Latest update as PESSTO starts its fifth year

PESSTO started its fifth year of operations in August 2016 after being reviewed and recommended for continuation by ESO’s Public Spectroscopic Survey Panel. We have joined the search for the counterparts of gravitational waves, by spectroscopically classifying transients found in the wide-field surveys that search the uncertainty regions of several hundred square degrees e.g. see paper just accepted in ApJ Letters by Smartt et al. 2016. A total of 41 PESSTO papers are in published or submitted and on arXiv, with another 9 due for release in August 2016. A full list of publications are here.

In partnership with Pan-STARRS, PESSTO is classifying transients from the Zooniverse Citizen science project. “Supernova Hunters” review Pan-STARRS detections, picking out the real objects and these are passed to PESSTO for classification. A recent example is the latest “superluminous supernova” discovery (SN2016els) from Pan-STARRS thanks to Zooniverse Citizen Scientists ‘TED91’, ‘nilium’ and ‘voyager1682002’ (announced in Seppo Mattila’s recent Astronomer’s telegram)