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. Telescope operations continue to proceed normally, with the exception of Friday and Saturday nights when no observations are now being made. This is due to new site access rules in place at the observatory that affect all telescopes on the mountaintop.
Given the current situation, we have decided to delay the PATT and JMU deadlines for 2020B Liverpool Telescope proposals. The new deadline is now 23:59 on Thursday 30th April 2020.
The deadline for Spanish (CAT) proposals has been delayed until 27 April 2020.
The OPTICON and CCI proposal deadlines have already passed and their time allocation process is proceeding as normal.
Semester 2020B Calls for Proposals for PATT and JMU TACs
The PATT and JMU Time Allocation Committees (TACs) have both issued a Call For Proposals for Semester 2020B, which runs from 1st July 2020 to 28th February 2021 inclusive. PATT accepts proposals from Principal Investigators (PIs) based in the UK. Non-UK PIs who are not eligible for CAT, OPTICON or CCI time may also apply through PATT. The internal JMU TAC accepts proposals from PIs from Liverpool John Moores University's Astrophysics Research Institute.
In light of the global situation, the deadline for submission of proposals for both TACs has been extended to 23:59 GMT on Thursday 30th April 2020. [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]