Caltech: Zwicky Transient Facility Nabs Supernovae, Stars & More

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Caltech: Zwicky Transient Facility Nabs Supernovae, Stars & More

Post by bystander » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:33 pm

Zwicky Transient Facility Nabs Supernovae, Stars and More
California Institute of Technology | Palomar Observatory | ZTF | 2019 Feb 07

The newest instrument at Palomar Observatory has its eye on our dynamic night skies

The results are rolling in from Caltech's newest state-of-the-art sky-surveying camera, which began operations at the Palomar Observatory in March 2018. Called the Zwicky Transient Facility, or ZTF, the new instrument has so far discovered 50 small near-Earth asteroids and more than 1,100 supernovae, and it has observed more than 1 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy. One of the near-Earth asteroids discovered by ZTF, called 2019 AQ3, has an orbital period of just 165 days, the shortest known "year" for any asteroid. ...

ZTF uses the 48-inch Samuel Oschin Telescope at Palomar to survey the northern skies for anything that explodes, moves, or changes in brightness. Because the ZTF camera covers 240 times the size of the full moon in a single night-sky image, it is discovering the most fleeting, or short-lived, of cosmic events, which were impossible to catch before now. ...

Discoveries from ZTF so far include not only new supernovae, binary stars, and asteroids but two black holes caught shredding stars. As stars wander too close to black holes, they can be "tidally disrupted" by the gravity of the black hole and stretched into oblivion. Graham says that he and the team working on the tidal disruption data, led by Suvi Gezari of the University of Maryland, got fed up with referring to the technical names for the objects, consisting of long strings of numbers. "We decided to nickname them Ned Stark and Jon Snow, after Game of Thrones characters," he says.

ZTF also caught two near-Earth asteroids, 2018 NX and 2018 NW, that zipped by Earth at distances of only 72,000 miles and 76,000 miles away, respectively, or approximately a third of the distance between Earth and the moon. These discoveries were enabled by the NSF-funded GROWTH program. ...

Zwicky Transient Facility Spots a Bumper
Crop of Supernovae, Black Holes and More

University of Maryland | CMNS | 2019 Feb 07

All the Data in the Sky
University of Washington | 2019 Feb 07

A Morphological Classification Model to Identify Unresolved PanSTARRS1 Sources:
Application in the ZTF Real-Time Pipeline
~ Yutaro Tachibana, A. A. Miller The Zwicky Transient Facility Alert Distribution System ~ Maria T. Patterson et al The Zwicky Transient Facility: System Overview, Performance, and First Results ~ Eric C. Bellm et al The Zwicky Transient Facility: Data Processing, Products, and Archive ~ Frank J. Masci et al The Zwicky Transient Facility: Science Objectives ~ Matthew J. Graham et al Exposure-time Correction for the ZTF Camera ~ M. Giomi et al Machine Learning for the Zwicky Transient Facility ~ Ashish Mahabal et al The GROWTH Marshal: A Dynamic Science Portal for Time-Domain Astronomy ~ Mansi Kasliwal et al
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ZTF: Asteroid from "Rare Species" Sighted in the Cosmic Wild

Post by bystander » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:41 pm

Asteroid from ‘Rare Species’ Sighted in the Cosmic Wild
Zwicky Transient Facility | Infrared Processing and Analysis Center | 2019 Feb 07
Astronomers have discovered an asteroid looping through the inner solar system on an exotic orbit. The unusual object is among the first asteroids ever found whose orbit is confined almost entirely within the orbit of Venus. The asteroid's existence hints at potentially significant numbers of space rocks arcing unseen in uncharted regions nearer to the sun.

A state-of-the-art sky-surveying camera, the Zwicky Transient Facility, or ZTF, detected the asteroid on January 4, 2019. Designated 2019 AQ3, the object has the shortest "year" of any recorded asteroid, with an orbital period of just 165 days. It also appears to be an unusually big asteroidal specimen.

"We have found an extraordinary object whose orbit barely strays beyond Venus' orbit—that's a big deal," said Quanzhi Ye, a postdoctoral scholar at IPAC, a data and science center for astronomy at Caltech. Ye called 2019 AQ3 a "very rare species," further noting that "there might be many more undiscovered asteroids out there like it." ...
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor