2020B 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)
Narita N University of Tokyo / Astrobiology Center MuSCAT Team GTO MuSCAT Team GTO Guaranteed time for the MuSCAT instrument team at the Astrobiology Center and University of Tokyo. 2020B 43 50
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. 2020B 9
Jun H Korea Institute for Advanced Study AGN Reverberation Lags AGN Reverberation Lags AGN Reverberation Lags 2020B 39 8
Shi Y NJU Quasar Variability Quasar Variability Quasar Variability 2020B 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. 2020B 28 73
Modjaz M NYU NYU Research and Education NYU Research and Education Purchased time for NYU Research and Education programs. 2020B 0 0
Collins K Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory TESS follow-up TESS follow-up TESS follow-up 2020B 250
Stritzinger M Department of Physics and Astronomy (AU) Aarhus University research Aarhus University research Aarhus University research 2020B 15 26
Arcavi I Tel Aviv University Mapping the Diversity and Emission Mechanisms of Transients in Galaxy Centers Mapping the Diversity and Emission Mechanisms of Transients in Galaxy Centers Mapping the Diversity and Emission Mechanisms of Transients in Galaxy Centers 2020B 135 169
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
Fischer W Space Telescope Science Institute ULLYSES Pilot Program with the LCOGT for Photometric Monitoring of T Tauri Stars ULLYSES Pilot Program with the LCOGT for Photometric Monitoring of T Tauri Stars We designed a pilot program for the LCOGT photometric monitoring of ULLYSES T Tauri stars in the u’, V and i bands with the 0.4m telescopes. The total observing time for the pilot program amounts to 99h and includes 15 of the 71 ULLYSES T Tauri targets. The 15 targets included in the pilot program are comprised of the 13 Orion ULLYSES targets that will be observed in single epochs concurrently with HST and TESS in November-December 2020, as well as two of the four prototypical T Tauri stars that will be monitored over time by HST. 2020B 50
Chatelain J LCO Light-curves for three targets of the upcoming Lucy Space Mission. Light-curves for three targets of the upcoming Lucy Space Mission. Here we present a proposal to determine the rotational light-curve of three of the targets of the NASA Lucy mission 11351 Leucus, 52246 DonaldJohanson and 15094 Polymele. Jupiter Trojans are primordial objects located at the L4 and L5 Lagrange points of Jupiter; they are considered time capsules holding unique information about the initial conditions of the solar system. The approval in 2017 of the NASA Discovery Lucy mission triggered a growing interest in the characterization of these fossils. With flyby encounters past seven different asteroids between 2025 and 2033, Lucy will be the first space mission in history to explore so many different destinations in independent orbits around our Sun. Prior to the launch, ground-based characterization of the targets is key to ensure that the spacecraft and the trajectories are designed to meet the scientific goals. Further, ground-based observations offer the advantage of a long-term monitoring, which is particularly important, given that many of the mission’s targets have either an extremely long rotation period (Leucus, DonaldJohanson and Patroclus), or a likely chaotic rotation state (Polymele). In this respect ground-based observations provide an ideal complement to the mission data and will aid in their interpretation by putting them in context. This proposal is part of an ambitious plan of observations for the second semester of 2020 with a primary goal of obtaining rotational light curves that will be used to calculate shape and rotation models of two slow rotators in the sample, Leucus and DonaldJohanson, which take more than six days to complete a whole revolution around their axis. Also, we attempt to obtain a long-stretch, continuous light curve of Polymele. Preliminary results based on partial observations of the lightcurve of this intriguing Trojan strongly suggest it could be a multiple system or a tumbling object. 2020B 27 20
Sonnett S Planetary Science Institute Mapping Water in the Outer Asteroid Belt Mapping Water in the Outer Asteroid Belt Water played a fundamental role in the emergence of life. Understanding its distribution and behavior in the solar system helps constrain the dynamical and chemical evolution of the solar system and the possible source regions for Earth’s water. However, the extent and form of water on asteroids is not well known largely because observational data at key heliocentric distances (~3.2-4.2 AU, dominated by Cybele and Hilda asteroids) are meager. Our study will remedy these problems by conducting the largest comprehensive search for water at a key theoretical transition distance between once-liquid and perpetually frozen water ice. Though many Hilda and Cybele spectra have been published, only 10 adequately explore the water bands. A reliable detection and characterization of water on asteroids ideally covers both the 3.0-µm water absorption band, which is always seen when water is present but very difficult to image, and the 0.7-µm hydrated mineral band, which is easier to detect but not always present on asteroids known to have a 3.0-µm water band. We have proposed for observing time on the 3.5-m NASA IRTF telescope in order to obtain spectra of all 3 Hilda and Cybele asteroids bright enough to resolve a possible 3.0-µm band and that have no published spectra at 3.0-µms. Here, we request 21 hours of Faulkes 2-m time using the FLOYDS spectrograph during 2020B in order to obtain the visible counterpart to the IRTF data, thus allowing us to measure the 0.7-µm band. The integration times needed to resolve the 0.7-µm band for our targets are rather short, meaning we have the opportunity to rotationally resolve the 0.7-µm band and thus explore surface heterogeneity as the reason this band is not always detected on known water-rich asteroids. Only 2 Hilda and Cybele water spectra have been rotationally resolved to date. Our 2020B observations will serve as a pilot study for future semesters and possibly feed a key program. If this program is continued through 2023B, our study will quadruple the number of Cybeles and Hildas with full characterization of water bands and lead several high-impact impact sub-investigations, including: • Investigating Hildas or Cybeles as the parent bodie(s) of CM/CI meteorites (possible remnants of the bodie(s) that delivered the Earth’s oceans) by comparing water band shapes and depths between the targets and CM/CI samples; • Helping define the gradient in hydrated minerals and water ice across the asteroid belt – which further constrains solar system thermal evolution models and the migration of ice condensation lines – by comparing the 0.7- and 3.0-µm band depths to the heliocentric distance of their hosts; and • Enabling further interpretation of hundreds of published visible asteroid spectra by better quantifying the relationship between the 0.7- and 3.0-µm bands and exploring whether or not surface heterogeneity may be to blame for inconsistent detection of these features on the same water-rich bodies. 2020B 18
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, discovers ~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 transients will be fed to the Global Supernova Program (LCO key project) for a complete follow-up and full characterization. 2020B 15 0 0
Lodieu N Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias Photometric monitoring of a young transiting mini-Neptune in the nearest open cluster, the Hyades Photometric monitoring of a young transiting mini-Neptune in the nearest open cluster, the Hyades The determination of the mass and radius (hence density) of young planets would help to constrain formation and migration models, understand the mass-radius relation, and the differences of radius observed between close mini-Neptunes and super-Earths. Up to date, except for a few directly-imaged young massive Jupiter-class planets, the large majority of exoplanets with accurate masses and radii orbit old field stars with relatively unconstrained ages (1-10 Gyr). The link at younger age with low-mass host, and small planets is missing. The recent discovery of the young sub-Neptune-sized (R = 3.1-4.5 Earth radius) exoplanet K2-25b will certainly impact the theory of planet formation. K2-25b transits a M4.5 member of the Hyades, the closest open cluster to the Sun (47.50±0.15 pc) whose age (650±50 Myr) and metallicity ([Fe/H] = 0.0-0.15 dex) are constrained to better than 10%. We request a photometric monitoring of K2-25b 2--3 times per day with LCO 1-m/Sinistro over 100 days to complement our request of radial velocity monitoring over 50-80 days with VLT ESPRESSO to infer the mass and density of this unique planet. The observations proposed here will be critical to model the RV variations induced by the activity and distinguish the true signal of the planet. 2020B 115
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 to determine the 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 106 hours of 1-m time, 60 hours of 0.4-m (to follow brighter targets), 8 hours of 2-m imaging (for a pilot program with MuSCAT) and 13 hours of 2-m FLOYDS time for spectroscopic follow-up of brighter NEO targets. 2020B 13 4 106 60
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. 2020B 100
Johnson M Las Cumbres Observatory LCO Follow-Up, Confirmation, and Characterization of Transiting Planet Candidates LCO Follow-Up, Confirmation, and Characterization of Transiting Planet Candidates Over 25 years after the discovery of the first exoplanets it is still unclear how and where many planets form and migrate. We can illuminate these processes by studying the demographics of planetary systems and distributions of planetary properties. The planetary population of massive (i.e., A-type; 1.5-2.5 MSun) stars has been poorly explored to date. Measuring the occurrence rate of planets around these stars 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. We additionally propose to measure the spin-orbit misalignments of a small sample of planets to constrain these systems' dynamical histories. 2020B 34 50 80
