate-age post-Novae Following their initial decay and as they approach quiescence, novae are highly variable objects whose colors change significantly with time. Some merely fade away; others evolve into high mass transfer rate accretion disks; still others just get stuck and don't seem to evolve much. The vast majority of extant long term nova light curves are based on observations in single bands, usually $V$. Following the retirement of $Andicam$, we propose to extend our long term monitoring program by moving the fainter targets from $Andicam$ to LCO/$Sinistro$. Our immediate goals are to continue observations of 7 still-bright novae, with ages from 5 to 16 years, for this observing season. We use contemporaneous spectroscopy to disentangle the continuua from the emission lines to reveal the true continuum decay rates. In some cases the extended coverage we seek will help to pin down long term periodicities; in others we are seeking to quantify the decay of the accretion disk; in still others we are seek to understand new and unprecedented behavior. 2020A 10
Strausbaugh R University of the Virgin Islands Searching for Signals from the First Stars Searching for Signals from the First Stars Long gamma-ray bursts can be observed up to the very first epoch of stellar formation ($zsim20$). Unfortunately, their rapidly fading optical/NIR counterparts make it very difficult to obtain accurate information about their progenitors (e.g., from well sampled multiband lightcurves) and their distance (e.g., from spectroscopic redshift). With this proposal we intend to use the LCO network observatory in order to identify optical/NIR counterparts and provide preliminary information about their high redshift nature (via R-I color and spectroscopy). LCO rapid ToOs will enable the investigation of most of the interesting objects that may be produced by the first generation of stars. Our collaboration includes the possibility to use other facilities (like the DCT and RATIR), to further study the primordial interstellar and intergalactic medium. 2020A 0
Nielsen E KIPAC/Stanford Orbits of Moving Group Binaries: Constaining the Ages of Planet-Hosting Moving Groups with LCO/NRES radial velocities Orbits of Moving Group Binaries: Constaining the Ages of Planet-Hosting Moving Groups with LCO/NRES radial velocities Precise dynamical stellar masses can be measured for binary stars with both astrometric and radial velocity orbital solutions. In moving groups, dynamical masses can be translated into precise age measurements through stellar models, and provide a powerful (and unique) constraint on the moving group age. We propose here to monitor 36 moving group binaries with LCO/NRES to characterize the orbits of these objects so that these stars may be used as calibrators for the ages of their host moving groups. Ages are vital for characterizing planet and brown dwarf companions, the majority of which are found around moving group stars, and so accurate ages for these groups strongly impact our understanding of directly imaged planets and brown dwarfs. We have previously demonstrated the viability of this method using two sets of binaries in the beta Pic moving group, and propose here to continue monitoring stars in other groups and greatly reducing the uncertainties in quoted ages of nearby moving group stars and planets. In addition to better characterizing binaries with uncertain orbital parameters, there are two well-characterized systems that require only one semester of new RVs to fully constrain their mass: 26 Gem and BS Ind that can be published at the end of the semester, following the completion of our in-prep paper on PX Vir and HD 160934. 2020A 40
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 of 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. 2020A 100

Science Collaboration Key Projects

PI Name PI Institution Title Semesters FLOYDS (2m) Spectral (2m) NRES (1m) Sinistro (1m) SBIG (0.4m) GHTS REDCAM (4.0m) GHTS REDCAM IMAGER (4.0m)
Howell A Las Cumbres Observatory The Global Supernova Project The Global Supernova Project We propose a new 3 year Key Project to build a sample of 600 supernovae over 3 years to add to the approximately 450 supernovae from the first Supernova Key Project. Together this will be the largest low-redshift sample of supernovae ever obtained. The scientific objectives include: (1) studies to reveal the progenitors of SNe, particularly from early observations; (2) thorough studies of nearby SNe across all wavelengths; (3) building samples of exotic SNe; and (4) building statistically significant samples of SNe for comparison studies, host galaxy studies, rates, and luminosity functions. 2017AB 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 384 65 1060
Brown T LCO Using NRES to Validate and Characterize Exoplanets Found by TESS and Other Surveys (Commissioning and Precise Radial Velocities) Using NRES to Validate and Characterize Exoplanets Found by TESS and Other Surveys (Commissioning and Precise Radial Velocities) We propose to address two outstanding questions concerning exoplanets, both requiring large new datasets: (1) What is the exoplanet mass/period distribution, in particular for the poorly-represented ``Hot Neptune`` and ``Warm Jupiter`` populations, and (2) Why are the orbital axes of some planets so strongly inclined to the rotational axes of their parent stars? To do this, we will combine intensive observations with<br/>the new LCO- NRES spectrograph network with discovery data from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS -- to be launched near the end of calendar 2017), and from existing space- and ground-based transiting planet discovery facilities.<br/><br/>Our proposed project will carry out all of LCO&#39;s observing commitments to the TESS mission, but will greatly extend the TESS sample in order to answer the above science questions, which are uniquely accessible to LCO-NRES. The project will run for 6 semesters, obtain repeated spectra of some 500 exoplanet host stars<br/>and use a total of 12,700 observing hours, about half of which will come from the LCO Key Project pool. Our main activities will be to bring NRES up to its full potential as a global observing system, to develop software tools to enhance its scientific productivity, to carry out and analyze the needed observations for our science program, and to publish our scientific and technical results promptly. 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 250
