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.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

The Liverpool Telescope is an unmanned and fully robotic observatory, and telescope operations continue to proceed normally. LT staff are working from home and continue to support operations.

We'll continue to keep our users fully informed of any changes in observatory status.

FRODOSpec offline for Semester 2021A

Due to reliability issues and pandemic travel restrictions currently preventing maintenance visits to the telescope, FRODOSpec was not offered for use in the 21A call for proposals and will be taken offline at the end of semester 2020B, on 1st March 2021.

Latest News from the LT
Broad Insterstellar Absorption Band Discovered in Optical Region

A broad absorption band in the interstellar medium has been discovered in the optical range. This is the first time a band of this type has been found in the visible part of the spectrum. The broad interstellar band (BIB) is centered close to 7700Å with a full width at half maximum of 177Å. It is significantly wider than the numerous diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) in the optical range that have widths of a few tens of angstroms at most. Full details are in the paper at Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, and a press release is here. [full story]

First detection of a double caustic crossing in a microlensed quasar

Astronomers have detected for the first time a double caustic-crossing in a microlensed quasar. The collaborative project, between research teams in Russia, Spain, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, used the Liverpool Telescope and the 1.5m telescope at the Maidanak Observatory in Uzbekistan to conduct a 14-year monitoring campaign (2006-2019) of the gravitationally-lensed quasar known as the "Einstein Cross". [full story]

Nearby stars imaged in 3D

Recent images taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft of nearby stars Wolf 359 and Proxima Centauri show obvious parallax much greater than observed from Earth orbit. Astronomers around the world were encouraged to image the stars at the same time as New Horizons and compare them to provide a first-ever demonstration of large and "pure" stellar parallaxes. [full story]

New Python module for submitting observations via RTML

A new general purpose Python module for submitting observations to The Liverpool Telescope has been developed by Astrophysics Research Institute PhD student Kyle Medler. With this module, users can now submit observations to the telescope from automated Python scripts. This is an alternative to using ithe fully featured PhaseII user interface, and is suitable for the most common observation modes. [full story]

Mercury Mission Flyby of Earth

Last month the spacecraft BepiColombo swung by Earth on its way to the planet Mercury. The LT was approached by the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF), who provided several instruments for the mission, to observe BepiColombo while it was in the vicinity of the Earth. [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]

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