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
Scheduled downtime: Realuminising in September

The LT will be offline for two weeks, from late September to early October, while we realuminise the primary mirror. The last night of observing before the process begins is the night starting 18th September. All being well we should be back observing robotically on the night starting 3rd October. Updates will be posted regularly on this website during the procedure. For more details see the full story.

OPTICON Call for Proposals for Semester 2020A

The latest call for proposals for telescopes supported by the OPTICON Trans-National Access programme for semester 2020A has just been released. The LT is one of the telescopes in this programme. The deadline for applications is 23:59 UT on 25th August 2019, a few days earlier than normal. Complete instructions on how to apply to OPTICON for time on the LT are given in the call - see the full story.

The Death Throes of a Stripped Massive Star

The Liverpool Telescope's SPRAT spectrograph obtained the first spectra of a broad-lined stripped-envelope supernova last year, just seven hours after discovery by the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF).

The SPRAT spectra contributed to the study of the supernova, named “SN2018gep”. The results of the study are presented in a recent paper by Ho et al submitted to the Astrophysical Journal. The authors believe this is the earliest-ever spectrum of a stripped-envelope supernova, in terms of temperature evolution. [full story]

15th Anniversary Celebration

This year the Liverpool Telescope celebrated 15 years of continuous robotic observation of the Universe. The telescope went robotic for the first time on 22nd April 2004 (see archive News item) and routine robotic operations began in December 2004. Since then the LT has been delivering high impact science by robotically observing the night sky from its home on the Canary Island of La Palma.

To mark this milestone, Liverpool John Moores University's Astrophysics Research Institute held a celebration on 24th April at nearby Sensor City in Liverpool. The evening brought together members of the LT team, past and present, to provide an exciting history from concept to construction with an insight into daily operation. [full story and photos]

LT helps discover huge nova "super-remnant" in another galaxy

An international team of astrophysicists have uncovered an enormous bubble currently being "blown" by the regular eruptions from a binary star system within the Andromeda Galaxy.

As reported in this week's Nature, recent observations with the Liverpool Telescope and Hubble Space Telescope, supported by spectroscopy from the Gran Telescopio Canarias, and the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (some of the largest astronomy facilities on Earth) discovered this enormous shell-like nebula surrounding ‘M31N 2008-12a’, a recurrent novae located in our neighbouring Andromeda Galaxy. At almost 400 lightyears across and still growing, this shell is far bigger than a typical nova remnant (usually around a lightyear in size) and even larger than most supernova remnants. [full story]

New Robotic Telescope website launched

We have recently launched a new website for the Liverpool Telescope 2 or "New Robotic Telescope (NRT)" project. The webpages at www.robotictelescope.org detail the science case, NRT team and latest news items in relation to the new telescope. The NRT team are currently preparing the Phase A design of the new 4-metre fully robotic and autonomous telescope, ready for a design board review in the Spring. The NRT will slew faster than the LT and be on target taking data within 30 seconds of trigger, allowing us to explore more rapidly fading targets. [full story]

First observations in mid-infrared

The Liverpool Telescope recently made mid-infrared images of the Moon during January's lunar eclipse. This was a first for the LT, which normally observes in the optical or near-infrared part of the spectrum. The observations were made as part of an experiment to see what data could be collected with an off-the-shelf uncooled thermal infrared microbolometer array camera sensitive to the 7-14 micron wavelength range. These cameras are much cheaper than their cooled counterparts. Maisie Rashman, co-investigator in this experiment and a PhD student at Liverpool John Moores University's Astrophysics Research Institute, said "Once partial eclipse started we were able to see lots of small very bright, almost point, sources appear." [full story]

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