Brown T LCO Using NRES to Validate and Characterize Exoplanets Found by TESS and Other Surveys (Stellar Obliquity and Photometry) Using NRES to Validate and Characterize Exoplanets Found by TESS and Other Surveys (Stellar Obliquity and Photometry) We propose to address two outstanding questions concerning exoplanets, both requiring large new datasets: (1) What is the exoplanet mass/period distribution, in particular for the poorly-represented ``Hot Neptune`` and ``Warm Jupiter`` populations, and (2) Why are the orbital axes of some planets so strongly inclined to the rotational axes of their parent stars? To do this, we will combine intensive observations with<br/>the new LCO- NRES spectrograph network with discovery data from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS -- to be launched near the end of calendar 2017), and from existing space- and ground-based transiting planet discovery facilities.<br/><br/>Our proposed project will carry out all of LCO&#39;s observing commitments to the TESS mission, but will greatly extend the TESS sample in order to answer the above science questions, which are uniquely accessible to LCO-NRES. The project will run for 6 semesters, obtain repeated spectra of some 500 exoplanet host stars<br/>and use a total of 12,700 observing hours, about half of which will come from the LCO Key Project pool. Our main activities will be to bring NRES up to its full potential as a global observing system, to develop software tools to enhance its scientific productivity, to carry out and analyze the needed observations for our science program, and to publish our scientific and technical results promptly. 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 100
Brown T LCO Using NRES to Validate and Characterize Exoplanets Found by TESS and Other Surveys (Stellar Classification) Using NRES to Validate and Characterize Exoplanets Found by TESS and Other Surveys (Stellar Classification) We propose to address two outstanding questions concerning exoplanets, both requiring large new datasets: (1) What is the exoplanet mass/period distribution, in particular for the poorly-represented ``Hot Neptune`` and ``Warm Jupiter`` populations, and (2) Why are the orbital axes of some planets so strongly inclined to the rotational axes of their parent stars? To do this, we will combine intensive observations with<br/>the new LCO- NRES spectrograph network with discovery data from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS -- to be launched near the end of calendar 2017), and from existing space- and ground-based transiting planet discovery facilities.<br/><br/>Our proposed project will carry out all of LCO&#39;s observing commitments to the TESS mission, but will greatly extend the TESS sample in order to answer the above science questions, which are uniquely accessible to LCO-NRES. The project will run for 6 semesters, obtain repeated spectra of some 500 exoplanet host stars<br/>and use a total of 12,700 observing hours, about half of which will come from the LCO Key Project pool. Our main activities will be to bring NRES up to its full potential as a global observing system, to develop software tools to enhance its scientific productivity, to carry out and analyze the needed observations for our science program, and to publish our scientific and technical results promptly. 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 700
Tsapras Y Heidelberg University ROME/REA - A three-color window to planets beyond the snow-line ROME/REA - A three-color window to planets beyond the snow-line Current planet formation theories predict that planets with semi-major axes between 1-10 AU should be abundant, yet they lie beyond the detection limits of most planet finding techniques. To this day, this important region of planetary parameter space remains largely unexplored. Discovering them is critical in understanding the physical processes that drive planet formation. - We propose a 3-year gravitational microlensing Key Project to discover new exoplanets in the cold outer regions of planetary systems, including free-floating planets and, potentially, planets around stellar remnants. Previous microlensing programs were limited in their ability to characterize source stars and could not obtain uninterrupted 24/7 observational coverage. We propose a novel approach that combines a multi-wavelength survey with reactive follow-up observations, and which relies on the unique capabilities of the global Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) network and its newly deployed wider-field cameras. - We will achieve enhanced sensitivity to planets with smaller masses (less than 10 MEarth) by placing better constraints on the spectral type of the source stars and by employing software that optimizes light curve coverage during the most planet-sensitive sections of the microlensing event. We will thus be able to better constrain the physical properties of these new planets exclusively based on LCO data. 2017AB 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 600
Robertson P University of California, Irvine High-Cadence Monitoring of the Sun's Coolest Neighbors High-Cadence Monitoring of the Sun's Coolest Neighbors In 2017, the new near-IR Habitable-zone Planet Finder (HPF) spectrograph will begin surveying nearby mid-late M dwarfs for low-mass exoplanets. We propose to use the LCO network to acquire V- and i-band photometry of our HPF survey targets every night they are observable. These observations will facilitate the identification of rotation periods, magnetic cycles, and other activity phenomena, providing valuable insight into the magnetic fields of fully convective stars, and be crucial in the separation of Doppler exoplanet signals from activity-induced noise. Our targets are bright enough to be observed with any of the LCO telescopes, and distributed across the northern sky. Thus, our program takes maximal advantage of LCO`s flexibility, especially as the new northern and equatorial telescopes come online. 2017AB 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 100 1400
Edelson R University of Maryland LCO/Swift/multi-mission intensive accretion disk reverberation mapping of AGN LCO/Swift/multi-mission intensive accretion disk reverberation mapping of AGN Intensive Disk Reverberation Mapping of Active Galactic Nuclei (IDRM of AGN) uses high-cadence LCO/Swift monitoring to measure interband lags across the optical/UV/X-rays due to "light echoes" between the central X-ray source and the accretion disk and within the disk. The four IDRM campaigns analyzed to date indicate disk sizes ~3 times larger than expected and also show a puzzling disconnectedness with the X-rays. This poses severe problems for the standard thin disk reprocessing model. We propose simultaneous LCO monitoring of two AGN for which we have already-approved intensive Swift monitoring (Fairall 9 and Mrk 142) and a third that lies near enough to the ecliptic pole to get 351 days continuous TESS coverage (Mrk 876). These AGN all have higher or lower black hole masses and/or higher Eddington rates that any previously probed with IDRM, greatly increasing our source parameter space coverage. Ground-based monitoring is needed to expand the Swift coverage to longer wavelengths at higher S/N, probing the outer regions of the disk. Only LCO can reliably sample at the sub-daily rate required by this experiment. 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 52 82 845
