Colloquium on 1 December 2014
Global MASTER Robotic Net


Title: Global MASTER Robotic Net
Speaker: Prof. Vladimir Lipunov (Sternberg Astronomical Institute)
Date: Monday, 1 December 2014
Time: 11:00 - 12:00
Venue: SAAO Auditorium


MASTER is a network of optical transient alert telescopes, with 7 of them distributed in longitude over Russia and one in Argentina. The next telescope in the node will be MASTER-SAAO, which is about to be installed at Sutherland in the old YSTAR building. MASTER is a fast survey system which covers in excess of 2000 square degrees per night, to a limiting magnitude of V ~ 20. In addition, MASTER is responsible for ~25% of all current transient alerts (at least prior to GAIA alerts) appearing in Astronomers Telegrams, second only to the SWIFT X-ray mission alerts. New versions of the MASTER telescope (like the one being installed at Sutherland) will push the detection limit by another ~2 magnitudes, and will have the additional capability to make polarimetric measurements of brighter transients. With MASTER-SAAO, we will for the first time have an optical transient detection capability at SAAO from which target of opportunity (ToO) follow-up observations can be made promptly (e.g. with SALT, MONET and the new robotic 1-m, once it is operational), rather than relying on delayed alerts from telescopes at other longitudes.

Professor Vladimir Lipunov (Sternberg Astronomical Institute of Moscow State University) is the Principal Investigator of MASTER and is part of the 4-member team which will install MASTER-SAAO at Sutherland over the next few weeks.

Talk Abstract:

The main goal and structure of the fastest synoptic sky survey up to 20 mag  are considered.

MASTER Global Robotic Net is the project of Moscow State University. MASTER’s goal is the solution of several fundamental problems of modern physics and astrophysics. They are the following: 1) a problem of relativistic collapse (about gamma ray bursts – the most powerful explosions in the Universe, i.r. the processes accompanying formation of black holes and neutron stars in the Universe), 2) the research of dark energy properties (search and investigations of Ia Supernovae stars ), 3) During implementation of the project research problems of mechanisms of thermonuclear flashes, which are very interesting to modern astrophysics, at white dwarfs, a plasma luminescence near supermassive black holes (the flash of  galaxies nucleus and quasars), orphan GRB and the bursts of still unknown nature are solved.

MASTER Global Robotic Net consists of 4 sites at 4 Russian universities (Amur, with colleagues from Blagoveschensk State university, Tunka – with colleagues from Irkutsk State University, Ural – with colleague of Ural Federal University, Kislovodsk – Lomonosov Moscow State University and Solar station of RAS) and an Argentinian site with colleagues of San Juan University and IAC (Spain).

The MASTER Net began operating in full mode in 2010. Up to now MASTER discovers more than 650 optical transients ( ), investigated several hundreds GRB (most of them has the first pointing in the world), discovered several tens of GRB optical sources, and discovered several hazardous asteroids.

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