Liverpool Telescope operations 2009-2014

Lead Research Organisation: Liverpool John Moores University
Department Name: Astrophysics Research Institute

Abstract

The Liverpool Telescope (LT ) (http://telescope.livjm.ac.uk/) is the world's largest and most sophisticated (in terms of range of science programmes, flexibility of scheduling, and sophistication of instrumentation) robotic telescope whose primary purpose (95% of observing time) is to carry out internationally competitive research. Since the commencement of robotic operation at the end of 2004, the LT has combined rapid reaction to Targets of Opportunity (ToO) with the ability to perform systematic long-term monitoring of targets and coordinated observations with other facilities, both on the ground and in space. This has allowed it to participate in many exciting new discoveries reported in high impact journals: - the earliest measurement of the optical polarization of a Gamma ray burst afterglow (Mundell et al, Science, 2007, 315, 1822) - the monitoring of many supernovae including the recent 'double supernova' SN2006jc (Pastroello et al, Nature, 2007, 447, 829) - the direct detection of the asteroidal YORP effect (Lowry et al, Science, 2007, 316, 272) - the discovery of a jupiter-saturn analogue solar system via gravitational microlensing (Gaudi et al, Science, 2008, 319, 927) - observations of the recent 'naked eye' GRB080319 (Racusin et al, Nature, 2008, 455, 813) This application is for continuation of funding for the maintenance and operation of the Liverpool Telescope, and the continuation of its role as a major resource both for the LJMU Astrophysics Research Institute and the wider UK community.

Publications

10 25 50

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Acosta-Pulido J (2010) The redshift and broad-band spectral energy distribution of NRAO 150 in Astronomy and Astrophysics

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Anderson D (2011) WASP-40b: Independent Discovery of the 0.6  M Jup Transiting Exoplanet HAT-P-27b in Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific

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Barnsley R (2013) A representative sample of Be stars V. H a variability? in Astronomy & Astrophysics

 
Description Has made major impact in many branches of Time Domain Astrophysics in particular. These include for example rapid follow-up of Gamma Ray Burst sources, including very early time polarisation studies; very accurate timing measurements of exoplanetary transits; observation and follow-up of both Galactic and extragalactic novae through pre-maximum to late time phases; determination of very high mass binary component properties in for example a Be star/Black hole system; follow-up of supernovae, including securing the earliest ever spectrum of a Type Ia, leading to verification of the carbon deflagration model and many other important results as detailed in the approximately 200 refereed journal papers published during the grant period (and around 100 since). These papers include a high proportion in the highest impact journals such as Science and Nature.
Exploitation Route General advancement of basic science
Sectors Education,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology

URL http://telescope.livjm.ac.uk
 
Description National Schools' Observatory, the Spaceport visitor centre and regional industry all benefitted. In REF 2014, we submitted Impact Case Studies in these three areas and gained 40% 4*, 46.7% 3* and 13.3% 2* overall for Impact. Details of these Case Studies can be found at http://results.ref.ac.uk/Submissions/Impact/208
Sector Education,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description EU Framework 7 (OPTICON)
Amount £119,577 (GBP)
Funding ID 312430 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 06/2013 
End 06/2016
 
Description EU Framework Programme
Amount £71,038 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 06/2012 
End 06/2015
 
Description EU Framework Programme
Amount £29,175 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 06/2011 
End 06/2013
 
Description STFC Large Awards
Amount £15,000 (GBP)
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2011 
End 06/2013
 
Description STFC SiS Fellowships
Amount £74,252 (GBP)
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2011 
End 10/2013
 
Description University Widening Access
Amount £1,283,000 (GBP)
Organisation Liverpool John Moores University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2011 
End 09/2017
 
Description Collaboration with University of Oxford 
Organisation University of Oxford
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Scientific Expertise, Access to telescope time
Collaborator Contribution Scientific Expertise, Financial Contribution
Impact Collaboration on followup of LOFAR radio transients starting in early 2014.
Start Year 2014
 
Description ESA Gaia Support 
Organisation European Space Agency
Country France 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Telescope time, observation management and data reduction in support of the tracking of the Gaia satellite via optical means.
Collaborator Contribution Target Position Information, Data Analysis
Impact Ongoing project - wast initially test programme prior to satellite launch in September 2013, after became ongoing commercial contract with ESA renewed annually
Start Year 2011
 
Description FRODOSpec 
Organisation University of Southampton
Department Physics and Astronomy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Funding and effort to develop a dual beam spectrograph for the Liverpool Telescope using optical fibre and VPH technology. Ongoing joint exploitation.
Collaborator Contribution Funding contribution and scientific input to the spectrograph design. Ongoing joint exploitation.
Impact The FRODOSpec instrument itself. Scientific publications.
 