Howell A Las Cumbres Observatory A Novel Search for Flickering Symbiotic Binaries A Novel Search for Flickering Symbiotic Binaries Fewer than a dozen symbiotic binaries --- accreting white dwarf (WD) + red giant (RG) binaries --- have detections of accretion disk optical flickering, a direct probe of the inner accretion disk physics that is hidden in the vast majority of traditionally-selected symbiotics. With our proposed observations, we aim to double this number and move towards uncovering the true population of symbiotic stars. Of the 300 or so known Galactic symbiotics, almost all have been found using surveys for strong/high-ionization emission lines as a first-pass search criterion, biasing the known population towards symbiotics with nuclear burning on their WD surfaces, which overwhelms the flickering signal; less than 5% of known symbiotics are non-burning (allowing optical disk flickering to be detected). To avoid this selection bias, we have developed a novel diagnostic strategy consisting of three steps: (1) We used SkyMapper uvg photometry as our first-pass search criterion to find outlying RGs with blue NUV colors and minutes-timescale NUV variability within SkyMapper filter sequences. (2) In 2019, we obtained optical spectroscopy of 160 candidates, and successfully identified about 24 candidates with weak emission lines. (3) Now, in this final step, we propose to obtain one continuous 5-hour Standard Time light curve for each of 17 final candidates, using Sinistro on the LCO southern 1-meters to search for B-band flickering on minutes-to-hours timescales. Utilizing the unique capabilities of LCO as a global telescope network, we additionally request a supplementary 1-hour Time Critical light curve per candidate, to observe simultaneously from two sites for 1/5th of each Standard Time light curve; this strategy will allow us to identify and bypass location-based systematic uncertainties that plague searches for low-amplitude stochastic flickering, and thereby we will drastically reduce the risk of ambiguous results. We also outline contingency plans for partial time allocations due to possible continued closures of the network's component observatories. The proposed observations are expected to validate a new selection method for an important class of wind-fed and sometimes jet-driving white dwarf accretion disks. Uncovering the true population of flickering symbiotics is a critical first step in assessing symbiotic binaries as a progenitor pathway for supernova populations, and every new flickering symbiotic discovered through these observations will be a new potential supernova progenitor and a new laboratory for investigating the physics of wind-fed accretion. 2020B 85
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. 2020B 150
Parviainen H Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias Constraining the masses of TOI-270 c and d using transit timing variations Constraining the masses of TOI-270 c and d using transit timing variations We propose to use the unique photometric capabilities of LCO’s’ network of 1m-class telescopes to observe transits of two dynamically interacting sub-Netpunes orbiting the bright M-dwarf TOI-270 (Guenther et al., 2019). These planets are sensitive tests of planet formation models and are among the most interesting targets for atmospheric characterisation. We request 124h on the LCO-1m telescopes in 2020B to observe 10 transits of TOI-270 c 9 transits of TOI-270 d, and 2 transits of TOI-270 b. The proposed LCO observations will enable us to refine the ephemerides for the two planets and constrain their masses via the measurement of Transit Timing Variations (TTVs). These measurements are an essential step towards the determination of the bulk and atmospheric composition of the planets. 2020B 124
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. 2020B 35
Dragomir D MIT Establishing the TESS Mission's Legacy of Long-Period Planets Establishing the TESS Mission's Legacy of Long-Period Planets We aim to maximize the TESS mission's yield of long-period exoplanets by exploiting single transit signals. We will search for and vet single transit planet candidate (STPC) signals in the mission's year 3 for targets for which we found STPCs in year 1. Two transits, though separated by a long gap, allow us to constrain the orbital period to a finite number of possible values. We can then search for transits at each of those possible periods until we have a detection. We propose to use the LCO network to photometrically monitor (at least) seven STPCs in this way, in order to determine their orbital periods. Once confirmed, these temperate giant exoplanets will be released to the community in a timely fashion to allow efficient follow-up, since they will be valuable targets for atmospheric characterization with the HST, JWST and the ELTs. We will add these new long-period planets to the existing sample, and use it to improve our understanding of the composition, dynamics and formation of long-period planets, and to enable statistical investigations of the mass-radius relation at low incident fluxes. 2020B 0 0
Matheson T NSF's OIR Lab Follow-up of Faint and Fast Optical Transients in M31 Follow-up of Faint and Fast Optical Transients in M31 Faint and fast transients are, by their very nature, hard to detect and to study. This may in part be due to their intrinsic rarity, but also due to limitations (in depth and cadence) of current time-domain surveys. Among such transients, faint and fast novae are particularly interesting. An example is the famous M31N 2008-12a nova in M31 hosted by a white dwarf close to the Chandrasekhar mass-limit with a high mass-accretion rate. Novae like this one are strong contenders for single-degenerate SNIa progenitors. Faint and fast transients will likely expose themselves as one-off events in ongoing shallow time-domain surveys such as ZTF (with a depth of around 20-21 mag). Based on public ZTF alerts served by community alert-brokers (e.g., ANTARES) we find on average 2 faint (>19 mag) one-off transient candidates per observing night of M31 with high probability of being real astrophysical events. In order to investigate the nature of these transients, we request 30 hr of rapid-response observing time on Faulkes Telescope North with MuSCAT3 or Spectral imager for multi-band photometric follow-up of 10 such targets. 2020B 0
Chakrabarti S RIT Lensed supernovae at low redshift Lensed supernovae at low redshift We propose to our continue observations targeting strong-lensing galaxies to discover multiply imaged supernovae (SNe) suitable for time-delay cosmography. In recent years, precise measurements of the Hubble-Lemaˆıtre constant (H0) have emerged as a primary driver of cosmological investigations. There is now a significant discrepancy, at a level of 5.3sigma, between the Hubble parameter (H0) determined locally and that determined from the cosmic microwave background. This discrepancy may reveal important clues to new fundamental physics. Given these stakes, there is now even greater value in independent methods of measuring H0 that can check for systematic biases and lead to improved precision. This program provides a relatively low-cost way to support a promising new avenue: time delay cosmography with strongly lensed SNe. 2020B 200
Waalkes W University of Colorado Boulder Transits of the Cool TESS M Dwarf Planets Transits of the Cool TESS M Dwarf Planets TESS is finding thousands of new nearby transiting exoplanets, and some of the most important among them will be the small, cool planets transiting very nearby small, cool stars. TESS has the continuous coverage needed to find these planets, but its small aperture (0.1m) and limited dwell time (27 days for most of the sky) means that they will have large uncertainties remaining on their basic physical parameters. We propose to use the network of 1m Sinistros to gather precise transit light curves for the coolest TESS M dwarf planet candidates, to confirm their planetary nature, to improve measurements of their radii, and to refine their orbital periods. LCO can contribute meaningfully to the initial characterization of some of TESS' most exciting new exoplanets. 2020B 0
Kenworthy M Leiden Observatory Mapping the giant eclipsing disk seen towards J0600 Mapping the giant eclipsing disk seen towards J0600 Since its announcement by Way et al. in an Astronomer's Telegram from 2019 December 15, the nearby (d=146pc) K5 dwarf star ASASSN-V J060000.76-310027.8 (hereafter J0600) has shown a continuous, irregular series of dimming events reminiscent of an eclipse by a giant disk or ring system around an unseen orbiting companion, similar to that seen around J1407 or towards KIC 8462852 (Boyajian's Star). Thanks to the LCOGT and the observers contributing to the AAVSO, we know that occulting material is dusty material at predominantly micron sized particles. This event is still undergoing, and we request 2 hour cadence observations to capture all the small scale structure we see in this unique eclipsing event and to continue to measure the colour of the eclipse to look for changes in structure of the disk. 2020B 86
Lubin P UC Santa Barbara UCSB Physics 134, 99, 199, 145L - Lubin UCSB Physics 134, 99, 199, 145L - Lubin I am teaching Physics 134 (Observational 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. I also have students in Physics 99 and 199 (Independent Research) every quarter as well as Physics 145L (Undergraduate Research Experience in Astrophysics) every quarter. Some of the students in Physics 99/199/145L pursue observational research where use of the LCO network would be required. (it is not clear if this proposal should be under the directors discretionary time - please consider in either as appropriate) 2020B 60
Rebull L IPAC Is a nascent planet interacting with the young star CI Tau? Is a nascent planet interacting with the young star CI Tau? CI Tau is so far the only young star still accreting from its disk claimed to host a hot Jupiter (Johns-Krull et al. 2016). The existence of CI Tau b is, however, disputed. Our own observations suggest the radial velocity variations are not due to an orbiting object but to magnetospheric accretion onto the star (Donati et al. 2020). Yet, intriguing new results, e.g., the detection in near-IR spectra of modulated CO bandheads have been ascribed to an orbiting planetary atmosphere (Flagg et al. 2019). Clearly, CI Tau has become one the most promising objects to investigate planet formation at the inner edge of circumstellar disks, possibly the precursors of compact planetary systems revealed by Kepler. We aim here at exploring star- planet-disk interactions in CI Tau on a scale of less than 0.1 au using VLTI/GRAVITY (interferometry), CFHT/ESPaDOnS and SPIRou (optical and nIR spectropolarimetry) , and LCOGT (g'r'i' photometry) with the goal to eventually (dis)prove the existence of CI Taub. 2020B 1 5