Arcavi I LCOGT / UCSB Discovery and Follow-up of Optical Counterparts to Gravitational-Wave Events Discovery and Follow-up of Optical Counterparts to Gravitational-Wave Events The discovery of the first gravitational-wave signal from a neutron-star merger last year, followed by the first kilonova, initiated the era of gravitational-wave - electromagnetic-wave multi-messenger astronomy. Using LCO, we obtained some of the earliest and best-sampled optical to near-infrared observations of the rapidly-evolving kilonova (not possible with almost any other facility). This discovery provided a wealth of insights into many open issues in astrophysics, including the neutron-star equation of state, the source of heavy elements in the Universe, and the first "standard-siren" constraints on the Hubble constant. Yet many open questions remain, most of which can be tied to the nature of the early optical emission. Competing models can be distinguished only with very early observations for a sample of events. We propose a key project to obtain such observations for ~10 new kilonovae to be discovered during the next LIGO-Virgo observing run, and perhaps for the first optical counterpart to a neutron-star - black-hole merger. Our proposal for automatic ultra-rapid triggering of a galaxy-targeted search in the localization region following gravitational-wave events, and high-cadence followup of counterpart candidates, is based on a strategy that was highly successful during the previous event. The coming year presents us with the opportunity to go from a single source to the first sample of joint gravitational - electromagnetic wave events. LCO's unique robotic, global, and rapid-response capabilities are ideal for significantly advancing this exciting new field. 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 0 58 154 0

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)
Inserra C Cardiff University OPTICON 20A/015 : Photometric monitoring with LCO for ePESSTO+: the advanced Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey of Transient Objects OPTICON 20A/015 : 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 (87+ 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. 2020A 65
Stritzinger M Department of Physics and Astronomy (AU) OPTICON 20A/031 : Followup of infant supernovae on the rise OPTICON 20A/031 : Followup of infant supernovae on the rise Supernovae (SN) are a linchpin for understanding the chemical evolution and star formation history of the Universe. However, key questions regarding the origins of SN persists and this proposal seeks to answer the question: What are the progenitor star systems of SN? This will be achieved by exploiting observations of SN discovered within hours to days of exploding by the ``All-Sky Automated Survey for SN", which is for the first time in human history surveying the entire visible sky daily. We will model the brightness evolution of infant SN to estimate the progenitor star's radius at the moment of explosion and thereby provide a direct indication of the type of star that exploded. We will also obtain robust constraints on SN physics and search for signatures of interaction with any companion or circumstellar material. We request 20 hours with the LCO 1-m telescope network and 5 hours with the LCO 2-m telescope to obtain optical broad-band imaging and spectroscopic followup of up to 4 infant SN. 2020A 0 0
Eisner N University of Oxford OPTICON 20A/019 : Follow-up of Candidate Transiting Planets Discovered by Citizen Scientists in TESS Data OPTICON 20A/019 : Follow-up of Candidate Transiting Planets Discovered by Citizen Scientists in TESS Data We propose to continue to use LCO's unique network of fully robotic imagers and echelle spectrographs to follow-up 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, orbiting bright (V<10) stars. We will use a combination of high spatial resolution imaging (using Spectral and/or Sinistro) to identify blends, 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. Additionally, we propose to use OHP 1.93 -m/SOPHIE to constrain the orbital parameters and planet masses of our best candidates. Our candidates will add substantially to the sample of small, long-period (P>30-day) and/or young transiting planets with measured masses. 2020A 57 0 10
Zielinski P Warsaw University Astronomical Observatory OPTICON 20A/017 : Galactic Black Holes from Gaia astrometry and time-domain photometry OPTICON 20A/017 : 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, INT 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. 2020A 53
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. 2020A 15 45
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. Machine learning algorithms are being used to identify candidates based on WASP lightcurves. 2020A 0 0 0
Dominik M Follow-up of Astrophysical Transients (continuation) Follow-up of Astrophysical Transients (continuation) Follow-up of astrophysical transients from e.g. Gaia. 2020A 50
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. 2020A 50
Hernandez Santisteban J University of St. Andrews Hunting for Bow Shocks in Outbursts of Accreting White Dwarfs Hunting for Bow Shocks in Outbursts of Accreting White Dwarfs Accreting black holes and neutron stars are known to produce strong outflows in the form of collimated radio jets and dense disk winds. Evidence is mounting that winds can carry away a large amount of ​ mass from the X-ray binary. However, very little is known of the mechanical feedback provided by the more numerous accreting white dwarf systems. The serendipitous discovery of a bow shock in the short orbital period system V1838 Aql, allowed us to directly observe the mechanical feedback of low-mass transfer systems for the first time (Hernandez Santisteban et al. 2019) when the system went into outburst in 2013. We were able to determine the the system is producing a quasi-continuous outflow during quiescence which is mostly invisible. Follow-up observations in quiescence led to non-detections of this bow shock, which we determined to be only illuminated and detectable by the powerful outburst. Given the narrow window that such crucial feedback material is observable, we propose a target of opportunity programme to search for such extended emission at the peak of three outbursts during this semester. Given the experience of V1838 Aql, we expect to see this emission a week after the start of the outburst (distance to apex of bow shock is ~8 light-days =~ 7 arcsec at ~200 pc, typical for such systems), so our triggers do not require a disruptive scheduling. We plan to take deep Halpha imaging with 2m/Spectral camera, with exposures of 4x600s = 2400s, in two epochs for three discovered transients. In total, accounting for overheads, we request 5 hours for this pilot study. 2020A 5
