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MeerLICHT and MONET: setting up an automated transient response system between two telescopes at the SAAO Sutherland station.

Project: 
In this project you will combine the outputs of the existing MeerLICHT transient pipeline on selected fields in search of transients (e.g. supernovae) with the development of an intra-telescope platform to report and schedule astrophysical transients for follow-up observations on the 1.2-m MONET telescope (University of Goettingen) in Sutherland. This development is done in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Goettingen - Dr Tim-Oliver Husser at Goettingen would be a co-supervisor - where there are opportunities to travel via an established Erasmus+ program between UCT and Goettingen in Astronomy. We intend to use the “TOM toolkit” developed by the Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) as the basic framework to trigger MONET (and later LCO) on MeerLICHT-detected transients - see also https://tomtoolkit.github.io/ You will learn to handle large volumes of data, working the outputs of the MeerLICHT transient pipeline and testing the usability of the TOM toolkit for linking MeerLICHT alerts with MONET. If time allows, you will pursue a detailed investigation of MeerLICHT transients which could include SALT spectroscopy. A good background in Python is required. You will be working with astronomers from the MeerLICHT and MONET teams at a time when MeerLICHT is receiving its first data in joint MeerLICHT/MeerKAT science operations. You will learn to use the various pipelines that have been developed for astrophysical transient detections in the commensal radio and optical data streams.
Node This Project Is Offered On: 
(UCT)

Supervisor

Patrick
Woudt

Co-Supervisor

Paul
Groot
Requirements for students to address: 
Good background in Python
Research Area: 
Astrophysics


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