Australian National University

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)
Tucker B Mt Stromlo Observatory, ANU SpectroAstrometry and Reverberation Mapping (SARM) Project for Cosmology and Gravitational Waves SpectroAstrometry and Reverberation Mapping (SARM) Project for Cosmology and Gravitational Waves We propose to monitor ~12 active galactic nuclei (AGN) and perform reverberation mapping to determine their supermassive black hole masses, from two subsets of projects. 6 AGN have 6 years of monitoring data from DECam and the AAT, and this new proposal will enable time lags to be derived for the nearby sources with shorter lags. Creating one of the longest duration, contiguous RM programs will enable us to measure precise supermassive black hole masses for the most distant AGN. These observations will bridge the gap between the Dark Energy Survey completion and the start of the LSST monitoring of these same fields. 6 more AGN will be part of a project using GRAVITY on the Very Large Telescope Interferometer. Using SpectroAstrometry (SA) successfully spatially resolved the angular structure of broad-line region (BLR) of the quasar 3C 273, offering opportunities to tackle several difficult issues in astrophysics and cosmology through active galactic nuclei (AGN) physics. 2020B 17 35
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). 2020B 20 100

Chilean Astronomical Community

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)
Brahm R Universidad Adolfo Ibañez 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 Jupiter 2020B 100
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, intermediate-age, 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 ~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 REM periodic and LCOGT 0.4m frequent monitoring observations to detect more eclipses, obtain a robust period for their occurrence if possible 2020B 70
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) over the duration of the Gaia space mission (2024). These SSO 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 previous time allocations confirm that LCOGT is a very efficient network to validate the Gaia and GBOT alert detections of new SSO 2020B 0
Gieren W Universidad de Concepcion Unlocking the full potential of Cepheids as primary distance indicators in the Gaia era Unlocking the full potential of Cepheids as primary distance indicators in the Gaia era Re-submission of a proposal whose project have already been allocated 32 nights since 2016B. Rather technical and composite project, with potentially profound implication on fundamental astrophysics. Small step to complete a long-term effort. Note that the time request is actually for the NRES spectrograph at the LCOGT 1m telescopes (not the Sinistro imagers). Also confusing is the reference to Coralie, as it is not clear which instruments the RV curves shown in Fig. 2 have been taken with. For these reasons, at some points the proposal appears self-contradicting. Some further comments: 1) The physical ideas behind the basic concepts such as p-factor, p-factor law and p-factor problem should be explained more clearly. 2) It is still unconvincing that the IR version of the Baade-Wesselink (BW) method must be superior to the classical PL method. The determination of the angular stellar size from the V-K color still heavily relies on the V band photometry which can be affected by reddening. It is also a question whether the inaccuracy of the projection factor, the p-factor, is due to the lack of reliable distances for a good calibration or due to some intrinsic physical reasons that cannot be improved by a better calibration. 3) Is the seemingly very good surface brightness - V-K color relationship of the red clump giants in Fig. 1 also applicable to the Cepheids in this project? It seems that this relationship of the red clump giants is not published yet. It is necessary to justify whether this relationship from a specific sample of sources can be safely extrapolated to all red clump giants and all Cepheids. One of the important questions is how the red clump giants in Fig. 1 were selected and whether they are a representative sample. 2020B 60
Bayo A Universidad de Valparaiso Is a nascent planet interacting with the young star CI Tau? Is a nascent planet interacting with the young star CI Tau? CI Tau is so far the only young star still accreting from its disk claimed to host a hot Jupiter (Johns-Krull et al. 2016). The existence of CI Tau b is, however, disputed. Observations suggest the radial velocity variations are not due to an orbiting object but to magnetospheric accretion onto the star (Donati et al. 2020). Yet, intriguing new results, e.g., the detection in near-IR spectra of modulated CO bandheads have been ascribed to an orbiting planetary atmosphere (Flagg et al. 2019). CI Tau has become one the most promising objects to investigate planet formation at the inner edge of circumstellar disks, possibly the precursors of compact planetary systems revealed by Kepler. We aim here at exploring star-planet-disk interactions in CI Tau on a scale of less than 0.1 au using VLTI/GRAVITY (interferometry), CFHT/ ESPaDOnS and SPIRou (optical and NIR spectropolarimetry) , and LCOGT (g'r'i' photometry) with the goal to eventually (dis)prove the existence of CI Tau b. 2020B 1 6
Moyano M Universidad Católica del Norte Towards a better understanding of Very Low Mass Stars Towards a better understanding of Very Low Mass Stars Very low mass stars constitute the vast majority of stars in the Universe. However discrepancies exist between the observed properties of these stars and stellar models. The key to understanding these discrepancies is to find and characterise very low mass stars in eclipsing binary systems. To test and refine the stellar models we need to find long-period eclipsing binaries, where the stellar properties are not effected by irradiation or tidal interactions. Such long-period eclipsing binaries are being found by our team in NGTS and TESS data, and this proposal will capitalise on these discoveries by characterising these systems with high precision photometry and spectroscopy. 2020B 40
Narloch W Universidad de Concepción Time series photometry of Magellanic Cloud Cepheids in the Sloan photometric system Time series photometry of Magellanic Cloud Cepheids in the Sloan photometric system We propose time-series observations of selected fields of the Magellanic Clouds, utilizing the DECam instrument on the Blanco telescope, with the aim of obtaining high-quality light curves of Classical Cepheids, and other variable stars in the Sloan gri bands. These data will allow the establishment of period-luminosity, as well as reddening free (Wesenheit) relationships for these variables. These in turn will be crucial for the determination to the distance of galaxies in the Local Group and beyond, utilizing the Cepheids from the upcoming Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST). Besides Classical Cepheids, our observations will provide light curves for tens of thousands of variable stars of other types, each with a well-known position on the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram. This unique dataset will prove invaluable both for the variable star classification efforts of LSST discoveries, as well as the comparison of variable star populations between galaxies of the Local Group. 2020B 42
Karczmarek P Departamento de Astronomia, Universidad de Concepcion, Chile Classical Cepheids in the SDSS photometric system Classical Cepheids in the SDSS photometric system We propose obtaining time-series photometry of Galactic Classical Cepheids in the Sloan photometric filters gri. These data, combined with Gaia parallaxes, will allow the establishment of period-luminosity, as well as reddening free (Wesenheit), relationships for these variables. These in turn will be crucial for the verification of these relationships, when compared to those derived for Magellanic Clouds Cepheids. In the future, they will allow determining the distance to galaxies in the Local Group and beyond, utilizing the Cepheids from the upcoming Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST). Furthermore, these data will be used to realize the hidden potential of Cepheid light curves for the determination of metallicities relying solely on time-series photometry. 2020B 65
Kalari V Universidad de Chile Fishing for massive stars in the Magellanic Bridge Fishing for massive stars in the Magellanic Bridge We propose to observe in ugri using LCOGTN 0.4m known overdensities in the Magellanic Bridge covering an area of 2.5 sq. deg. to identify massive stars. These massive stars, located in a metallicity of around 1/20 Z_sun, and a distance approximately 59 kpc represent our best opportunity to study in detail massive stars at high resolution similar to those in the early Universe. 2020B 25
Pessi T Universidad Diego Portales Photometric Follow-up of Type IIn Supernovae and Related Transients Photometric Follow-up of Type IIn Supernovae and Related Transients The intense mass loss activity in very massive stars might produce transients similar to Type IIn Supernovae (SNe). To distinguish these two phenomena is not an easy task, as they both show similar photometric and spectroscopic features due to interaction with a dense circumstellar medium. In 2009, SN2009ip was first classified as a SN and then reclassified as a luminous blue variable in an extreme outburst. In the following years, a series of outbursts were observed, culminating in the brightest event of 2012, which was classified as a true Type IIn SNe. In recent years, other detected transients showed a similar behavior. Early time photometry after these transients are detected is fundamental for constraining their true nature. We propose optical and near-IR photometry with REM and optical photometry with LCOGT 0.4m of new bright transients classified as Type IIn supernovae and related transients (e.g., SN impostors). 2020B 34

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)
Lewis F Faulkes Telescope Project, Cardiff LMXB LMXB Continued monitoring of ~ 40 quiescent and outbursting Low-mass X-ray binaries (previously FTP2020A-003 LMXB) 2020B 80
Roche P Faulkes Telescope Project PR EPN 24 EPN 24 FTP is supporting the Europlanet 2024 research infrastructure programme, providing limited observations of solar system (primarily asteroid, comet) and exoplanetary targets, and developing educational materials to link this research with schools programmes. 2020B 20 5 10
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

Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii

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)
Armstrong J Institute for Astronomy HI STAR I HI STAR I 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. 2020B 10 25 10 30 80
Armstrong J Institute for Astronomy HI STAR II HI STAR II The Hawaii Student Teacher Astronomy Research program (HI STAR) is a week long summer program for middle and high school students. At the summer program students work with mentors on starting a research project which the students will continue through the year. The goal ot the HI STAR program is to have students conduct astronomy research projects, enter their projects in the science fair, and eventually major in science, engineering, or technology when they go to college. Typical student research projects include variable stars; asteroid recovery, rotation, and color; exoplanets; galaxies; etc. While this is an EPO program the students are conducting research and some students may submit peer reviewed papers on their research so a proprietary period is desirable. 2020B 5 25 10 30 80
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. 2020B 90

Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias

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)
Sánchez Béjar V IAC Photometric monitoring of young M dwarfs of the CARMENES survey Photometric monitoring of young M dwarfs of the CARMENES survey Magnetic activity is very prominent in M dwarfs and is especially relevant in young stars. Stellar activity is one of the main problems affecting the search for exoplanets around young stars. The presence of spots in their atmospheres induces spurious signals in the RV amplitudes, which can mimic the presence of planets or, in the best cases, produces systematic changes in the determination of their physical parameters. The photometric monitoring of moderate active stars hosting planet candidates has recently demonstrated to be fundamental to discriminate the planet signal from the stellar activity (Perger et al. 2019, A&A, 624, 23, González-Álvarezet al. 2020, A&A, in press). This is even more critical in young stars, where the modelling of activity is necessary to determine the masses of exoplanets by RV (see Barragan et al. 2019,MNRAS, 490, 698). K2-25 is and M4.5 of the Hyades open cluster hosting a transiting super-Earth or a mini-Neptune (Mann et al. 2016). We plan to carry out RV observations with ESPRESSO of this star to determine the mass of the planet for the first time in a young M dwarf. The observations proposed here will allow us to study the level of variability of K2-25b at amplitude levels of few mmag and in timescales of the rotation period of the star (1.88 days), and to create an activity model of the star, which will be fundamental to model the RV variations induced by the spots and disentangle the true signal of the planet. In addition, as part of our efforts to characterize the stellar activity and determine the true planet nature of the RV signals detected in CARMENES, we require photometric observations of three young stellar systems (GJ212, the binary GJ360/GJ361 and LP 560-035) to complement these observations. We plan to carry out a photometric monitoring in the V and the i’-band of these three stellar systems using the SBIG camera on the 40 cm telescopes of the LCOGT during about 40 days, in order to characterize the long-term activity, and to determine the rotation period of these stars. We require a cadence of the observations of 2-3 epochs per day to adequately sample the rotation periods of these young stars, which are expected to be in the range from 5 to 20 days. 2020B 100
Alonso R Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias Searching for a second occultation in EPIC 204376071 (cont.) Searching for a second occultation in EPIC 204376071 (cont.) 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 2020B, we propose to explore possible periodicities of up to ~210d. 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. In 2020B we requested and were allocated 79h, out of which 40h have been performed up to today (semester still not finished, and several nodes affected by COVID-19). As the maximum visibility of the object is around end of May, we request a similar amount of executed time during semester 2020B (79h). 2020B 70
Acosta-Pulido J Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias Disentangling the blazars emission through multifrequency observations - the optical case (cont.) Disentangling the blazars emission through multifrequency observations - the optical case (cont.) The high energy Universe is dominated by blazars, which are the most extreme variable class of AGN. A distinguishing feature is their extreme variability from radio-frequencies to high energies (X-rays and γ-rays), as well as high polarization from radio to optical wavelengths. The most accepted scenario involves a jet of accelerated relativistic particles, closely aligned with our line of sight. Due to such orientation, the jet emission is strongly amplified and often overcomes the galaxy emission. Since 2008, a moderate number of blazars are monitored daily by the high-energy space observatories, Fermi and AGILE, and also regularly observed from ground by Cherenkov telescopes (MAGIC and Veritas), 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; Raiteri et al, 2017). Given the unpredictable behaviour observed in blazars, an unbiased and regular monitoring is worthwhile, in order to catch the most variety of events. Note that insights can be obtained by analyzing a number of flares in several objects but, due to the unpredictable nature of such events, we cannot tell how much time and how many sources will be neede d before the issue is completely solved. For instance, the source CTA 102 showed an unexpected extreme optical outburst (6 mag) which could be well characterized thanks to continuous monitoring. On the other hand, there are recent claims about periodic behavior with scales of several years (Sandrinelli et al, 2017), our analysis also reveals similar scales (see Figure 1, Otero-Santos et al, 2020). They can be induced by jet-precession, helical motion within the jet, binary black-holes, or any other mechanisms. Currently, we extend the check for periodic behaviour to a sample of about 20 sources, applying the same methodology as applied in Otero-Santos et al, 2020. In addition, we have started a project to study microvariability using the TESS capability to derive light curves with a cadence of 2min and a precision unattainable from ground observations. Microvariability permits to study variations occurring at small spatial scales where turbulent processes may take place. 2020B 30