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 understanding cannot predict the timing or magnitude of future variations. 2020A 10

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)
Sickafoose A PSI 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 sitesfor the predicted shadow paths in 2020A: Hidalgo on 13 December, 13 March, 24 March, 12 April, 17 April, and 6 May;Asbolus on 17 December; Echeclus on 22 January; 2014 HY123 on 26 January, 16 February, 6 March, 24 March, 23 May, and26 May; 2012 DD86 on 19 March; Ixion on 30 March, 04 May, and 26 May; 34993 (2009 YF7) on 06 May; 95626 (2002 GZ32) on16 May; 29P on 31 May. For successful observations, our goals include looking for material around objects and constrainingthe physical and possible atmospheric properties. A total of 63.75 hours is requested: 61.25 h on the 1-m telescopes and 1.25h on the 0.4-m telescopes 2020A 0 0
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 highenergy (VHE: E > 100 GeV) gamma-ray telescope. Most extragalactic sources detected by H.E.S.S. are strongly variable acrossthe 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 meaningfulinsight into the multiwavelength variability patterns. H.E.S.S. regularly partakes in such coordinated multi-wavelengthcampaigns. Here we are proposing to obtain time on the LCO network to allow us to undertake coordinated opticalobservations with H.E.S.S. ToO observations. The most likely triggered observations will be of extra-galactic sources such asBlazars and Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) 2020A 33
van Soelen B University of the Free State Untangling variability in blazars: spectropolarimetry and RMHD simulations Untangling variability in blazars: spectropolarimetry and RMHD simulations Blazars are a type of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), with relativistic jets that point along our line of sight. They arecharacterized by multi-timescale flux variability, high linear polarization and strong gamma-ray emission. To correlatevariability signatures with the dynamical variation in the jet structure, a simultaneous long-term monitoring program of theflux and polarization signatures needs to be undertaken. The combination of spectropolarimetry observations with theSouth African Large Telescope (SALT) along with photometric observations with the Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) and theWatcher Robotic Telescope is unique to achieve this goal. In this pilot project, we aim to undertake long-termspectro-polarimetric study of two gamma-ray blazar sources in the southern hemisphere, detected by Fermi-LAT. The lightcurves and SEDs obtained from these observation will be statistically compared with state-of-the-art multi-zone modelling ofblazar jets using a hybrid framework developed for the PLUTO code 2020A 8
Kniazev A SAAO/SALT Study of long-period eclipsing binaries: towards to the true mass-luminosity relation Study of long-period eclipsing binaries: towards to the true mass-luminosity relation We started with HRS at SALT spectral observations that are going to correct the currently used mass-luminosity relation forthe m/m_sun > 2.7 range of mass since it was created with use of double-lined eclipsing binaries, where components weresynchronized and for this reason changed the evolution scenario of each other. In the process of this project we realizedthat many of our targets have very poor photometric curves that are not enough to obtain correct photometric parametersfor general aims of our project. For that reason we need LCO time to obtain accurate light-curves in the range of theirprimary and secondary minima 2020A 66 79
Kniazev A SAAO/SALT Photometric study of starforming rings in S0 galaxies Photometric study of starforming rings in S0 galaxies The goal of the project is to study photometric structure of a sample of early-type ringed galaxies. We currently haveextended spectral study of the same galaxies with SALT and we need to know structure of our targets: (1) bulge contributionand extension; (2) disk domination area localization; (3) a presence and metric characteristics of the bars and rings and (4)color maps to reveal starforming regions in the rings. The results will be compared as well to the parameters of the S0galaxies in different environments obtained by us earlier with the LCO facilities and published in our three papers 2020A 19

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 (MANOS) began in 2013 as a physical characterization survey of newly discovered, sub-km, spacecraft-accessible NEOs. With more than 100 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, classical, and target of opportunity observations. Ultimately we aim to build a catalog of physical properties for ~1000 NEOs, enabling a variety of science investigations including an unprecedented look into the diversity of NEO characteristics, 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 pre-impacting asteroids. We propose here to continue this important work. Our MANOS sample is expected to reach around 900 objects by the end of 2019B. The request here for two additional semesters will build the catalog to 1000 objects as originally proposed. These observations will thus complete our sample and continue the survey through to the end of 2020, coincident with completion of our current NASA funding. 2020A 30
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. 2020A 10
Massaro F University of Turin HUNTING GAMMA-RAY BLAZARS WITH OPTICAL SPECTROSCOPIC OBSERVATIONS HUNTING GAMMA-RAY BLAZARS WITH OPTICAL SPECTROSCOPIC OBSERVATIONS 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, 10 and 11 to reveal the nature of all blazar candidates of uncertain type (BCUs) and all blazar-like objects, potential counterparts of the unidentified gamma-ray sources (UGSs) selected according to our methods based on the IR colors, out of the 4FGL. Our legacy project is crucial to prepare the future releases of Fermi source catalogs and to improve our knowledge of the blazar population. 2020A 15
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$2 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. 2020A 60
Terreran G Northwestern University Unveiling the nature of interacting supernovae Unveiling the nature of interacting supernovae Observations have recently led to the realization that massive stars experience violent mass-loss events in the final stages before core-collapse. This erractic mass-loss, timed with stellar death, challenges long-held notions of stellar evolution. Additionally, there is a controversial population of supernovae (SNe) shoing signs of strong interaction with dense H-rich circumstellar material (CSM), but displaying broad underlying features similar to SNe Ia. While these are the best candidates for 'single degenerate' SNe Ia progenitors, a core collapse origin has also been proposed, and after several years of debate the nature of their progenitors remains contested. At the time of the explosion, the SN ejecta interact with the CSM surroinding the progenitor system. This interaction: (i) produces unique spectroscopic features, (ii) allows for more efficient conversion of shock kinetic energy into radiation, leading to more luminous SNe for a longer time; (iii) probes centuries of mass-loss history of the progenitor system, providing a unique insight into the final years of evolution of the progenitor system. Here we propose a focused SOAR spectroscopic monitoring program as part of our multi-wavelength investigation of SNe (radio to X-rays). We ask for 4 nights to monitor ~10-15 interacting SNe. This synergistic effort will place unique constraints on the turbulent mass-loss history of evolved massive stars, and will reveal the properties of the progenitor systems of thermonuclear SNe. 2020A 40
Hernandez Garcia L Universidad de Valparaíso Optical variations in changing-look AGNs selected at X-rays Optical variations in changing-look AGNs selected at X-rays Recent observatiobs of local Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs) have revealed that many of them show a changing look (CL) bahavior at optical and X-ray wavelengths in the sense of transiting between different AGN states (e.g. from type-1 to type-2 or vice versa). This discovery challenges our understanding of the standard AGN unification model. We propose SOAR/Goodman observations of the optical spectrum of 21 candidate CL-AGNs selected at X-rays. The proposed observations will allow us to re-classify the AGN and to detect any possible CL behavior in the optical spectrum. This comparison will give important insights on the emission or obscuration of the accretion disc to that of the corona, as well as an understanding of what is the relation between optical and X-ray variability. 2020A 10

Target and Observation Manager Community Development Program

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)
Canameras R Max-Planck Institute for Astrophysics Strongly lensed supernovae as a unique probe of stellar physics and cosmology: A pilot program demonstrating the capabilities of TOM systems Strongly lensed supernovae as a unique probe of stellar physics and cosmology: A pilot program demonstrating the capabilities of TOM systems We propose ToO photometric and spectroscopic observations of strongly lensed supernovae (SNe) that are necessary to achieve two goals: (1) obtain unprecedented early-phase spectra of SN within days of explosion to shed light on SN progenitors, and (2) measure the cosmic expansion rate (H0), addressing current H0 tensions and paving the way for future lensed SN cosmology. We will use and develop TOM systems to efficiently carry out these follow-up observations. This is a high-gain pilot program that will demonstrate the capabilities of the TOM toolkit for the emerging science case of lensed SNe, especially in the upcoming LSST era. 2020A 68
Howell A Las Cumbres Observatory Probing supernova progenitors with rapid TOM-enabled observations Probing supernova progenitors with rapid TOM-enabled observations We propose to observe lightcurves of four young supernovae in the north and four in the south with the LCO network. Spectroscopy will be obtained with Geminin N and S and SOAR, and supplemented with SOAR. The SNe will be part of the Global Supernova Project, a key project to study hundreds of SNe over several years. We will prioritize SNe within 100 Mpc caught within 24 hours of explosion to look for companion signatures that disappear soon after explosion. We will trigger these observations with SNEx 2.0, built with the TOM Toolkit. In addition we will add new functionality, and make it available to the TOM Toolkit: a discovery explorer, target prioritizer, observing run manager, and streamlined facility triggering. 2020A 192 9
Dai M Rutgers University Building a TOM for early classification of type Ia supernovae and managing follow-up Building a TOM for early classification of type Ia supernovae and managing follow-up This proposal aims at building a customized TOM for identifying type Ia supernovae (SN Ia) early enough to trigger follow-up observations for the SIRAH program and for managing the SIRAH program. The SIRAH program will obtain HST NIR observations of 24 SN Ia in the smooth Hubble flow (0.02<z<0.07). We will develop an early classification pipeline that combines photometry and spectroscopy to identify SN Ia in their early phases (7-10 days before maximum) for triggering HST observations to ensure that the HST observations can be obtained near or soon after maximum light. The proposed observations from LCO and SOAR will be an essential part for the early classification pipeline. Our customized TOM and the proposed observations will be important to the success of the SIRAH program. 2020A 44 5
Fraser W NRC-Herzberg TOMs for MOPs Follow-Up TOMs for MOPs Follow-Up After the spectacular flybys of Pluto and 2014 MU69, the New Horizons (NH) spacecraft is now in its Kuiper Belt Extended Mission phase (KEM). During KEM, NH is traversing the core of the Kuiper Belt acting as a portable telescope, acquiring photometric observations of nearby Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) from within the Kuiper Belt itself. This affords the unique geometry for high phase angle observations, which cannot be gathered by any other facility. While observations from other terrestrial or space based facilities can access phase angles (Observer-Target-Sun angle) of α <2◦, NH can provide observations at right-angle geometries, with 70 <α <120◦. Taken together, the observations at low and high phase angles provide the only means available to us to characterize the micro and macroscopic surface textures of remote Solar System bodies such as KBOs. This is an unprecedented scientific opportunity that has never before been possible, and may never be possible again. But before NH can observe those KBOs, we must first know where those bodies are! This proposal will make use of the flexible imaging facilities at LCO, SOAR, and Gemini to track candidate KEM targets discovered by our on-going KBO discovery programs. The expected results of this program is the identification of a handful of new targets, along with the production of sufficiently accurate ephemerides for KEM observations of those targets. 2020A 10 3
