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.

Telescope offline for realuminising. The LT is offline for scheduled maintenance, primarily to realuminise the primary and secondary mirrors. Realuminising is a major undertaking, and the whole programme of this and other tasks is expected to take just over two weeks, with the telescope back on-sky in the first week of July.

The PATT and JMU semester 15B Time Allocations are now available.

Latest News from the LT
SPRAT-spec
When stars collide: LJMU team identifies rare luminous red nova in Andromeda

In January 2015 the discovery of a possible classical nova in the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) was announced by the Global MASTER Robotic Network, a Russian-led network of telescopes dedicated to time domain astronomy. Classical novae are not particularly rare events, with around 30 observed each year in M31 alone. However, as the LJMU team of Steven Williams, Matt Darnley, Mike Bode and Iain Steele were soon to realise, the object in M31 was a much more unusual object. By following the outburst with the Liverpool Telescope's new spectrometer SPRAT and its work-horse imager IO:O, Williams and co. demonstrated that the outburst - dubbed M31LRN 2015 - was not a classical nova, but was instead a luminous red nova (LRN), a much less common class of stellar transient.
[full story]

SG
The LT draws in the crowds at StarGazing Live 2015

Jon Marchant of the Liverpool Telescope group was joined by Astrophysics Research Institute astronomers Matt Darnley and Simon Prentice at this year's StarGazing Live event in Leicester. Hosted by the BBC, the event coincided with a spectacular partial solar eclipse witnessed by millions of people in the UK and across Europe. The day was split into a morning session of eclipse watching, followed by an evening of star-gazing from the Racecourse at Leicester and the fields surrounding Jodrell Bank. Although the eclipse's path of totality missed mainland Britain, those watching were still able to enjoy a deep partial eclipse, with 85-95% of the Sun's diameter being covered by the Moon, depending on the viewer's location in the UK.
[full story]

RAS
Time domain astronomy at NAM-2015

The LT Group and Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, have once again organised two sessions at the U.K.'s National Astronomy Meeting. Hosted by the Royal Astronomical Society, NAM-2015 will be held at Venue Cymru in Llandudno, North Wales. As part of the week-long festivities, two 90 minute sessions are being organised which will focus on time domain astronomy with robotic telescopes. These sessions will be held on Thursday, 9 July, at 9 am and 1.30 pm. Although the deadline for abstract submissions has passed, the meeting website is still open for registration. Further details are available at the official NAM-2015 website.
[full story]

SPRAT
EWASS-2015 Special Session on robotic telescopes and instrumentation for time domain astronomy

The upcoming European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (EWASS) will include a Special Session, led by LT staff, entitled Robotic Telescopes and Instrumentation for Time Domain Astronomy. EWASS 2015 is organised by the European Astronomical Society and will be held in Tenerife, Spain, from June 22 to 26, 2015. The aim of the session is to address how current and future robotic facilities meet the scientific needs of the European time domain community. The session will feature talks on scientific results as well as new and existing robotic facilities and instrumentation covering all areas of time domain astronomy. A discussion of the technical and software challenges of robotic response will also be encouraged. STOP PRESS: the schedule of talks is now available here.
[full story]

TDE
Black hole caught having a snack

We don't as yet know very much about black holes, but one thing we do know is that it's not a good idea to get too close to one of them! Their powerful gravitational pull can rip apart anything that passes nearby. Yet a star may have survived such a close encounter, an encounter that was recently observed by Dr David Bersier of LJMU's Astrophysics Research Institute and his colleagues using the Liverpool Telescope.
[full story]

For additional news and events please visit our News Headlines page; for older stories see our News Archive.