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
FAGBEMIRO O Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) Nigeria Astronomy & Astrophysics Awareness in Nigeria Astronomy & Astrophysics Awareness in Nigeria Facilitating astronomy and astrophysics training for the next generation of scientists in Nigeria. 2020B 10
Maidana-Montiel J Centro Paraguayo de Informaciones Astronomicas Hiparcpia Hiparcpia Teacher training program in Paraguay which will use LCO telescopes for search and tracking of Near Earth Objects (NEO) and Main Belt Asteroids (MBA). 2020B 100
Arias Cañon J Colegio El Minuto de Dios Ciudad Verde Inclusive Astronomy Inclusive Astronomy Inclusive Astronomy is creating educational and inspirational opportunities for girls with disabilities in Colombia. 2020B 10
Saad A QNL QNL Astronomy Club QNL Astronomy Club Supporting educational projects in science for the Qatar National Library. 2020B 50
Endaisha E Misurata University One Home, One Sky One Home, One Sky Supporting educational and inspirational science projects in Libya. 2020B 25
Froebrich D University of Kent Hunting Outbursting Young Stars (HOYS) Hunting Outbursting Young Stars (HOYS) HOYS is an existing citizen science project working together with amateur astronomers. They provide the observational data for our research in star and planet formation. The biggest barrier for participation in HOYS is currently the lack of observing and imaging equipment. The long-term aim for HOYS is to foster amateur led science, whereby societies combine their 'observers' and 'researchers' to lead, conduct and disseminate research projects. 2020B 60
Variable star search and tracking Variable star search and tracking To support observations of star clusters and variable stars of undergraduates in UNAN-Managua, Nicaragua 2020B 10
AmirArjomand R Orange County Astronomers Cosmic Adventures Cosmic Adventures Cosmic Adventures is an inreach program of the Orange County Astronomers, providing members with opportunities to do real astronomical research and activities of scientific value. By being an inreach this program ensures seriousness of its participants. 2020B 30
Watch E Jet Propulsion Laboratory - California Institute of Technology Exoplanet Watch Exoplanet Watch Exoplanet Watch 2020B 30

Las Cumbres Observatory - Science 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)
Bachelet E LCO LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Bachelet, E. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Bachelet, E. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Bachelet, E. 2020B 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. 2020B 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. 2020B 1 2
Gomez E LCO LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Gomez, E. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Gomez, E. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Gomez, E. 2020B 1 2
Harbeck D LCO LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Harbeck, D. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Harbeck, D. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Harbeck, D. 2020B 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. 2020B 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. 2020B 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. 2020B 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. 2020B 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. 2020B 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. 2020B 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. 2020B 1 2 5
Snyder I LCO LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Snyder, I. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Snyder, I. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Snyder, I. 2020B 5
Storrie-Lombardi L LCO LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Storrie-Lombardi, L. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Storrie-Lombardi, L. LCO Sci staff DD allocation: Storrie-Lombardi, L. 2020B 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. 2020B 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. 2020B 1 2 5

National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences

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)
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), interesting optical transients discovered by our Ground-based Wide Angle Cameras (GWAC) and Insight-Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope(HXMT), and some AGNs of interests. We also make the simultaneous optical monitoring for fast radio bursts(FRBs) and Soft Gamma-ray Repeater (SGR) with Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) and HXMT. 2020B 0 140
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 discoveries with un-precedented properties, including the most luminous superluminous supernova (SLSN), the clos- est and also the first SLSN in a spiral galaxy, a rare 2009dc-like peculiar Ia-like supernova ASASSN-15pz and the fastest-declining Type I supernova yet discovered SN 2019bkc. Our proposed observations can probe extreme physical conditions that lead to such exceptional stellar explosions and put explosion mod- els under “stress tests”. By estimating from observations with our past LCOGT observations and verifying with the exposure time calculator, we request 30 hr with LCOGT 1m. 2020B 30
Wu J Xiamen University Optical Light Curve for a Black Hole Soft X-ray Transient Covering its Full Orbital Period Optical Light Curve for a Black Hole Soft X-ray Transient Covering its Full Orbital Period We propose 30 hours of LCOGT observation to obtain optical light curves that have (mostly) continuous coverage over a full orbital period of the black hole X-ray transient MAXI J1820+070. Combining the previously obtained spectroscopy data and the light curves obtained in this proposal would enable us to provide a complete dynamical solution of the system. The constraints on the systemic inclination derived from the light curves would also provide an independent check to that obtained from radio observation. It would also enable the investigations on the possible jet precession of the system. 2020B 30
Zang W Tsinghua University Determining the Low End of Cold Planet Mass Ratio Function by High-Magnification Microlensing Events Determining the Low End of Cold Planet Mass Ratio Function by High-Magnification Microlensing Events Microlensing can uniquely probe cold planets down to Earth mass beyond the snowline and thus dis- tinguish different theories of planet formation. The microlens mass ratio function at q ≤ 10−4 is still uncertain due to small number statistics. The high-magnification microlensing events have the highest intrinsic sensitivity to planet detections, but must be observed intensively over the peak of the event in order to capture that sensitivity. The proposed team was successfully allocated for a three-year LCO key project (PI: Shude Mao, 2020B to 2023A, 530 hours each year) to observe the peak of high-magnification microlensing events located in the low-cadence KMTNet (Γ ≤ 1 hr−1) fields, using LCO 1-meter tele- scopes (Sinistro camera). The key project needs additional 200 hours per year, we will apply 50 hours each season from China TAP and Wise Observatory, respectively. Thus, we propose 50 hours in 2020B to contribute to the key project. The three-year key project expects to detect about six microlens planet with q ≤ 10−4. These, combined with another about three such planets in high-magnification events from the high-cadence KMTNet fields, can enable the first robust measurements of cold planet mass ratio function at q ≤ 10−4. This project will be part of the PhD thesis of three PhD students. 2020B 185
Bhardwaj A Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Peking University, China Calibrating metallicity effects on RR Lyrae pulsation properties with bulge globular clusters Calibrating metallicity effects on RR Lyrae pulsation properties with bulge globular clusters A view of the Galactic bulge through its globular clusters is critical to understand the formation and evo- lution of our Milky Way. RR Lyrae variables are old stellar populations that are abundant in the bulge and globular clusters. While RR Lyrae have been used extensively to probe the three dimensional struc- ture of the bulge, the disagreement regarding their spatial distribution among different surveys primarily occur due to uncertainties related to extinction and the metallicity effects in their absolute calibration. The metallicity effect on the Period-Luminosity relations of RR Lyrae predicted by theoretical models are inconsistent with limited observational studies. It is crucial to remedy this uncertainty in metallic- ity dependence for both RR Lyrae based distance determination and to critically test pulsation models. Therefore, we propose gri-band observations of RR Lyrae in 10 bulge globular clusters having signifi- cantly different mean-metallicities (-0.4 <∼[Fe/H] <∼-1.8 dex). Our observations together with the literature dataset will allow a detailed investigation into RR Lyrae gri-band Period-Luminosity-Metallicity relations for the first time with a statistically significant sample of bulge globular clusters. We will also combine our observations with near-infrared VVV survey data to estimate colors over a wide spectral range and estimate reddening to all these clusters using the minimum light color of RR Lyrae variables. Our sur- vey will provide a unique dataset to derive observational constraints for the theoretical calibrations of RR Lyrae Period-Luminosity-(Metallicity) relations in the LSST filters. 2020B 10
Wang Y SUN YAT-SEN UNIVERSITY Transit Exoplanet Monitoring Project Transit Exoplanet Monitoring Project Up to today, there are more than 4000 exoplanets have been confirmed. One of the key questions re- garding the exoplanet formation theory is the enigmatic origin of hot Jupiters remains a mystery. There are now two competing mechanisms proposed for hot Jupiter origin, disk migration and high eccentricity migration. To study its migration mechanism, we propose to find if there is a planetary companion around the known hot Jupiter through Transit Timing Variation(TTV) analysis. Thus we have initialed the Transit Exoplanets Monitoring Project (TEMP) using high precision photometry follow-up observation targeting this problem. Here we request 60 hours 1-m LCO telescope time in 2020B for this project. The PI will lead all the work including target selection, telescope scheduling, data reduction and analysis. 2020B 60
Tsai C National Astronomical Observatories, CAS A Pilot Optical Observation Program of FAST-Synchronized Survey for Transient Events A Pilot Optical Observation Program of FAST-Synchronized Survey for Transient Events Aiming at the optical counterparts of the radio transient events in the ongoing FAST multi-purpose drift- scan sky survey, we propose to conduct synchronized optical imaging observations using the 1-meter telescopes in the network of the Las Cumbres Observatory. Localization and detection of the optical emission corresponding to radio transients can bring fruitful information about the origins and natures of these mysterious flashes that are usually only caught at radio wavelengths. Synchronicity is necessary because high energy photons usually arrive at Earth before lower energy ones, so triggering followup, as is done for gamma ray bursts, is ineffective. Utilizing the network of 1-m telescopes reduces the weather impact on coordinated optical observations monitoring for the first moment of any possible optical transients related to the radio flashes caught by the FAST. The possible detections of FAST transients by the LCO will trigger a multi-wavelength follow-up campaign beyond the optical and radio wavelengths with a minimum of delay. Any detection would be a major discovery. In the likely event of non-detections, this pilot program will explore the feasibility of such simultaneous surveys for rare events and also set a meaningful limit on optical-radio transients. 2020B 40
Jiang N USTC Prompt Optical Monitoring of Mid-infrared Outburst in Nearby Galaxies Prompt Optical Monitoring of Mid-infrared Outburst in Nearby Galaxies The optical time-domain astronomy is growing rapidly since the past decade but the dynamic infrared sky is rarely explored. We are carrying out a systematical search of mid- infrared outburst in nearby galaxies (MIRONG) taking advantage of the unique WISE database. The vast majority of them are probably very weak in the optical since they have not been reported by any optical surveys. Although our spectroscopic follow-ups do support the scenario of dust echoes of transient SMBH accretion, it is still uncertain whether their optical weakness is intrinsic or simply due to dust extinction. In order to put more strict constrains on their optical emission, we propose ToO observations of 15 targets in 2020B (36 hours in total) using the LCOGT-1m telescopes (Sinistro). The targets to be observed will be selected out by the latest WISE light curves to ensure they are still lying in the early stage of the outburst. The prompt and deep optical monitoring of these galaxies will not only tell us the magnitudes (or upper limit) of the potential optical flares associated with these mid-IR outburst, but also can help unveil the nature of the outburst. We hope to achieve a comprehensive view of the MIRONG in the near future. 2020B 24

