OPTICON FP7 (2013-2016) WP11 - Time Domain Astronomy

WP leader: Lukasz Wyrzykowski (University of Warsaw)

New and upgraded European facilities such as OGLE-IV (operating), LOFAR (2012) and Gaia (from 2013) will discover many thousands of new, transient objects corresponding to a wide range of astrophysical phenomena from solar system objects through new types of stellar variability and signatures of exoplanets to Supernovae and orphan Gamma Ray Bursts. However without proper ground based follow-up observations, much of the scientific potential of these new discoveries will be lost. As well as rapidly observing the new phenomena using small and medium size (0.5 – 2.0m) robotic telescopes, it is crucial that astronomers can quickly (within minutes) analyse the data obtained and distribute the knowledge obtained to other users who can then trigger follow-up activity on other facilities. This WP will coordinate and develop the capabilities of existing small and medium robotic telescopes to enable them to follow-up new transient phenomena in an efficient and timely fashion.

In order to deliver this the following objectives must be achieved:

  1. Coordinating the development of scientific programmes in time domain astronomy related to specific targets, e.g. supernovae, microlensing events, variable stars.
  2. Matching of the facilities available (in terms of location, aperture, instrumentation etc.) to the various scientific programmes and identifying simple, low cost improvements that could be made to enhance capability.
  3. Developing common software and tools for time domain data to facilitate the interactions between observers and to allow a homogenous data analysis of data from heterogeneous telescopes.
  4. Providing a platform for experience exchange between time domain astronomers, enabling both young and established astronomers to cooperate in optimizing the operation of robotic telescopes and establishing systems for the rapid analysis and reduction of data.

Visit the WP11 pages here:-

The Gaia Science Alerts Working Group and the web service relevant to WP11.