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 2018B

The Optical Infrared Coordination Network for Astronomy (OPTICON) has issued its call for proposals for semester 2018B. This is for observing time at night time telescopes supported by the OPTICON Trans-National Access programme. The deadline for proposals is 28 February at 23.59UT exactly.

The Horizon 2020 contract has added two new robotic telescopes, a requirement to support time domain astronomy which is defined as a science category in its own right and some changes to the rules on applicant nationalities. We have also tried to define which facilities are best able to support various kinds of overrides, monitoring and time critical observations. Please review the web-page notes carefully, even if you have used the TNA programme before.

[full story]

Ice and snow finally clearing at ORM

The severe ice and snow that shut all telescopes at the Observatorio del Roque de Los Muchachos (ORM) for the last two weeks is now slowly clearing, after temperatures finally rose above freezing on Sunday.

The enclosure mechanisms on the north west side of the LT building are still caked in 5-10cm of solid ice. This side doesn't receive any sunlight, so it will probably be some days before that ice is finally gone and we can allow the LT to open its enclosure safely.

Update 16th Feb: Ice still on enclosure mechanisms, and observing unlikely until Monday 19th at the earliest.

[full story and more pictures]

CCI International Time Programme 2018-2019 Call for Proposals

The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias' (IAC) Comité Cientifico Internacional (CCI) or International Scientific Committee of the Roque de los Muchachos (ORM, La Palma) and Teide (OT, Tenerife) observatories has issued a Call for Proposals for 2018, inviting applications for International Time Programmes (ITP) on telescopes installed at these Observatories. This includes the Liverpool Telescope. The deadline for applications is 28th February 2018. [full story]

New Robotic Telescope workshop held in Liverpool

On 18-19 January the Astrophysics Research Institute hosted LJMU's partners and prospective partners in the 4.0m New Robotic Telescope (NRT) project for a two-day workshop in Liverpool. LJMU staff were joined by representatives from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand, and by videolink the National Astronomical Observatory of China. The workshop focussed on the new science the telescope will enable and the new technologies needed to build the telescope, and discussed the building and formalising of the funding consortium. [full story]

Interstellar visitor tracked with LT

The interstellar object currently exiting the Solar System has finally been named as ‘Oumuamua, Hawaiian for "reach out for" (‘Ou) and "very first/in advance of" (mua mua). Thus the name "reflects the way this object is like a scout or messenger sent from the distant past."

The LT was among the first wave of telescopes around the world to observe ‘Oumuamua thanks to quick action by one of its users. Data from all of the telescopes observing this object have revealed many interesting facts about this visitor from another star system. [full story]

Liverpool Telescope project shortlisted for Research Project of the Year

Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) is one of six institutions shortlisted for Research Project of the Year: STEM in this year's Times Higher Awards.

The nomination has been awarded for the use of the SPRAT spectrograph in the study of the unique recurrent nova M31N 2008-12a in the Andromeda Galaxy. SPRAT (SPectrograph for the Rapid Analysis of Transients) was designed and built in late 2014 by the LJMU telescope group. It uses volume phase holographic gratings to maximise efficiency and has proved to be a powerful tool for transient classification with minimal human intervention. [full story]

M57
Spectacular pictures added to LT Picture Gallery

An album of over seventy spectacular pictures made from LT data has just been added to the LT Picture Gallery. The pictures were made by taking archived greyscale IO:O data that had been observed through effectively red, green and blue filters, and combining them in various ways to produce colour images. This skilful post-processing was performed by Swedish amateur astrophotographers Göran Nilsson and Wim van Berlo. [full story]

RISE model
New Filter for RISE

[UPDATE (26 July): The filter has now been changed] The RISE fast-readout camera is having its "V+R" filter replaced with a 720 nm long-pass filter on 26th July 2017. This is being done to enhance the capabilities of the camera with regard to measurement of exoplanet transits around late-type, red dwarf stars. More details can be found in the "Filter" section of the RISE instrument page.

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