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
Liverpool Telescope celebrates 20 years of robotic science operations
29 Apr 2024

Twenty years ago, on 22 April 2004, a key milestone in the commissioning of the Liverpool Telescope was passed when control of the night was handed over to the LT's robotic scheduler for the first time. First light for the telescope was achieved in the summer of 2003, but the beginning of robotic observing is really the birth of science operations at the telescope. [full story]

New positions at New Robotic and Liverpool Telescopes
15 Jun 2023

The New Robotic Telescope (NRT) team welcomed two new members of staff this month. Dr Chloé Miossec joins from the University of Liverpool full-time as Instrument Scientist, and Dr Richard Ashley joins part-time from the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes as Visiting Research Fellow. Overall group director Prof Iain Steele will now devote all of his time to ensuring the successful delivery of the NRT project, while Dr Chris Copperwheat is stepping into the role of Director of the Liverpool Telescope to lead the daily running of the facility. [full story]

Public access for brightest supernova in a decade
14 Jun 2023

One of the closest supernovae in the last decade appeared in our skies a few weeks ago. Liverpool Telescope user Dr Dan Perley classified it as a type II supernova within hours of first detection thanks to the LT's flexible scheduling capabilities and instrumentation. An aggressive LT observing campaign is under way, and all data is being released to the public immediately. Read more for further details of the observations and how you can download the data for yourself as the months-long explosion evolves. [full story]

Scientists observe flattest explosion ever seen in space
3 Apr 2023

An explosion the size of our solar system has baffled scientists, because part of its shape — similar to that of an extremely flat disc — challenges everything we know about explosions in space. [full story]

LT tracks brightest ever gamma ray burst
28 Mar 2023

Last October, astronomers witnessed the brightest gamma-ray burst ever seen by human instruments. A recent paper by Tanmoy Laskar et al ("The Radio to GeV Afterglow of GRB 221009A"), recently published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters as part of a special issue on this remarkable cosmic event, describes how the evolution of the fireball was tracked by an international group of astronomers and observatories, including the LT. [full story]

First detection of a truncated accretion disc in an active galactic nucleus
13 Feb 2023

A recent paper by Ian McHardy et al reveals insights into the structure of the accretion disc surrounding the supermassive black hole at the centre of the active nucleus of galaxy NGC 4395. Based on initial observations by the LT and followup by Gran Telescopio de Canarias, this is the first ever observation of a truncated AGN accretion disc, and the discovery has implications for future research in reverberation mapping. [full story]

Humanity begins its return to the Moon
19 Nov 2022

NASA began its program of returning astronauts to the Moon and beyond (Mars) with the launch of the Artemis 1 mission on Wednesday 16th November. The 25-day mission will see the uncrewed Orion capsule orbit the ~Moon before returning to Earth on 11th December. The LT captured images of Orion on its way out to the Moon a day after launch. [full story]

A polarised view of the total eclipse of the Moon
8 Oct 2022

The Moon was observed in polarised light during a recent total lunar eclipse, using the LT's MOPTOP polarimeter. A polarisation of 2% was found, which has implications for exoplanet searches. [full story]

The atmosphere of Triton in greater detail
20 Apr 2022

An occultation of a star by Neptune's Moon Triton in 2017 has yielded data which advances our understanding of the structure of Triton's atmosphere. Comparisons with earlier events, as far back as a Voyager radio occultation from 1989, implies the atmospheric pressure might have risen in the intervening years but is now back to its 1989 level. [full story]

First maintenance on LT in two years
30 Mar 2022

On 10th March telescope director Iain Steele and engineering manager Stuart Bates flew to La Palma for two weeks to address the most pressing maintenance tasks that had built up during two years of travel restrictions to the island. [full story]

Tracking the JWST
21 Jan 2022

A few weeks ago one of the most exciting telescope-related events of 2021 was the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). It began its journey with an accurate launch into L2 transfer orbit at 12:20UT on 25th December 2021, and was observed by the LT hours later as it departed Earth. [full story]

Liverpool Telescope Unveils a New Type of Cosmic Explosion, Possibly Linked to Black Hole Formation
12 Jan 2022

LT observations have helped unveil a previously unknown class of cosmic explosion. Research recently published in Nature and soon in the Astrophysical Journal describes the discovery of a new class of supernova — a type "Icn". [full story]

Monitoring Maintenance in Geostationary Orbit
3 Nov 2021

For the first time, remote-controlled spacecraft have begun servicing communications and Earth observation satellites in geostationary orbit to extend the amount of time they can remain in service. [full story]

David Carter
24 May 2021

We are sad to report the death over the weekend of our friend and colleague Professor David Carter. Dave joined LJMU in 1996 as Project Scientist for the Liverpool Telescope and his determined efforts played a large part in keeping the project on track during a difficult construction phase. He was an outstanding scientist who always took a constructively sceptical approach to the prevailing consensus, and an excellent mentor to younger colleagues and students. [full story]

Walk around the LT site
25 Mar 2021

A virtual tour of the Liverpool Telescope site in La Palma is on this website at the Site Tour page. You can walk around the site, even into the telescope enclosure itself, and switch between day and night views. [full story]

Two new nova shells discovered
5 Mar 2021

The expanding debris shells from two separate novae that were seen to erupt decades ago have been discovered and characterised in a recent paper by Éamonn Harvey et al. The paper shows that new nova shells can be found from archive data and new limited multi-epoch followup data from small to medium-sized research telescopes. [full story]

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