National Optical Astronomy Observatory

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)
Dong J Penn State Validation of Warm, Large Exoplanets in the Southern Hemisphere Validation of Warm, Large Exoplanets in the Southern Hemisphere Warm, Large Exoplanets (WaLEs) -- defined here as planets larger than 6 Earth radii with orbital periods 8--200 days -- are a key missing piece in our understanding of how planetary systems form and evolve. It is currently debated whether WaLEs form in situ, undergo disk or high eccentricity tidal migration, or even have a mixture of origin channels. These different classes of origin channels lead to different expectations for WaLEs' masses, eccentricities, and occurrence rates. So far only a few dozens WaLEs are known and the characterization of their eccentricity distribution and occurrence rates is limited by the small sample size. Taking advantage of TESS, we performed a uniform search of WaLE candidates around stars brighter than the 12th Tmag in the Full-Frame Images in the first year of TESS data and identified 62 WaLE candidates. We propose to validate these candidates using LCO-1m, CHIRON, and Minerva-Australis to construct the Southern Hemisphere WaLE catalog. The validation will be essential to derive WaLEs' eccentricity distribution and occurrence rates to understand the formation, evolution, and diversity of WaLE systems. 2020B 30
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 47 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 2020B 50
BenZvi S University of Rochester Observing the First Spectroscopically Discovered Tidal Disruption Events with DESI Observing the First Spectroscopically Discovered Tidal Disruption Events with DESI Tidal disruption events (TDEs) are powerful but rare bursts of electromagnetic radiation that occur when stars are torn apart by the tidal forces near supermassive black holes. TDEs discovered to date have been found with imaging surveys and confirmed spectroscopically. As a result, the population of known TDEs is affected by unknown image subtraction biases. The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), a multi-object spectrograph at Kitt Peak, is targeting 35 million galaxy cores and QSOs, and during the survey DESI will make serendipitous discoveries of TDEs and other active transients. DESI target selection is independent of the likelihood of hosting a TDE, and the DESI spectroscopic search provides a selection that is insensitive to the inefficiencies of image subtraction of host galaxy cores. Thus TDE candidates found with DESI can be used for unbiased studies of TDE demographics. We will carry out the first spectroscopic search for TDEs using survey validation and early data from DESI, and perform follow-up imaging and spectroscopy of the TDE candidates. The spectroscopic search for TDEs complements existing transient surveys based on imaging. 2020B 13 20
Coughlin M California Institute of Technology Identification of optical counterparts to compact binary mergers using LCO Identification of optical counterparts to compact binary mergers using LCO We propose to use the Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) to follow-up optical counterpart candidates to 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 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 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) to discriminate between candidate counterparts in the localization regions to identify the true counterpart, and 2) to obtain high-cadence, multi- band imaging of secure counterparts to discriminate between models for early optical emission. In the event that there is a continuation of the suspended third observing run of LIGO and Virgo, we would request to follow-up those gravitational-wave (GW) candidates as well in the same scheme. 2020B 13 10 24
Rasmussen K University of Michigan New Worlds Around Ancient Stars: Exploring the History of Planet Formation with the SEAMSTRESS Survey New Worlds Around Ancient Stars: Exploring the History of Planet Formation with the SEAMSTRESS Survey The Search for Exoplanets Around Metal-poor Stars with T(r)ESS (SEAMSTRESS) survey seeks to answer the question: ``When and how did planet formation begin in the Universe?'' To achieve this goal, we have conducted a large-scale search for transits of metal-poor stars in TESS light curves and discovered 43 previously unknown planet candidates around host stars in the metallicity range $-2.28 < mbox{[Fe/H]} < - 0.5$, seven of which have lower metallicities than any known transiting planet hosts. We propose to obtain high-resolution CHIRON spectroscopy of these stars in order to confirm their metallicities and eliminate spectroscopic binaries from the sample, as well as LCOGT imaging to verify that the transits are occurring on the target stars rather than other sources in the same TESS pixel. These data will enable critical steps in the validation process for this unique set of candidate planets. 2020B 172
Lebofsky L University of Arizona Astrometric Follow-up of VIs and PHAs Astrometric Follow-up of VIs and PHAs We seek to use the LCO 2-m telescopes to obtain astrometric observations of recently discovered Near Earth Objects (NEOs) that are classified as Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs), including the subset of Virtual Impactors (VIs) that have the potential to impact Earth in the next century. A number of observing teams make astrometric observations of such objects to extend their observational arcs and to improve the characterization of their orbits. We will use the LCO 2-m telescopes to observe these objects in circumstances that are underserved by other teams and provide critically needed followup in specific, niche circumstances. 2020B 4
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 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. 2020B 11 8
Vissapragada S Caltech Atmospheric Escape and Transit Timing Studies of a Sub-Neptune Progenitor Atmospheric Escape and Transit Timing Studies of a Sub-Neptune Progenitor Atmospheric escape has an outsized impact on the observed distribution of exoplanets, but it is quite difficult to observe given that it primarily happens early in a planet's life. The discovery of the V1298 Tau system has made this process observationally accessible in a young multi-planet system for the first time. Thus, we propose two transit observations of the sub-Neptune progenitor V1298 Tau d with LCOGT/Sinistro. These transit light curves will serve as benchmark measurements for spectrophotometric observations of atmospheric escape from this planet. They will also allow us to constrain the dynamics of the near-resonant V1298 Tau system through transit timing variations, adding to a growing sample of timing measurements that will soon constrain masses and orbits for this important multi-planet system. 2020B 0
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 running 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. 2020B 20 74
De K Caltech Unveiling the power sources of rare, hydrogen-poor transients in ZTF with LCO follow-up Unveiling the power sources of rare, hydrogen-poor transients in ZTF with LCO follow-up We propose to use LCO for late-time photometric follow-up of a sample of rare, hydrogen-poor transients detected by the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF). These events will be selected from the ongoing large-scale flux-limited and volume-limited experiments of ZTF. The large systematic samples of supernovae classified by these experiments provide a unique opportunity to systematically study large samples of rare transients for the first time. Taken together with late- time spectroscopic follow-up from other facilities, we quantitatively demonstrate the stringent constraints that these observations will place on these unique explosions. Overall, these observations will allow us to probe some key questions in astrophysics today, including the powering mechanisms of the faintest and brightest explosions in the universe, properties of the most massive progenitors of core-collapse supernovae and the role of supernovae in the nucleosynthesis of calcium and r-process elements in the universe. 2020B 24 48
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 candidate giant planets around star cluster members, 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. 2020B 25 220
Richardson N Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Dynamical masses for a WN star Dynamical masses for a WN star During a previous NOIR-Lab allocation with the CHARA Array, we began mapping the visual orbits of Wolf-Rayet stars, and when the new MIRCX beam combiner was commissioned, we managed to resolve the relatively close WN binary, WR 133 (spectral types: WN5o + O9I). With a short orbital period of only 113 d, this binary provides a new test case to constrain binary evolution processes. With scheduled CHARA observations occurring in May and June, our major source of error on the stellar mass and orbital determination will now be the spectroscopic measurements made for the system, where velocity errors are about 10 km s$^$. This proposal aims to collect forty spectra of the system with LCO/NRES in order to constrain the orbit and mass of the system to high precision. 2020B 18
Ransome C Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University Late H(alpha) observations of SNe IIn environments in low redshift (z 0.02) hosts Late H(alpha) observations of SNe IIn environments in low redshift (z 0.02) hosts Type IIn supernovae are a rare core-collapse SN subtype characterised by narrow features on the hydrogen lines in emission (denoted by the `n' designation). These features are thought to be the result of the SN blast wave interacting with surrounding material from previous mass-loss episodes from the progenitor. However the IIn SNe class exhibits great diversity, with some having very long-lasting emission, others are found far from any H$alpha$ regions (one would expect a massive progenitor to be associated with star-forming regions). Recent work has discovered that SNe,IIn also show a bimodality in rise times with fast and slow risers. This diversity suggests multiple progenitor types; late-epoch H$alpha$ imaging will allow us to put constraints on the progenitors of our IIn sample, investigate any progenitor diversity and determine the fraction of long-lasting IIn SNe in our sample. 2020B 11
Strausbaugh R University of the Virgin Islands Follow-up and Monitoring of Fast Transients Detected by Deeper Wider Faster Program Follow-up and Monitoring of Fast Transients Detected by Deeper Wider Faster Program Early time behavior of fast evolving transients, such as gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), fast radio bursts (FRBs), and supernova shock breakouts, occupies a unique and little explored transient parameter space. The Deeper Wider Faster (DWF) program aims to identify and observe these phenomena before, during, and after the events, with fast-cadenced, deep, wide-field, multi-wavelength data collection. This proposal intends to use the 1-meter Sinstro instruments of the LCO network for photometric follow-up and monitoring of the at least one expected fast transient per night over the course of the six-night DWF run. We also propose to use the FLOYDS spectrograph on the 2-meter Faulks telescopes for spectroscopic classification of the brighter transients discovered. 2020B 0
Thanathibodee T University of Michigan Rotational Periods of Newly Identified Low Accretors in Orion Star Forming Regions Rotational Periods of Newly Identified Low Accretors in Orion Star Forming Regions Mass accretion is one of the main processes driving protoplanetary disk evolution. However, it is still unclear how disk and stellar accretion proceed at very low rates, and what processes influence the end of accretion. To understand the late stages of disk evolution, we are carrying out an extensive survey of nearby (d$leq500$pc) low-mass pre-main sequence stars (T Tauri stars; TTS) to search for disk-bearing systems accreting at very low rates and used magnetospheric accretion models to characterize their accretion properties. The models require the inclination of the star-disk system, which can be derived from the rotational period and the projected rotational velocity. Here we propose to use the LCOGT's network of 1m/Sinistro instruments to observe these newly identified, weakly-accreting TTS in the Orion OB1 and $sigma$-Ori association. We will use the light curves from these observations to determine their rotational periods, thus enabling us to calculate inclinations and constrain our models. Our results will provide new insights into the end of the accretion phase and its connection to the formation of giant planets. 2020B 20

