Supernova SN 2006gy

Chandra X-ray and optical telescope images of the brightest and most energetic stellar explosion ever recorded supernova SN 2006gy. Supernovae may produce burst sources of high amplitude gravitational waves. The LOOC-UP project hopes to use triggers produced by such bursts to co-ordinate with optical telescopes to provide confirmation. Image Credit: Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss; X-ray: NASA/CXC/UC Berkeley/N.Smith et al.; IR: Lick/UC Berkeley/J.Bloom & C.Hansen

The witty backronym ‘LOOC UP’ stands for ‘Locating and Observing Optical Counterparts to Unmodeled Pulses’. This project takes triggers formed from potential burst gravitational wave sources (short lived transient events such as core-collapse supernovae, or gamma-ray bursts) and co-ordinates wide-field optical telescopes to point at the likely position in the sky of the event. This ought to provide strong positive confirmation that the transient event produced gravitational waves.

One role of the ANU CGP branch of the LOOC UP group is to co-ordinate the triggers with the 1.3m survey telescope SkyMapper. More detailed information on the telescope and SkyMapper’s objectives may be found The SkyMapper Telescope and The Southern Sky Survey. The original LOOC-UP paper is also available.


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