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.
LT Public Data Archive Exceeds Two Million Files
The latest Liverpool Telescope public data release consisted of 118,474 new files, including both spectra and images spanning from the ultraviolet u’-band to the H-band infrared, bringing the total number of observations freely available from the archive to over two million.
There are now over 13,000 hours’ worth of observing data available, 9960 hours imaging and 1636 hours spectroscopy. Most targets have been observed a few times, going back to the start of LT operations in 2004, but some fields, such as the photometric standards, have time series consisting of thousands of observations.
LT maintenance: mirrors realuminised and throughput doubled
The middle of June saw the Liverpool Telescope go offline for two and a half weeks, to successfully undertake important scheduled maintenance. The main item in the to-do list was to realuminise the telescope's primary and secondary mirrors. This difficult task was performed outstandingly, and the results were clear to see, in that the throughput of the telescope was doubled - i.e. twice as much light now enters the telescope's detectors as before.
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.