Science Collaboration Key Projects

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)
Arcavi I Tel Aviv University 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 together with the first kilonova in 2017, 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 ~15 new kilonovae to be discovered during the next gravitational-wave observing run (O4), and perhaps also the first observations of an 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 follow-up of counterpart candidates, is based on a strategy that was highly successful for the 2017 event. While the ongoing observing run (O3) is solidifying the rate of NS mergers, O4, with its increased sensitivity and four detectors, will present us with the first opportunity to go from a single source to a 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. 2020B 2021B 2022A 2022B 2023A 0
Howell A Las Cumbres Observatory The Global Supernova Project The Global Supernova Project We propose a continuation of the Global Supernova Project, a worldwide collaboration of more than 200 astronomers who have studied more than 750 supernovae and published approximately 100 papers over the last 6 years. We will observe 500 supernovae with LCO resources, and a subset with 36+ facilities and instruments, spanning X-ray to radio wavelengths. We will especially focus on preparing for the LSST era, creating filters for Alert Brokers (which will include our data) that enable us to pick particularly interesting, early, or fast-evolving targets from the ZTF and other data streams. This will allow us to study an emerging class of mysterious fast transients for the first time in detail, and expand on our pioneering work revealing the progenitors of SNe Ia, SNe II, and stripped envelope supernovae from observations taken just after explosion. We will also work to resolve the tension in the Hubble Constant by pairing our optical observations with IR data from SIRAH. With large samples of both common and exotic SNe we will break new ground studying luminosity functions, splitting SNe into subsamples by metallicity and other properties, simulating them, and finding outliers that reveal new physics. 2020B 2021A 2021B 2022A 2022B 2023A 459 38 23 1344 29
Bachelet E LCO Observing Microlensing Events of the Galaxy Automatically: The OMEGA Key Project Observing Microlensing Events of the Galaxy Automatically: The OMEGA Key Project A new generation of wide-field photometric surveys offer us the opportunity to discover microlensing events across the entire sky. This unlocks the possibility to deliver new constraints on the mass functions of intrinsically faint objects in a range of different stellar environments across the Milky Way. Indeed, since the technique does not depend on light from the lens, microlensing is currently our best tool to detect the population of cold-planets, brown dwarfs and isolated stellar remnants at large distances from the Earth. However, the cadences of many wide-area surveys are insufficient to verify the lensing nature of the events and to accurately derive the physical properties of the lens system. We therefore propose to conduct photometric and spectroscopic follow-up of microlensing candidates detected in wide-area surveys. The unique capabilities of the Las Cumbres Observatory network to observe continuously with complementary apertures and instruments will ensure unique constraints on the lenses properties, especially their masses and distances.This project will start a systematic mapping of the faintest object in the entire Milky Way. 2020B 2021A 2021B 2022A 2022B 2023A 47 41 44 7 991
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 single-step technique needs no complex calibration and provides robust constraints on H_0. A 1% measurement of H_0 will both clarify the current discrepancy in H_0 between CMB and local distance ladder measurements and improve the Figure of Merit of any stage-IV survey by 40%. Our goal with LCO is to measure time delays in 15 Northern quasar lens systems from top-notch optical light curves obtained with daily cadence and high-SNR. Each time delay will be measured to 2-5% in one full visibility period of any specific lensed quasar. This will make the LCO the main Northern telescope of the TDCOSMO collaboration, working towards the goal of measuring H_0 to 1% in the next 3-4 years. The LCO monitoring will complement our current monitoring with the MPIA 2.2m telescope at ESO La Silla Observatory and allow US astronomers to fully participate in the premier world-wide consortium doing time-delay cosmography. With the same LCO data, we will build the line-of-sight mass distribution for each field, which is important to obtain an unbiased estimate of H_0. Together with existing HST imaging data and AO imaging data from the Keck observatory, the LCO time delays and line-of-sight mass distribution will add 15 new systems to the current TDCOSMO sample of 7 analyzed systems. 2020B 2021A 2021B 2022A 2022B 2023A 0
Shporer A MIT Standing on the shoulders of the network: Follow-up of TESS planet candidates with LCO Standing on the shoulders of the network: Follow-up of TESS planet candidates with LCO This 3-year Key Project is focused on transiting exoplanet science. We will use LCO observing facilities to observe transiting planet candidates detected by the TESS mission. Our primary goal is the study of small planets. Over the course of 3 years our photometric and spectroscopic observations will lead to the discovery of at least 100 small planets orbiting bright stars. This goal is well aligned with the TESS mission science goal and will result in some of the small planets most suitable for detailed characterization, including measurement of the planet mass and atmospheric characteristics. Our secondary science goal is the study of large gas-giant planets on relatively long orbital periods, longer than about 10 days. The number of such planets is still small while a large sample of these planets with measured radius, mass, and orbital eccentricity will shed light on principle questions about gas-giant planet formation and orbital evolution. We will also utilize the transit timing variation method to measure planets mass and orbital eccentricity in multi-planet systems. We expect to detect about 60 such gas-giant planets in this Key Project. As a whole this Key Project will establish LCO as a leader in the transiting exoplanets field. 2020B 2021A 2021B 2022A 2022B 2023A 37 292 1021 358
Hernandez Santisteban J University of St. Andrews Intensive Disk Reverberation Mapping of Nearby Active Galactic Nuclei Intensive Disk Reverberation Mapping of Nearby Active Galactic Nuclei We propose to continue our highly-successful LCO AGN Intensive accretion Disk Reverberation Mapping (IDRM) program for another 3 years. Our previous LCO Key Projects have led to important advances in our picture of AGN central engines. This includes establishing for the first time that AGN interband continuum lags increase smoothly with wavelength throughout the optical/UV, consistent with τ ∝ λ^(4/3) as predicted by standard thin accretion disk theory, and discovery of excess lags especially around the Balmer jump, apparently due to diffuse continuum emission from the broad-line region. However the disk sizes appear too large and there is no simple relation between optical and X-ray variations, causing severe problems for the standard reprocessing model and forcing development of new models of AGN central engines. Here we propose IDRM monitoring of an additional six targets (and repeat/continued monitoring of two previously-observed ones), almost doubling the sample of AGN with high-quality IDRM monitoring, with special emphasis on targets with extreme Eddington ratios. Among our science goals are: i) measuring interband lags and flux changes in each band to estimate the size and structure (run of temperature with radius) of the disk, providing key tests of and constraints on the standard model; ii) quantifying the contribution of diffuse emission from the broad-line region to the delay spectrum; and iii) resolving the velocity field of the broad-line region to identify inflows and/or outflows. We will also establish the AGN Variability Archive (AVA), a legacy open-access database of reduced LCO (and other telescope) light curves and time-resolved spectra for all IDRM targets studied throughout our Key Projects, in order to enable the community to efficiently use these data to test their models. 2020B 2021A 2021B 2022A 2022B 2023A 116 647
Gaidos E University of Hawaii at Manoa Catch a Fading Star: Probing the Planet-Forming Zones of Circumstellar Disks with LCO Catch a Fading Star: Probing the Planet-Forming Zones of Circumstellar Disks with LCO We propose a Key Project to investigate transient dimming of young stars by occulting circumstellar dust. Dimming can be up to several tens of percent and is detectable from the ground, but the diversity of this phenomenon has only been recently revealed by Kepler/K2. These stars, colloquially and collectively termed ``dipper'' stars, usually host circumstellar disks, and our investigation will probe of the structure, dynamics, and composition of material in the inner regions (<1 AU) of these disks in the range of separations where planets are found around older stars. Our studies will complement observations by interferometers such as ALMA, which cannot resolve the inner disks of stars even in the nearest star-forming regions. Occulting dust could be from asymmetric accretion onto the star, vertical structures produced by instabilities in highly inclined inner disks, clumpy dusty disk winds, gravitationally-bound planetesimal swarms, or evaporating planetesimals or ``exocomets''. The objectives of our Key Project are to determine the relative importance of each of these scenarios, detect any correlation with the properties of the stars and the evolutionary state of their disks, and obtain information about the composition of material that could be the building blocks of, or debris from planets. We will use LCO telescopes and obtain time-series photometry and spectroscopy of dimming events to achieve these objectives, i.e. by measuring the grain-size distribution of the dust, detecting any gas or volatilized elements associated with dust clouds, constraining the inclination of the motion of clouds with respect to stellar equators, and inferring the presence of massive sources on Keplerian orbits as potential sources of dust. Our Key Project will be organized into four campaigns: (1) multi-band monitoring of an ensemble of dipper stars, (2) triggered observations of individual dimming events using alerts from the Zwicky Transient Facility, Gaia, and the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae; (3) time-critical observations of predicted quasi-periodic dimming events; and (4) observations with non-LCO telescopes to characterize the stars and disks studied by the other three campaigns. Our project exploits the unparalleled characteristics of the LCO telescope network: global longitudinal coverage to achieve near-continuous monitoring; access to the entire sky to study all of the nearest star-forming regions and young moving groups; automated, triggered scheduling of observations to study dimming events as they happen; and the NRES spectrograph network to make continuous measurements of the predicted Rossiter-McLaughlin effect due to the partial occultation of rapidly rotating young stars by dust. We have already obtained preliminary data demonstrating the feasibility of some parts of this project. Observations will be organized and scheduled using a Telescope Observing Management Systems (TOMS) that we will develop using the LCO TOMS Toolkit. Our international team is well positioned to conduct this project, with significant experience with the LCO telescope network, access to substantial non-LCO observing resources in both hemispheres to conduct necessary follow-up observations, and critical theoretical expertise to interpret these data and shed light on this mysterious phenomenon. 2020B 2021A 2021B 2022A 2022B 2023A 0 25 157 58 1725
Trump J University of Connecticut Echo Mapping Accretion onto Supermassive Black Holes across Cosmic Time Echo Mapping Accretion onto Supermassive Black Holes across Cosmic Time We propose to measure the structure and emission profile of accretion disks around a diverse set of quasars, using intensive multi-band monitoring observations from the LCO network. Our program uses reverberation mapping to measure the light echoes and relative sizes of emission associated with different temperature regions across accretion disks. The quasar targets span 2.5 orders of magnitude in mass and accretion luminosity, such that our program will be the first to measure accretion disk structure as a function of diverse quasar properties. Critically, our targets also have reliable masses from the SDSS-RM program to enable the first measurements of the expected dependence of disk size on black hole mass. The broad redshift range (0<z<3) spans 3/4 of cosmic time and includes the peak of cosmic black hole mass assembly, and means that our observations effectively measure a broad range of the rest-frame disk emission. We use comprehensive simulations to validate that our observing design (0.5-day cadence, 100-day duration for each quasar) will reliably measure a broad range of disk reverberation lags. This program represents a unique application of intensive monitoring to a diverse set of quasars, and is only possible as an LCO Key Project. 2020B 2021A 2022A 2023A 0
Lister T LCO LCO Outbursting Objects Key (LOOK) Project LCO Outbursting Objects Key (LOOK) Project We are interested in determining the frequency and nature of outbursts on small bodies across the Solar System. The LCO Outbursting Objects Key (LOOK) Project has two main objectives: 1) We will use the telescopes of the LCO Network to systematically monitor a sample of Dynamically New Comets (from the Oort cloud) over the whole sky. By studying this population's brightness and morphology changes as they pass through the inner Solar System, we can assess their evolutionary state (primitive vs. processed), identify targets for immediate or future follow-up (e.g., outburst vs. ambient coma composition), and, ultimately, better understand the behavior of these distant members as remnants of the early formation of the Solar System. It will also allow us to optimize the science return of the ESA Comet Interceptor mission and other future missions and gain a greater understanding of the interstellar objects that are just beginning to be discovered. 2) We will use the alerts and other data from the existing sky surveys such as ZTF, PanSTARRS1 & 2, Catalina and ATLAS to search for outburst activity in small bodies (comets, asteroids, centaurs) and rapidly respond to these outbursts with the telescopes of the LCO Network. This will enable us to better understand the nature of the outburst process, their frequency and magnitude distribution, and its evolution with time. Moreover, this will allow us to gain a better understanding of the physics of activity and outbursts on small bodies and the distribution of volatiles across the Solar System. This program exploits the synergy between current and future wide field surveys such as ZTF, PanSTARRS and LSST and rapid-response telescope networks such as LCO. Techniques, data reduction and analysis software developed during this Key Project and implemented on the ZTF survey and previous LCO programs will be an excellent “scale model” and testbed for what will be needed for the much larger number of objects coming from LSST. 2020B 2021A 2021B 2022A 2022B 2023A 239
Mathur S Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias The Evolution and Variability of Sun-like Activity Cycle The Evolution and Variability of Sun-like Activity Cycle The magnetic activity of the Sun varies roughly with a period of 11 years. However within this regularity, some differences from one cycle to the other can be noticed in terms of strength and length. On the stellar side, decades of spectroscopic observations from Mount Wilson and Lowell revealed that other stars also show regular activity cycles. In particular, this led to two distinct relationships between the length of the cycle and the rotation rate of the star. The position of the Sun compared to other solar-like stars have been questioned for some time. Is the Sun a peculiar star? Recently, 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. With this proposal, we aim at studying temporal evolution of stellar variability due to the magnetic activity of solar-like stars (from the main-sequence to subgiants). We propose to do a long-term monitoring of CaII H and K emission for a sample of 88 solar-like stars for which magnetic cycles have either been detected with other spectroscopic surveys or for which we expect shorter cycles or some magnetic activity. This will allow us to study cycle-to-cycle variations, secular trends in variability, and look for flat to variable transitions. 2020B 2021A 2021B 2022A 2022B 2023A 337

