Optical Infrared Coordination Network for Astronomy

Horizon 2020

NA4 - Time Domain Astronomy

To coordinate and develop European-based activities in time-domain astronomy, including photometry and spectroscopy, primarily using small and mid-sized telescopes (up to 3m in diameter) to develop new capability for rapid response to transient events and provide a strong integrated community in long-term monitoring of interesting astrophysical phenomena.

With major European and global investments in time-domain surveys, complemented by huge discovery machines such as the ESA Gaia mission, the LIGO/Virgo gravity wave detectors and the Cherenkov Telescope Array, time domain astronomy is entering a golden age. To allow European astronomers to take the lead in the scientific exploitation of the new discoveries from these facilities, time-dependent information is crucial. In particular, the rapid follow-up observations of various transient objects (e.g., supernovae, gravity wave optical counterparts) found by the discovery surveys provide the crucial astrophysical interpretations.

We will coordinate the operation of a network of largely selffunded European robotic telescopes and combine it into a world-class facility for time domain astrophysics. We will also include remotely- or manually-run older existing telescopes, scattered around Europe and Europe-related sites, and support their science users for them to regain their scientific capability. We will prototype new designs for simple, low-cost, high-performance spectroscopic instrumentation. We will develop and provide to the public a suite of data analysis software to facilitate rapid and homogenous scientific outcomes from the time-domain observations. We will provide a free data archive building on the Gaia Alerts system, at no cost to this project.

Finally, we will also coordinate common science goals and provide a service to the astronomical community delivering science-ready photometric and spectroscopic data.

Photometric Calibration Server is our online tool for deriving crude but homogenous calibrations for multiple observatories. It also stores the photometric follow-up data and credits all observers and telescopes who contributed to the observations.

EPHEM is our tool for observations planning for multiple targets and multiple telescopes.


Lukasz Wyrzykowski (UNIWARSAW) -