Hundertmark M ARI Heidelberg Probing the population of black holes and planets in the Milky Way with microlensing Probing the population of black holes and planets in the Milky Way with microlensing According to Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, matter and energy curve space-time. In case of a sufficiently good alignment of a source star, a lens star, and the observer, multiple images are formed, unresolvable at all wavelengths. This phenomenon is known as Galactic gravitational microlensing. The distorted images lead to an increase in the detected brightness of the source. Galactic velocity dispersion and differential rotation make the brightening a time-dependent effect. Gravitational microlensing is currently the best method capable of detecting isolated stellar mass black holes, since it is not required to observe the light emitted by the lens. Moreover, the microlensing detection technique is also able to discover planets around low-mass host stars down to Earth mass and reaching even lunar mass range, as well as planets not orbiting a host star at all. In this program, we implement a concerted approach to ingest multiple alert streams, such as the Gaia photometric science alert broker, to follow characterizable planet candidates as well as candidates for lensing black holes on the whole sky. The targets, we are aiming for, are sufficiently bright to be observed with spectroscopic follow-up in order to obtain a comprehensive picture of the limiting factors in the mass and lens distance relation. 2020A 122 3
Gyuk G Adler Planetarium Discovery and Followup of Active Asteroids in ZTF Alerts Discovery and Followup of Active Asteroids in ZTF Alerts For many years asteroids have been distinguished from comets not only because of their orbits and compositions, but also by their activity. There is a growing understanding, however, that at least some asteroids are dynamic objects, showing signs of activity either as a single event, or more frequently episodically. Active asteroids, as this class has been labelled, appear to be a diverse population driven by a variety of mechanisms including volatile sublimation, direct impacts, rotation driven mass shedding and "exotic" dust creation and ejection processes. To date only around a few dozen active asteroids have been found: estimates of active asteroids cover a wide range in frequency from $10^{-4}$ to as rare as $10^{-6}$. Current and deep future surveys such as ZTF and LSST, however, will almost certainly increase these numbers by orders of magnitudes. We propose using ZTF alerts to look for newly active asteroids among the population of known asteroids. MPC, ALCDEF data and prior ZTF data can establish a baseline light curve, along with the size of regular expected variations to this light curve. Evidence of activity will be found in ZTF alerted deviations from this predicted baseline light curve. We request 100 hours of LCO 1-m time to take confirming photometry of candidate active asteroids. After confirmation with LCO observations asteroid activity triggers will be rapidly disseminated to the community. 2020A 100
Andreoni I Caltech Automatic Follow-up of Optical Counterparts to Gravitational Waves and Short Gamma-ray Bursts Automatic Follow-up of Optical Counterparts to Gravitational Waves and Short Gamma-ray Bursts The association between short gamma-ray bursts (sGRB), optical kilonovae, and neutron star mergers was spectacularly demonstrated during the follow-up of the gravitational wave (GW) event GW170817. This first joint detection of electromagnetic and GW signals opened a new era for multi-messenger science. The discovery of kilonovae allow us to pin-point of the merger host galaxy, while the light curve and spectra can be used, for example, to infer the content of heavy elements that the merger produced via r-process nucleosynthesis. However, the search for an electromagnetic counterpart is more challenging than ever, with GW signals often detected at large distances (beyond 200Mpc) and with coarse localizations. Many transients are usually found during wide-field follow-up, most of which are slowly-evolving sources unrelated with neutron star mergers. This program will use the LCO 1-m telescope network to identify rapidly-evolving kilonovae via systematic, photometric characterization of the counterpart candidates discovered during GW and sGRB follow-up campaigns. 2020A 55
Nordin J Humbolt Universität zu Berlin Towards the Era of Autonomous Astronomy: A program for early supernova studies Towards the Era of Autonomous Astronomy: A program for early supernova studies Towards the Era of Autonomous Astronomy: A program for early supernova studies In this program we will incorporate LCO TOM functionalities into the AMPEL analysis framework. The goal is to create methods that enable immediate, consistent and automized observations of transient sources. We plan to demonstrate the power of such tools through obtaining multi-band lightcurves of ZTF transients starting <~1 day of the initial explosion, with a particular focus on blue wavelengths. 2020A 32
Fremling C Caltech Large Scale Bright Supernova Follow-up Coordination Large Scale Bright Supernova Follow-up Coordination We will perform coordinated LCO 1-m multi-band follow-up of supernovae (SNe) discovered by the public Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) Bright Transient Survey (BTS). LCO 1-m observations will be triggered on BTS SNe brighter than 18th mag that are accessible from the southern LCO 1-m telescopes in such a way that LCO data is obtained on nights where ZTF is not be observing. We expect to improve the median lightcurve cadence of bright BTS SNe to 1 day compared to the standard 3 day cadence of the public ZTF northern sky survey. The collected data will be used for SN demographics. We will characterize the lightcurve phase-space of both Type Ia SNe and core-collapse SNe. 2020A 100
