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.

Monday 20th January: All IO:O sky flats obtained, so the backlog from 13th January, when IO:O returned to robotic observations, have been reduced and loaded. The IO:O data pipeline is now running normally, with fully-reduced data available every morning.

Latest News from the LT
CCI International Time Programme Call for Proposals for 2020–2021

The Comité Cientifico Internacional (CCI) or International Scientific Committee of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) has issued a Call for Proposals for the period 2020–2021. The deadline for submission of proposals is midnight, 29th February 2020. [full story]

Extraordinary call for LT Observing Proposals

Following the time allocation process for Liverpool Telescope semester 2020A, there is some remaining time available through STFC's Panel for the Allocation of Telescope Time (PATT), and so we are inviting applications for telescope time for this period (from now to 31 Aug 2020). The deadline for proposals is 23:59 GMT on Monday 3rd February 2020. [full story]

Equatorial outflows in the black hole transient Swift J1357.2-0933

Swift J1357.2-0933 is a black hole X-ray binary which shows transient behaviour, alternating long periods of quiescence with short (weeks long) and violent outbursts. These episodes are triggered by a sudden increase of mass accretion onto the black hole. The system was observed to go into outburst in 2017: the first such event since the outburst which led to its discovery in 2011. In a paper published recently in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Jimenez-Ibarra et al. report high time resolution follow-up of the 2017 outburst. [full story]

New Exposure Time Calculators

New Exposure Time Calculators (ETCs) for the LT have been installed on the website at the Exposure Time Calculator page. Between the two ETCs (one for imaging, the other for spectroscopy), existing and prospective users can answer questions on what exposure times are necessary to achieve a required signal to noise ratio. Users can select any of the many instruments mounted on the LT and adjust their settings, as well as the effect of atmospheric turbulence ("seeing") and background sky brightness. [full story]

A Milestone Gamma Ray Burst Study: GRB190114C

Liverpool John Moores University astrophysicists and the Liverpool Telescope contributed to a study published in Nature recently of a gamma-ray burst caused by the collapse of a massive star 5 billion light years away. Analysis of the minutes immediately after the burst reveals emission of photons a trillion times more energetic than visible light. “These are the highest energy photons ever seen from a gamma-ray burst,” stated Dr Daniel Perley, a senior lecturer at LJMU's Astrophysics Research Institute involved with the study. [full story]

Realuminising and other maintenance at the LT

Late September saw the LT taken offline to realuminise the primary mirror and undertake other essential maintenance. Realuminising the primary is a massive undertaking but it went swimmingly, and throughput of the telescope improved by over 40%. Manoeuvering the fragile 1.3 tonne, 2-metre diameter mirror to and from the aluminising plant at the William Herschel Telescope (WHT) was performed with skill and aplomb by LT staff, personnel from IAC and WHT, and the specialists contracted locally on La Palma. [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]

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