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.
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).
LT in "holiday snap" from space
Prompted by the fact that UK astronaut Tim Peake is currently on board the International Space Station (ISS) which regularly flies over the Canary Island of La Palma where the Liverpool Telescope (LT) is situated, Liverpool John Moores University PhD student Helen Jermak asked Tim via Facebook if he could take a picture of the observatory from his rather unique vantage point. The European Space Agency (ESA) Press Office were kind enough to reply that it's already been done - not necessarily by Tim, but by other ISS and Space Shuttle astronauts over the years, and they're all on a NASA public archive and available for free download. [full story]