Profile: Tim Lister

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About me

Tim Lister hails from the city of Manchester in the UK and obtained a MSci and a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of St. Andrews in 1997 and 2000 respectively.Following his PhD he worked as a Linux sysadmin in the Astronomy Group and then joined the SuperWASP Project as a postdoc. During that time he substantially contributed to the development of the pipelines and data reduction systems which finally culminated in the first WASP extrasolar planet in 2006. Since then the SuperWASP project and instruments have gone on to discover over forty extrasolar planets making it one of the most successful planet search programs.

In 2006, Tim moved to the Keele Astrophysics Group  to work on setting up SuperWASP-South which would search for planets in the southern hemisphere from  SAAO in South Africa. Tim joined LCOGT as a Project Scientist/Astronomer and moved out to sunny Santa Barbara in Feb. 2007. While at LCOGT he is involved with developing the pipeline and archives which will handle the data coming from LCOGT's many telescopes and continues to do research on extrasolar planets, magnetic activity on binary stars and Solar System objects.

A lot of my work at the minute is concerned with following up new asteroid discoveries from PanSTARRS and other NEO surveys in both the inner and outer Solar System. My follow-up using LCOGT's telescopes have confirmed over 250 new Near Earth Objects (NEOs) from PanSTARRS and over a hundred other objects including several comets and a Centaur. In the course of this follow-up I have discovered almost 100 new asteroids in the Main Belt and a Jupiter Trojan - one of the two families of asteroids that are trapped in Jupiter's Lagrange Points so they are always 60 degrees ahead or behind of Jupiter in it's orbit.


Some of my work on obtaining light curves and rotation rates for radar-targeted NEOs is at

I have also given a public talk on "Asteroids, NEOs, Comets and Meteors" and that is available here

My Publications

13 Feb 2012 Discovery of Main-Belt Comet P/2006 VW139 by Pan-STARRS1
Accepted for publication in ApJ Letters
13 Dec 2010 The WASP-South search for transiting exoplanets
To appear in the proceedings of the OHP conference "Detection and dynamics of transiting exoplanets", 23-27th August 2010
13 Oct 2010 The first WASP public data release
Accepted by A&A
13 Apr 2010 WASP-29b: A sub-Saturn transiting exoplanet
Submitted to ApJL
16 Dec 2009 WASP-17b: an ultra-low density planet in a probable retrograde orbit
Anderson et al. 2009, submitted to ApJ
15 Dec 2009 WASP-19b: The Shortest Period Transiting Exoplanet Yet Discovered
Hebb et al. 2010, ApJ, 708, 224
27 Aug 2009 An orbital period of 0.94 days for the hot-Jupiter planet WASP-18b
Hellier et al. 2009, Nature, 460, 1098
31 Jul 2009 WASP-16b: A new Jupiter-like planet transiting a southern solar analog
Lister et al. 2009, ApJ, 703, 752
18 Feb 2009 Temporal Variability of Stars and Stellar Systems
White Paper submitted to the Stars and Stellar Evolution Panel of the Astro2010 Decadal Survey
09 Jan 2009 RoboNet-II: Follow-up observations of microlensing events with a robotic network of telescopes
[Tsapras, Y. Street, R. Horne, K. Snodgrass, C. Dominik, M. Allan, A. +] Astron. Nachr. / AN 330, No. 1, 4 – 11 (2009)
29 Sep 2008 WASP-5b: a dense, very hot Jupiter transiting a 12th-mag Southern-hemisphere star
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, Volume 387, Issue 1, pp. L4-L7
29 Sep 2008 Parameters and Predictions for the Long-Period Transiting Planet HD 17156b
The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 681, Issue 1, pp. 636-643
tlister's picture
Project Scientist/Astronomer