Science

The unique aspect of LCOGT science is having a global network of telescopes at our disposal. The areas of astronomy most interesting to us are those which take full advantage of this sort of network; targets which appear suddenly and without warning like supernovae and gamma-ray bursts; objects which need to be observed for long periods in darkness like exoplanets and binary star systems.  Click here to see our research team. See a full list of the programs we support in collaboration with external scientists for more information (2014A semester).

Our Mission

To establish and build a durable scientific institution dedicated to time-domain astrophysics.

The science team (including LCOGT astronomers, engineers and the science advisory board) define the network standard for instrumentation, calibration, and operations, which is best suited to the science programme. The driving philosophy is to make the network operate as a single global telescope, where data from one site can be directly compared and used in conjunction with, data from another site.

Having a largely custom-made, homogeneous network spread strategically across the globe in the northern and southern hemisphere means that LCOGT can respond rapidly to unexpected and exciting events in the night sky. The distribution of telescopes sites it will be possible to follow the time variations of single objects for days or weeks. The  network will also ensure that whenever an short-lived event occurs, LCOGT will have at least one telescope in the dark and ready to catch it

LCOGT has an active research programme already underway with astronomers involved with a number of world-class research projects including the hunt for exoplanets and nearby supernova. 

LCOGT astronomers contributed to 107 refereed publications in 2011. Additionally there were more than 120 publications in 2011 by other astronomers, using data from LCOGT operated telescopes.

 

Our Research Activities

Tim Brown: Science Director, UCSB Adjuct Faculty

  • Exoplanets
  • Astroseismology

Andy Howell: Staff Scientist, UCSB Adjuct Faculty

  • Supernovae
  • Cosmology

Tim Lister: Staff Scientist

  • Exoplanets Transits
  • Inner and outer Solar System

Rachel Street: Staff Scientist

  • Exoplanets Microlensing
  • Exoplanets Transits
  • Eclipsing Binaries

Yiannis Tsapras: Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Exoplanets Microlensing

Jerrod Parrent: Predoctoral Fellow

  • Supernovae

Stefano Valenti: Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Supernovae

Jason Eastman: Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Extrasolar planets

Diana Dragomir: Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Extrasolar planets

Iair Arcavi: Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Supernovae