2020A proposals

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

Faulkes Telescope Project

PI Name PI Institution Title Semesters FLOYDS (2m) Spectral (2m) Muscat (2m) NRES (1m) Sinistro (1m) SBIG (0.4m) GHTS REDCAM (4.0m) GHTS REDCAM IMAGER (4.0m)
Roche P Faulkes Telescope Project PR FTP Education - Queue FTP Education - Queue FTP Education - Queue 2014A 2019B 2016B 2018B 2015A 2015B 2020B 2014B 2019A 2020A 2016A 2017AB 2018A 10 260 10 152 100
Roche P Faulkes Telescope Project PR FTP Education (Gaia Alerts) FTP Education (Gaia Alerts) FTP Education (Gaia Alerts) 2017AB 2018A 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A

Las Cumbres Observatory - Education Programs

PI Name PI Institution Title Semesters FLOYDS (2m) Spectral (2m) Muscat (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 2020B 110
Gomez E LCO LCO Education development LCO Education development 2019B 2018B 2016B 2015A 2015B 2020B 2014B 2019A 2020A 2016A 2017AB 2018A 5 20 300
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 2020B 48
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 2020B 15
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 2020B 48
Sienkiewicz F MicroObservatory Exoplanet Exploration Partnership Exoplanet Exploration Partnership Exoplanet Exploration Partnership 2018A 2020A 2020B 68
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 2020B 63
Tock K Stanford Online High School Stanford Online High School Stanford Online High School Addition to Education Partners Program 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 2020B 19
Gomez E LCO Serol's Cosmic Explorers Serol's Cosmic Explorers 2018B 2019A 2019B 2020A 2020B 24
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 2020B 50
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 2020B 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 2020B 68
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 2020B 36
Fitzgerald M Macquarie University OSS research project OSS research project 12 week open access course in astronomy fundamentals for teachers. 2020A 2020B 90
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 2020B 69
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 2020B 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 2020B 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 2020B 14
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 2020B 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 2020B 18
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 2020B 15
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 2020B 28

Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope

PI Name PI Institution Title Semesters FLOYDS (2m) Spectral (2m) Muscat (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
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
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
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
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
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

Target and Observation Manager Community Development Program

PI Name PI Institution Title Semesters FLOYDS (2m) Spectral (2m) Muscat (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 2020B 2021A 34
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 2020B 2021A 96 9
Dai M Johns Hopkins 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 2020B 2021A 30 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 2020B 2021A 5 2
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 2020B 2021A 56 2
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 2020B 2021A 50
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 2020B 2021A 27
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 2020B 2021A 16
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 2020B 2021A 47
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 2020B 2021A 11
Lee C NOIRLab 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 2020B 2021A 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 2020B 2021A 23
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 2020B 2021A 21