Scottish Universities Physics Alliance

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)
Nordin J Humbolt Universität zu Berlin OPTICON 20B/046 : Robotic Observations of Infant Supernovae OPTICON 20B/046 : Robotic Observations of Infant Supernovae Early photometric observations of supernovae from within the first hours after explosion carries unique information regarding the explosion process. This is true for both thermonuclear and core-collapse supernovae, and especially at blue wavelengths. In fact, U/UV-band observations are unique in their power to differentiate thermonuclear explosion models. We here propose to use the combination of new wide-field detection surveys (ZTF), powerful real-time analysis tools (AMPEL) and robotic follow-up facilities (LCO) to assemble the first statistical samples of supernovae with U-band lightcurve coverage starting ~1 day after explosion. These robotic observations will also allow us to distinguish between supernova types with good confidence soon after detection, allowing us to optimize subsequent observations. 2020B 32
Inserra C Cardiff University OPTICON 20B/003 : Photometric monitoring with LCO for ePESSTO+: the advanced Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey of Transient Objects OPTICON 20B/003 : 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, meaning 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 (100+ 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 (+1 pending) 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, ATLAS, OGLE and TESS. 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. 2020B 65
Zielinski P Warsaw University Astronomical Observatory OPTICON 20B/022 : Galactic Black Holes from Gaia astrometry and time-domain photometry OPTICON 20B/022 : 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, Carlos Sanchez Telescope, Aristarchos, OHP120, 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. 2020B 54
Izzo L DARK/NBI OPTICON 20B/026 : Exploiting the robotic instrumentation available within the OPTICON call to study supernovae associated with gamma-ray bursts OPTICON 20B/026 : Exploiting the robotic instrumentation available within the OPTICON call to study supernovae associated with gamma-ray bursts With this proposal we intend to respond to GRB alerts provided by the Swift satellite using the Las Cumbres Observatory network of telescopes and the Liverpool Telescope within the OPTICON time. The LCO and the LT have already shown to be a very efficient network for the detection and monitoring of bright transients, like GRBs. The main goal of this proposal consists in the photometric monitoring of nearby GRBs within the first days from their discovery in order to identify the presence of emerging components like the jet cocoon and/or a supernova associated. At the same time, we intend to monitor bright GRBs to check for the presence of late jet break-out in their optical light curve. This program is also supported by parallel spectroscopic proposals submitted at other facilities (VLT, NOT) that represent a very efficient network for the monitoring of the largest energetic explosions in the Universe. 2020B 20
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. 2020B 50
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. 2020B 15 45
Wilson T University of St Andrews Transiting Exoplanets (continuation) Transiting Exoplanets (continuation) The Swiss-led ESA CHEOPS mission will yield answers to many outstanding questions about the formation and evolution of exoplanets through high precision photometry, however due to the nature of the CHEOPS observing strategy accurate ephemerides for each target are needed that are missing for many targets. Furthermore, many CHEOPS targets are in multiple planet systems and can exhibit transit timing variations (TTVs). In order to aid N-body dynamical modelling of these systems we need observations of many transits, and whilst CHEOPS can provide accurately measured transits it is potentially unlikely to be able to provide enough transits to break modelling degeneracies. Therefore, after assessing the LCO observability of our targets in 2020B and telescope aperture needed using the LCO ETC, we propose for 36hr of TC time on 0.4m/sbig and 65hr of TC on 1m/sinistro to be used to refine the ephemerides of our targets and probe TTVs in order to greatly assist the science and observations of transiting exoplanets targeted by CHEOPS. In addition, we propose a continuation of observations aimed at providing confirmation of exoplanet candidates identified in WASP light curves via a machine learning approach developed in the team (Schanche et al. 2019). Thus, for our ten current candidates we 80hr of time-critical 1m/sinistro time spanning intervals of 6-8 hours in order to observe at predicted transit times with out-of-transit segments on either side. To summarise the request: 65+80=145hr of 1m/sinistro plus 36hr of 0.4m/SBIG, all time-critical. 2020B 73 17
Dominik M Follow-up of Astrophysical Transients (continuation) Follow-up of Astrophysical Transients (continuation) Follow-up of astrophysical transients from e.g. Gaia. 2020B 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. 2020B 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. 2020B 30

