Observing for PESSTO at La Silla Observatory

Although a theorist by training, I am also involved in observational projects. During my postdoctoral fellowship at MPA, I was part of the Nearby Supernova Factory and performed remote observations with the UH88 telescope on Mauna Kea at Hawaii. Currently, I am involved in the Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey for Transient Objects (PESSTO). PESSTO is granted 90 nights per year on ESO‘s New Technology Telescope (NTT) at La Silla Observatory in the Chilean Andes to follow-up astronomical transients.


Credit: ESO/H. Dahle

Together with two colleagues from ESO and MPA, tonight we are starting a three week observation campaign for PESSTO at La Silla. We will use the EFOSC2 and SOFI spectrographs to obtain optical and near-infrared spectra of recent supernovae that are investigated by the collaboration. In addition, we will also classify new transient candidates, which we obtain from wide-field transient surveys like e.g. the La Silla QUEST survey or photometric alerts from ESA’s Gaia satellite.