The Liverpool Telescope is a 2.0 metre unmanned fully robotic telescope at the Observatorio del Roque de Los Muchachos on the Canary island of La Palma. It is owned and operated by Liverpool John Moores University, with financial support from STFC.

Latest News from the LT
OPTICON Call for Proposals for Semester 2020-2021

The call for proposals for telescopes (including the LT) supported by the OPTICON Trans-National Access (TNA) programme has been released for their 2020-2021 semester. The call will close on 1st March 2020 at 23.59UT. Instructions for applying for LT time via OPTICON are given in the call on the OPTICON website. [full story]

Equatorial outflows in the black hole transient Swift J1357.2-0933

Swift J1357.2-0933 is a black hole X-ray binary which shows transient behaviour, alternating long periods of quiescence with short (weeks long) and violent outbursts. These episodes are triggered by a sudden increase of mass accretion onto the black hole. The system was observed to go into outburst in 2017: the first such event since the outburst which led to its discovery in 2011. In a paper published recently in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Jimenez-Ibarra et al. report high time resolution follow-up of the 2017 outburst. [full story]

New Exposure Time Calculators

New Exposure Time Calculators (ETCs) for the LT have been installed on the website at the Exposure Time Calculator page. Between the two ETCs (one for imaging, the other for spectroscopy), existing and prospective users can answer questions on what exposure times are necessary to achieve a required signal to noise ratio. Users can select any of the many instruments mounted on the LT and adjust their settings, as well as the effect of atmospheric turbulence ("seeing") and background sky brightness. [full story]

A Milestone Gamma Ray Burst Study: GRB190114C

Liverpool John Moores University astrophysicists and the Liverpool Telescope contributed to a study published in Nature recently of a gamma-ray burst caused by the collapse of a massive star 5 billion light years away. Analysis of the minutes immediately after the burst reveals emission of photons a trillion times more energetic than visible light. “These are the highest energy photons ever seen from a gamma-ray burst,” stated Dr Daniel Perley, a senior lecturer at LJMU's Astrophysics Research Institute involved with the study. [full story]

Realuminising and other maintenance at the LT

Late September saw the LT taken offline to realuminise the primary mirror and undertake other essential maintenance. Realuminising the primary is a massive undertaking but it went swimmingly, and throughput of the telescope improved by over 40%. Manoeuvering the fragile 1.3 tonne, 2-metre diameter mirror to and from the aluminising plant at the William Herschel Telescope (WHT) was performed with skill and aplomb by LT staff, personnel from IAC and WHT, and the specialists contracted locally on La Palma. [full story]

The Death Throes of a Stripped Massive Star

The Liverpool Telescope's SPRAT spectrograph obtained the first spectra of a broad-lined stripped-envelope supernova last year, just seven hours after discovery by the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF).

The SPRAT spectra contributed to the study of the supernova, named “SN2018gep”. The results of the study are presented in a recent paper by Ho et al submitted to the Astrophysical Journal. The authors believe this is the earliest-ever spectrum of a stripped-envelope supernova, in terms of temperature evolution. [full story]

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