Description Joint GRB Programme 
Organisation University of Ljubljana
Department Faculty of Mathematics and Physics
Country Slovenia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Telescope time, data analysis, software development, scientific expertise
Collaborator Contribution Funding, scientific expertise.
Impact 17 joint scientific publications.
Start Year 2010
 
Description RISE 
Organisation Queen's University Belfast
Department School of Mathematics and Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Design of a new fast-timing camera for the Liverpool Telescope, integration and operation. Joint scientific exploitation.
Collaborator Contribution Funding of hardware. Software development. Joint scientific Exploitation.
Impact The RISE instrument. 17 scientific publications.
Start Year 2007
 
Title Robotic Control Software 
Description software developed to run the liverpool telescope in an autonomous fashion was licensed under GPL and released to Las Cumbres Observatory in return for 1200 hours guarenteed time on their telesopes. 
IP Reference  
Protection Copyrighted (e.g. software)
Year Protection Granted 2007
Licensed Yes
Impact The robotic software is of course key to the whole operation of the telescope- without it the majority of the scientific papers produced would not have been possible.
 
Description Input to Parliamentary Inquiry 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Provision of evidence and acting as expert witness for House of Commons S&T Committee Inquiry into astronomy and particle physics.

Recommendations in final report supporting the Liverpool Telescope and National Schools' Observatory.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description National Schools' Observatory 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The NSO has 3,000 registered schools. More than 100,000 discrete observations with the LT have been returned to schools for projects within the classroom.
Full evaluation of the impact of the NSO is currently underway.

Two of the NSO staff team now have FeC on our renewed Consolidated Grant (2018-2021)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010
URL http://www.astro.ljmu.ac.uk/
 
Description National Schools' Observatory in FE Colleges 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Workshop Facilitator
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 500 FE College lecturers and their students engaged with astronomical research using the Liverpool Telescope and resources of the NSO website. Over all NSO activity (Primary, Secondary, FE) over the period: 30,000 observing requests were delivered and just under 3,000,000 educational webpages viewed. This is in addition to the engagement activity entered into eVal for the previous period.


www.schoolsobservatory.org.uk
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012,2013
 
Description National Schools' Observatory in Primary Schools 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Workshop Facilitator
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 1000 Primary school teachers and their pupils engaged with astronomical research using the Liverpool Telescope and resources of the NSO website. Over all NSO activity (Primary, Secondary, FE) over the period: 30,000 observing requests were delivered and just under 3,000,000 educational webpages viewed. This is in addition to the engagement activity entered into eVal for the previous period.

www.schoolsobservatory.org.uk
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012,2013
URL http://www.schoolsobservatory.org.uk
 
Description National Schools' Observatory in Secondary Schools 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Workshop Facilitator
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 2500 Secondary school teachers and their pupils engaged with astronomical research using the Liverpool Telescope and resources of the NSO website. Over all NSO activity (Primary, Secondary, FE) over the period: 30,000 observing requests were delivered and just under 3,000,000 educational webpages viewed. This is in addition to the engagement activity entered into eVal for the previous period

www.schoolsobservatory.org.uk
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012,2013
URL http://www.schoolsobservatory.org.uk
 
Description Press coverage relating to the Liverpool Telescope 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Paper Presentation
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact 12+ significant stories covered by the media through press releases related to the Liverpool Telescope.

This is in addition to the outputs reported for the previous period through eVal.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012,2013
 
Description School and Public Talks 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 50+ public talks and 200+ schools talks based around science from the Liverpool Telescope.

This is in addition to data entered through eVal for the previous period.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012,2013
URL http://www.astro.ljmu.ac.uk/outreach
 
Description TV and radio coverage 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Contributions to TV and radio broadcasts featuring LIverpool Telescope science. Total 20+ in this reporting period.

This is in addition to the outputs reported for the previous period through eVal.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012,2013
URL http://www.schoolsobservatory.org.uk