Zwicky Transient Facility

The Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) is a new time-domain survey that will have first light at Palomar Observatory in 2017. Building on the highly successful legacy of the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF), ZTF will use a new camera with a 47 square degree field of view mounted on the Samuel Oschin 48-inch Schmidt telescope. ZTF's extremely wide field and fast readout electronics will enable a survey more than an order of magnitude faster than that of PTF.

By scanning more than 3750 square degrees an hour to a depth of 20.5-21 mag, ZTF will discover a young supernova less than 24 hours after its explosion each night and search for rare and exotic transients. Repeated imaging of the Northern sky (including the Galactic Plane) will produce a photometric variability catalog with nearly 300 observations each year, ideal for studies of variable stars, binaries, AGN, and asteroids.

ZTF is supported by a collaboration including Caltech, IPAC, the Weizmann Institute for Science, the Oskar Klein Center at Stockholm University, the University of Maryland, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron and Humboldt University, Los Alamos National Laboratories, the TANGO Consortium of Taiwan, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories.

Matching support from the National Science Foundation MSIP program will enable public ZTF surveys, data releases, and annual summer schools.

Team

Principal Investigator Shri Kulkarni
Project Scientist Eric Bellm
Project Manager Rich Dekany
Camera Lead Roger Smith
Data Archive Manager George Helou
Data Systems Lead Frank Masci
Undergraduate Programs Bryan Penprase

 

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