South African Astronomical Observatory

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)
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 sites for the predicted shadow paths in 2020B: Bienor, Echeclus, Ixion, Pluto, Salacia, 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann, 307261, 523727, 463663, 95625, and 2017 OF69. We additionally have the opportunity this semester to attempt one occultation of a particularly bright star (mag=10.9) by Saturn's atmosphere-rich moon Titan. For successful observations, our goals include looking for material around objects and constraining the physical and any atmospheric properties. A total of 57.5 hours is requested: 52.5 h on the 1-m telescopes and 5.0 h on the 0.4-m telescopes. 2020B 0 0
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 are characterized by multi-timescale flux variability, high linear polarization and strong gamma-ray emission. To correlate variability signatures with the dynamical variation in the jet structure, a simultaneous long-term monitoring program of the flux and polarization signatures needs to be undertaken. The combination of spectropolarimetry observations with the South African Large Telescope (SALT) along with photometric observations with the Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) and the Watcher Robotic Telescope is unique to achieve this goal. In this pilot project, we aim to undertake long-term spectro-polarimetric study of two gamma-ray blazar sources in the southern hemisphere, detected by Fermi-LAT. The light curves and SEDs obtained from these observation will be statistically compared with state-of-the-art multi-zone modelling of blazar jets using a hybrid framework developed for the PLUTO code. 2020B 4
van Soelen B University of the Free State LCO photometric monitoring of PSR B1259-63 during the 2021 periastron LCO photometric monitoring of PSR B1259-63 during the 2021 periastron The binary system PSR B1259-63/LS 2283, consists of a 48 ms pulsar in an eccentric (e ~ 0.8) 3.4 year orbit around a Oe star (spectral type O9.5 Ve). The system shows non-thermal emission from radio up to TeV energy gamma-rays, as the pulsar passes close to the optical star. PSR B1258-63 is one of only a handful of sources (<10) that belong to the class of gamma-ray binaries, and is the only one with a known compact object where repeated observations at periastron are possible. While the radio, X-ray and TeV emission mechanisms are well established, the behaviour of the source at GeV energies shows complicated and unexplained behaviour. Optical spectroscopic observations over the previous periastron have shown a possible link between the behaviour for the Oe star's circumstellar disc and the GeV emission. We propose for LCO optical photometric observation from 30 days before to 100 days after the next periastron passage (Feb 2021), to complement our SALT spectroscopic campaign and submitted mid-IR VISIR/VLT proposal, to stringently constrain the disc and its role in the gamma-ray production. 2020B 3
van Soelen B University of the Free State Optical ToO observations with LCO for H.E.S.S. Optical ToO observations with LCO for H.E.S.S. The H.E.S.S. gamma-ray telescope, located near the Gamsberg in Namibia, is currently the world's most sensitive very high energy (VHE: E > 100 GeV) gamma-ray telescope. Most extragalactic sources detected by H.E.S.S. are strongly variable across the entire electromagnetic spectrum, from radio to gamma-ray frequencies, on time scales ranging from just a few minutes, to months and years. This requires carefully co-ordinated, simultaneous multiwavelength observations to obtain meaningful insight into the multiwavelength variability patterns. H.E.S.S. regularly partakes in such coordinated multi-wavelength campaigns. Here we are proposing to obtain time on the LCO network to allow us to undertake coordinated optical observations with H.E.S.S. ToO observations. The most likely triggered observations will be of extra-galactic sources such as Blazars and Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). 2020B 32
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 have extended spectral study of the same galaxies with SALT and we need to know structure of our targets: (1) bulge contribution and 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 S0 galaxies in different environments obtained by us earlier with the LCO facilities and published in our three papers. 2020B 22
Winkler H University of Johannesburg Variations of Changing Look and other peculiar Seyfert galaxies Variations of Changing Look and other peculiar Seyfert galaxies We seek to obtain UBV and ugr photometry once a month of four Seyfert 1 galaxies that are have either exhibited dramatic spectral changes (referred to as "changing look AGN") or are characterised by peculiar broad-line profiles typifying Keplerian rotational motion of gas clouds in the nuclear regions. The observations will not only monitor the AGN for any sudden major luminosity changes, but also assist in determining the nuclear obscuration and intrinsic luminosity using the flux variation gradient method. The behaviour of these quantities could be used to narrow down the variety of models that seek to explain the 'changing look' phenomenon. 2020B 10
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 for the m/m_sun > 2.7 range of mass since it was created with use of double-lined eclipsing binaries, where components were synchronized and for this reason changed the evolution scenario of each other. In the process of this project we realized that many of our targets have very poor photometric curves that are not enough to obtain correct photometric parameters for general aims of our project. For that reason we need LCO time to obtain accurate light-curves in the range of their primary and secondary minima. 2020B 50 120
Potter S South African Astronomical Observatory SAAO Education/Outreach SAAO Education/Outreach Reserved for outreach/education related activities. 2020B 45

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

Tel Aviv University: Israeli Center of Research Excellence

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)
Tsevi M Tel Aviv University TESS followup P1 TESS followup P1 . 2020B 32
Horesh A Hebrew University of Jerusalem Supernovae and transients P1 Supernovae and transients P1 . 2020B 6 3
Kaspi S Tel Aviv University AGN monitoring AGN monitoring . 2020B 4
Trakhtenbrot B Tel Aviv University AGNs and TDEs P1 AGNs and TDEs P1 . 2020B 15 5
Hallakoun N Weizmann Institute of Science Testing SNe Ia with open clusters Testing SNe Ia with open clusters . 2020B 15
Horesh A Hebrew University of Jerusalem SNe and transients P2 SNe and transients P2 . 2020B 4 7
Tal-Or L Tel-Aviv University Carmenes P1 Carmenes P1 . 2020B 10
Tsevi M Tel Aviv University TESS Followup P2 TESS Followup P2 . 2020B 44
Trakhtenbrot B Tel Aviv University AGNs and TDEs P2 AGNs and TDEs P2 . 2020B 10 10
Green M Tel Aviv University AM CVn binaries P1 AM CVn binaries P1 . 2020B 25
Tal-Or L Tel-Aviv University Carmenes P2 Carmenes P2 . 2020B 10
Trakhtenbrot B Tel Aviv University AGNs and TDEs P3 AGNs and TDEs P3 . 2020B 10
Tal-Or L Tel-Aviv University Carmenes P3 Carmenes P3 . 2020B 5
Green M Tel Aviv University AM CVn binaries P3 AM CVn binaries P3 . 2020B 25

University of Texas

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)
Kerr R University of Texas at Austin Characterizing Newly-Discovered Young Associations in the Solar Neighborhood Characterizing Newly-Discovered Young Associations in the Solar Neighborhood Through the use of Gaia DR2 kinematics and photometry, we have identified thousands of pho- tometrically young stars, many of which appear within groupings that are not consistent with any known associations or clusters. These previously-unidentified groups of stars appear to represent a new population of low-mass associations that may open up never before accessible environments to a variety of new studies. We therefore request 35 hours of observing time on NRES to investigate these potentially new associations of stars. Using NRES, we will be able to generate radial velocities with uncertainties well below 1 km/s, which will provide kinematic confirmation for the existence of each of these groups when combined with Gaia proper motions. These observations will also enable more detailed investigations into the stars themselves, pro- viding a population of confirmed members, and enabling the detection of stellar youth indicators such as Lithium and H-alpha emission. The first ever investigations into the properties and star formation histories of these associations will become possible, meanwhile creating an accessible population of stars that can be used as future targets for studies of planet formation. 2020B 35
Vanderbosch Z University of Texas at Austin Monitoring for Planetary Debris Transits in ZTF J0139+5245 Monitoring for Planetary Debris Transits in ZTF J0139+5245 ZTF J0139+5245 is a white dwarf exhibiting irregularly shaped transits indicative of circumstellar plan- etary debris. Two transits were first observed using the public Zwicky Transient Facility light curve data, while subsequent LCOGT monitoring enabled the real-time detections of two additional transits (Vander- bosch et al. 2019), all of which were consistent with a 107 d orbital period. In 2019 December, a fifth transit was detected which arrived more than 20-days earlier than expected based on the assumed 107 d period. While surprising, this behavior is not unexpected, as variations in transit depths and overall activity have also been observed in WD 1145+017, the only other white dwarf known with transiting planetary debris. We may be seeing new planetary material which has recently become active, or the same material as be- fore undergoing radial or axial migration. Regardless, this behavior makes predicting future transits very difficult. To execute concurrent spectroscopic and high-speed time series photometric observations during transit events, real-time monitoring of ZTF J0139+5245’s flux on a near-nightly basis with LCOGT is vital. Therefore, we request 40 hours of time from LCOGT’s northern hemisphere 1.0m telescopes using the Sinistro instrument to continue monitoring this object. Two additional transits are expected in this proposal’s timeframe, and their detection with LCOGT will both constrain the transit recurrence timescales and support in-transit observations with other spectroscopic and photometric instruments. 2020B 40
Tofflemire B University of Texas at Austin Characterizing Eclipsing Binaries in Young Clusters: TESS Followup Characterizing Eclipsing Binaries in Young Clusters: 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 parame- ter 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 significant deviations from existing stellar models. Currently, TESS is discovering EBs in young moving groups across the northern and southern sky (τ<500 Myr), offering an excit- ing opportunity to improve stellar models and explore physical processes that are unique to low-mass stars. We propose to observe a primary and secondary eclipse for 10 young EBs discovered by TESS. By combining multi-wavelength observations from TESS and LCO, we will have a valuable lever to break degeneracies in eclipse modeling (limb-darkening, star- spot features), that is required to derive precise radius measurements. We also propose to obtain 5 NRES spectra for the 8 brightest targets to measure RVs and determine orbital solutions. 2020B 13 50 50
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 have recent TESS observations with two residing in the Cycle 3 continuous viewing zone, allowing us to see how our spectral measurements vary with light curve phasing. The work is the continuation of our work in 2020A (UTX2020A-006). 2020B 15
Rizzuto A UT Austin TESS Young Exoplanet Followup with LCO TESS Young Exoplanet Followup with LCO The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is searching 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. 2020B 20 20 20