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Title:
The Zadko Telescope: A Southern Hemisphere Telescope for Optical Transient Searches, Multi-Messenger Astronomy and Education
Authors:
Coward, D. M.; Todd, M.; Vaalsta, T. P.; Laas-Bourez, M.; Klotz, A.; Imerito, A.; Yan, L.; Luckas, P.; Fletcher, A. B.; Zadnik, M. G.; Burman, R. R.; Blair, D. G.; Zadko, J.; Boër, M.; Thierry, P.; Howell, E. J.; Gordon, S.; Ahmat, A.; Moore, J. A.; Frost, K.
Affiliation:
AA(School of Physics, M013, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia ), AB(Department of Imaging and Applied Physics, Bldg 301, Curtin University of Technology, Kent St, Bentley, WA 6102, Australia), AC(School of Physics, M013, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia), AD(Observatoire de Haute-Provence, F-04870 Saint Michel l'Observatoire, France; School of Physics, M013, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia), AE(CESR, Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, CNRS, Université de Toulouse, BP 44346, F-31028 Toulouse Ce ex 4, France; Observatoire de Haute-Provence, F-04870 Saint Michel l'Observatoire, France), AF(School of Physics, M013, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia), AG(School of Physics, M013, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia), AH(School of Physics, M013, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia), AI(School of Physics, M013, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia), AJ(Department of Imaging and Applied Physics, Bldg 301, Curtin University of Technology, Kent St, Bentley, WA 6102, Australi), AK(School of Physics, M013, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia), AL(School of Physics, M013, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia), AM(School of Physics, M013, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia), AN(Observatoire de Haute-Provence, F-0 4870 Saint Michel l'Observatoire, France), AO(CESR, Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, CNRS, Université de Toulouse, BP 44346, F-31028 Toulouse Cedex 4, France), AP(School of Physics, M013, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia), AQ(School of Physics, M013, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia), AR(School of Physics, M013, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia), AS(School of Physics, M013, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia), AT(School of Physics, M013, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia)
Publication:
Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp. 331-339. (PASA Homepage)
Publication Date:
09/2010
Origin:
PASA
Astronomy Keywords:
instrumentation: miscellaneous, gamma rays: bursts, minor planets, asteroids, telescopes
Abstract Copyright:
(c) 2010 Astronomical Society of Australia
DOI:
10.1071/AS09078
Bibliographic Code:
2010PASA...27..331C

Abstract

The new 1m f/4 fast-slew Zadko Telescope was installed in June 2008 about 70km north of Perth, Western Australia. It is the only metre-class optical facility at this southern latitude between the east coast of Australia and South Africa, and can rapidly image optical transients at a longitude not monitored by other similar facilities. We report on first imaging tests of a pilot program of minor planet searches, and Target of Opportunity observations triggered by the Swift satellite. In 12 months, 6gamma-ray burst afterglows were detected, with estimated magnitudes; two of them, GRB 090205 (z=4.65) and GRB 090516 (z=4.11), are among the most distant optical transients imaged by an Australian telescope. Many asteroids were observed in a systematic 3-month search. In September 2009, an automatic telescope control system was installed, which will be used to link the facility to a global robotic telescope network; future targets will include fast optical transients triggered by high-energy satellites, radio transient detections, and LIGO gravitational wave candidate events. We also outline the importance of the facility as a potential tool for education, training, and public outreach.
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