Narayan G Space Telescope Science Institute We Catch On Fast: Improving Alert Broker’s Ability to Discover Rare Explosive Transients We Catch On Fast: Improving Alert Broker’s Ability to Discover Rare Explosive Transients The real-time classification of transient events is a more complex challenge than retrospective classification because of the need to contend with sparse, low S/N photometry, and the paucity of rare exotic events to build training sets. However, finding such rare and exotic transient events early is vital to probe of the physics of their progenitor systems. Early observations are a unique window into the circumstellar environment before the explosion overruns the material and while the gas is still recombining after being "flash ionized" by the shock breakout. Interaction with a potential companion star is also visible in the first hours. 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). We will combine the ZTF data with observations from the Young Supernova Experiment (YSE) to improve our ability to identify exotic transients within hours of explosion. With our ability to identify exotic transients fast, we seek to complement the g- and r-band ZTF photometry with automatically scheduled multi-band LCO imaging, and trigger rapid response spectroscopy through the AEON queuing system. These observations will enable us to model the astrophysics of these sources, and begin to understand their populations and environments. 2020A 36
Lee C NOAO We Act On Fast: Streamlining Follow-up of Fast Transients We Act On Fast: Streamlining Follow-up of Fast Transients The advent of ultra-wide camera and all-sky surveys have revolutionized time-domain studies, especially enabling the discovery of very fast evolving supernovae (SNe). This proposal tackles with two aspects to help unveil the nature of these very fast SNe. First, we are seeking observations right after the onset of explosion to shed lights on the progenitors of SNe. Secondly, we are also chasing after rapidly declining SNe, such as SN2018kzr (McBrien et al. 2019). We are only aware of a few cases of these very fast evolving sources, not because they are intrinsically rare, but due to the cadence and selection function employed by ground-based searches optimized to discover type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) for cosmology. Consequently, studies of these sources are in their infancy, and the astronomical community desperately needs more data to understand them. Our proposal addresses this pressing need by streamlining alert brokers, TOM toolkit, and the network of telescopes within AEON together with the alerts coming from Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) and augmented with ATLAS/ASAS-SN/Pan-STARRS when needed. We will efficiently identify SNe early on and chase rapidly declining sources than any previous ground-based surveys; we will use the suite of tools being developed for LSST to build an unmatched observational data-set on these sources for the astronomical community. 2020A 0
Baldeschi A Northwestern university An End-to-End Transient Classification Experiment based on Contextual Information An End-to-End Transient Classification Experiment based on Contextual Information Time-domain astronomy is the new frontier of Discovery. The improved cadence, sensitivity and wide field of view of the current astronomical surveys has led to the discovery of new types of phenomena that challenge current notions of physics (e.g. Superluminous supernovae or Fast and Blue Optical Transients). Our ability to make discoveries in this current and future era of time-domain astrophysics is limited by a two-pronged challenge: (i) it will be necessary to identify specific targets of interest amidst millions of alerts each night; (ii) we will need very fast identification of notable alerts, ideally within hours of detection, to enable prompt follow-up observations (spectroscopy and/or observations across the spectrum). Thus motivated, we are currently developing a transient classification pipeline designed around a new concept for prompt and effective transient identification/classification that capitalizes on a currently untapped resource: contextual information, i.e. the multi-wavelength properties of the transient’s host galaxy and environment. The main goal of this project is to test of our pipeline in real time. 2020A 49
Sanchez Saez P Millennium Institute for Astrophysics (MAS) Improving TOM Synergies with Community Brokers Improving TOM Synergies with Community Brokers The new generation of large etendue survey telescopes have demonstrated a growing need for sophisticated astronomical alert processing systems. In this context, the community has begun development of alert filtering systems known as “Brokers”, which ideally will smoothly connect user-selected samples with automatic follow-up telescopes through Target and Observation Managers (TOMs) to achieve a wide range of science goals. One such community Broker has been developed with the aim to facilitate the study of stationary (non–moving) variable and transient objects. This Broker is currently processing the ZTF alert stream, providing classifications of different variable and transient objects, in preparation to become an official broker for LSST. The overall motivation for this program is to enhance the functionality and interoperability of the Broker for end users, by developing and testing plugins and service interfaces using the TOM Toolkit, for the rapid follow-up of transient and variable sources, and to make the Broker classification stream available for the TOM Toolkit users. Particularly, the scientific cases covered by this proposal include: rapid follow-up of young SNe and novel transients candidates; and follow-up of outlier candidates, changing-state AGN (CSAGN) candidates, and variable stars. 2020A 44

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)
Tsevi M Tel Aviv University TESS followup P1 TESS followup P1 TESS 2020A 32
Kaspi S Tel Aviv University photometric quasar reverberation photometric quasar reverberation reverberation 2020A 8
Arcavi I LCOGT TDE P1 TDE P1 TDE 2020A 25
Trakhtenbrot B Tel Aviv University Changing look AGNs P1 Changing look AGNs P1 changing look P1 2020A 15 5
Tal-Or L Tel-Aviv University CARMENES followup P1 CARMENES followup P1 Carmenes P1 2020A 15
Katz B Weizmann Institute of Science SNe IAS100 P1 SNe IAS100 P1 SNe Ia nebular P1 2020A 20
Hallakoun N Weizmann Institute of Science Testing SNe Ia with open clusters Testing SNe Ia with open clusters Ia in open clusters 2020A 15
Arcavi I LCOGT TDE P2 TDE P2 TDE P2 2020A 35 35
Tsevi M Tel Aviv University TESS followup P2-3 TESS followup P2-3 TESS 2020A 48
Trakhtenbrot B Tel Aviv University Changing look AGNs P2 Changing look AGNs P2 Changing look P2 2020A 30 10
