NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011B-0236

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Proposal Information for 2011B-0236


PI: Ashish Mahabal, Caltech, aam@astro.caltech.edu
Address: PMA, MC 249-17, 1200 E California Bl., Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

CoI: Andrew Drake, Caltech
CoI: S G Djorgovski, Caltech
CoI: Eric Christiansen, Gemini

Title: Follow-up/light-curves of transients from the Catalina Realtime Transient Survey

Abstract: We propose to obtain multicolor light curves of interesting optical transients (OTs) discovered in the Catalina Realtime Transient Survey (CRTS). CRTS discovers OTs by obtaining repeated unfiltered CCD images of the same part of the sky. We have so far found ~ 3300 OTs including SNe, CV, blazars, AGN and many rarer classes. While a monochromatic survey can detect transients, their physical classification, interpretation and prioritization for a further follow- up - and thus the net scientific returns from the survey - depend crucially on the light curve and color information. We would obtain such information for objects which defy an immediate classification, or where such information would provide useful astrophysical information on its own (e.g., SN light curves). The most interesting events may then be followed up spectroscopically. Discovery of the rare, unusual, or even previously unknown types of OTs is one of the key priorities. These measurements will help us sharpen strategies for the future OT follow-up work, as well as to develop and improve the novel machine learning tools for automated classification of OTs, an essential enabling technology for the present and future synoptic surveys, including the LSST. In order to maximize the scientific returns for the entire community, we will be making all data immediately public (as we have started doing for the 2011A term).


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