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.
Liverpool Telescope Involved in Gravitational Wave Followup Campaign
The Liverpool Telescope is part of a followup collaboration of telescopes set up to find the electromagnetic component of gravitational wave events detected by the Advanced Laser Interferometer for Gravitational-wave Observations (aLIGO). In a paper entitled "Liverpool Telescope follow-up of candidate electromagnetic counterparts during the first run of Advanced LIGO" Chris Copperwheat et al discusses the LT contribution to the follow-up campaign, and describes in detail the LT's followup strategy and its observations of the candidates GW objects. The paper is currently available from here: https://arxiv.org/abs/1606.04574. [full story]
Upcoming LT Presence at this Summer's Astronomy Conferences
The LT and LT2 appear at three major astronomy conferences this summer: the international SPIE conference "Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes VI" in Edinburgh, UK on 26th June – 1st July, the UK National Astronomy Meeting (NAM) in Nottingham, UK on 27 June – 1st July, and the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (EWASS) in Athens, Greece on 4–8 July. Registration for all three conferences is still open at time of writing. [full story]
Memorandum Of Understanding signed for development of new 4-metre class telescope
LJMU Vice-Chancellor, Prof Nigel Weatherill and the Director of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) Prof Rafael Rebolo López have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore the design, construction and operation of the new 4.0 metre telescope which will be on a bigger scale than the current Liverpool Telescope (LT) which has been studying the cosmos and making discoveries for over a decade.
The new telescope will be built on the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma and will be 4 times more sensitive and 10 times faster to respond to unexpected celestial events than the current world-record-holding 2-metre LT, also based on La Palma.
Gravitational wave science used to search for catastrophic explosion
Researchers at Liverpool John Moores University's (LJMU) Astrophysics Research Institute (ARI) using the Liverpool Telescope (LT) were actually among the first to use new gravitational wave science, before the recent announcement by the USA's Caltech and MIT-run Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) that they had made the first direct detection of gravitational waves.
Recognised as world leaders in this field, the ARI was asked to participate in a global study using gravitational wave astronomy months before the LIGO revealed gravitational waves had been detected. The team from LJMU's Astrophysics Research Institute was led by Professor Iain Steele and Dr Chris Copperwheat and one of the many telescopes deployed in the search was the Liverpool Telescope, which used the SPRAT spectrograph, built by LJMU PhD Student Andrzej Piascik, to characterise candidate detections.
LT's polarimetry helps disentangle the cause of double-peaked optical outbursts
The Liverpool Telescope (LT) recently took part in a ground-breaking campaign to accurately measure the rotational rate of one of the most massive black holes in the universe: the powerhouse behind blazar OJ287. Details behind the discovery are given in a paper in the Astrophysical Journal Letters entitled "Primary Black Hole Spin in OJ287 as Determined by the General Relativity Centenary Flare" by M. J. Valtonen et al (2016).