Arcavi I LCOGT TDE P3 TDE P3 TDE P3 2020A 50 35
Tal-Or L Tel-Aviv University CARMENES followup P2 CARMENES followup P2 Carmenes P2 2020A 10
Katz B Weizmann Institute of Science SNe IAS100 P3 SNe IAS100 P3 SNe Ia nebular P3 2020A 20
Trakhtenbrot B Tel Aviv University Changing look AGNs P3 Changing look AGNs P3 changing-look P3 2020A 25 10
Tal-Or L Tel-Aviv University CARMENES followup P3 CARMENES followup P3 Carmenes P3 2020A 5
Maoz D Tel-Aviv University Wise/Icore discretionary time Wise/Icore discretionary time discretionary time for Wise/Icore 2020A 52

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)
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 200 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 (both photometry and spectroscopy) 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, and eclipsing stellar companions with RV’s. 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. We will also follow-up new eclipsing binaries discovered in these young populations to measure masses and radii for use in calibrating pre-main sequence stellar evolution. 2020A 30 30 40
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 signif- icant 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 northern and southern sky (τ<100 Myr). Both samples offers an exciting opportunity to improve stellar models and explore physical processes that are unique to low-mass stars. For 2 EBs from Upper Sco, 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. We also propose for eclipse monitoring for EBs discovered by TESS. 2020A 37 11
Vanderbosch Z University of Texas at Austin Monitoring for transits and chromatic variation in ZTF J0139+5245 Monitoring for transits and chromatic variation in ZTF J0139+5245 ZTF J0139+5245 is a white dwarf exhibiting irregularly shaped transits on a ∼107-d period indicative of circumstellar planetary debris. Two transits were first observed using the public Zwicky Transient Facility light curve data, while subsequent LCOGT monitoring enabled the detection of a third transit (Vanderbosch et al. 2019). The three observed transits differ in depth (20 − 45 %) and duration (15 − 25 d), indicative of the transiting debris’s dynamical evolution. Similar behavior has been observed in WD 1145+017, the only other white dwarf known with transiting planetary debris, whose transit activity varies on orbit-to-orbit (∼4.5-h) and years-long time scales. Reddening and/or bluing of the white dwarf during transit can be caused by scattering due to dust grains of specific sizes, or by absorption from circumstellar gas. A lack of chromatic variations during transit may indicate debris composed primarily of large grain-size material. Additionally, LCOGT observations can be used to monitor ZTF J0139+5245’s brightness in near real time to determine when the next transit has begun, expected around 2020 January 12. Our LCOGT monitoring will be used to trigger observations from other facilities to obtain spectroscopy and high speed photometry both in and out of transit. We request 40 hours of time from LCOGT’s northern hemisphere 1.0m telescopes using the Sinistro instrument to continue monitoring this object in multiple filters to look for additional transits and determine whether the transit depths exhibit chromatic variation. 2020A 40
Wilson D UT Austin LCO Photometry of a newly-identified white dwarf-M dwarf binary LCO Photometry of a newly-identified white dwarf-M dwarf binary We have identified a post common-envelope binary (PCEB) consisting of a white dwarf and an M8 star in a 4.23 hour orbit. This is one of the lowest mass stellar companions in a PCEB known and provides an opportunity to study the survival of low-mass objects through the common-envelope phase and measure the stellar winds of the companion. Here we request photometry from LCO to search for phase variation from the illuminated day side of the companion and possible eclipses. 2020A 13
Tofflemire B University of Texas at Austin Accretion Variability in the T Tauri Binary StHα 34 Accretion Variability in the T Tauri Binary StHα 34 Most stars are born in binaries, and the evolution of protoplanetary disks in the binary environment is a current frontier of star formation research. Short-period binary systems are capable of dynamically clearing a central gap in their disk material, giving rise to a circumbinary disk that periodically feeds the central binary. Simulations suggest that bi- naries with even slight eccentricities will produce periodic “pulsed” accretion events during every orbital period. Continuous, multi-orbit, multi-color photometric observations with dense phase coverage are required to detect and characterize these accretion events, if they are generally present. The 1-m LCO network is uniquely designed for this observational challenge, and we propose to study a choice PMS binary, StHα 34, that is active accreting from its protoplanetary disk(s). We propose to observe StHα 34 ∼20 times per orbit in the U, V, and R filters. These data will directly test the predicted phase modulated accretion streams, determine accretion luminosities, and reveal the presence of accretion hot spots, all as a function of orbital phase. 2020A 54
Tofflemire B University of Texas at Austin LCO/NRES Observations of Field Sub-Subgiants LCO/NRES Observations of Field Sub-Subgiants Sub-subgiant stars (SSGs) are a newly discovered class of cool and underluminous giants. It has been hypothesized that SSGs are rapidly rotating giants in close binary systems, and that their underluminosity is caused by a combination of large starspots and inhibition of convection due to strong magnetic fields. All previously known SSGs have been discovered in distant star clusters, but Gaia has now allowed us to identify bright, nearby field SSGs where we can more easily conduct precise spectroscopic studies of these unusual stars. Here we propose time-series LCO/NRES spectroscopic observations of 10 SSG candidates in the field. These observations will allow us to test this hypothesis of SSG formation by using radial- velocities to search for close companions, assessing magnetic activity using H-α and Ca H & K emission, and determining fundamental stellar parameters including vsini to verify rapid rotation. Additionally, we plan to measure starspot properties of these stars using a novel spectral inference method. Importantly, all 10 of these SSG targets can be observed contemporaneously with TESS in 2020A or 2020B, allowing us to see how our spectral measurements vary with light curve phasing. The work proposed here will be the first phase in a campaign of contemporaneous observations we plan to extend into the 2020B semester. 2020A 15