Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF)

Laste updated circa winter 2019

ZTF aims to systematically explore the dynamic optical sky. It is based on two telescopes of the Palomar Observatory: the Samuel Oschin 48-inch telescope (P48) equipped with a mosaic of CCDs covering 47 sq degrees and the 60-inch telescope (P60) equipped with a novel, ultra-low resolution, wide field integral field spectrograph ("SEDM"). ZTF is undertaking several surveys. The SEDM allows astronomers to undertake rapid and robotic spectroscopy. IPAC is the official ZTF data center. ZTF was funded a partnership of world wide institutions and a major grant from the National Science Foundation.

ZTF is used by a number of Caltech faculty and research astronomers: T. Prince (ultra-compact binaries, asteroids), M. Kasliwal (Multi-messenger astronomy, LIGO & supernovae), M. Graham (AGN variability) L. Yan (super-luminous supernovae and tidal disruption events), L. Hillenbrand (Young stars, PMS, FU Ori), Ashish Mahabal (Astroinformatics & Machine Learning), and Dima Duev (Astro-informatics & Deep Learning). We work closely with the ZTF Theory Network (UCB, UCSB, Caltech) generously funded by the Moore Foundation. Our local theorists are J. Fuller (physics of binaries and supernovae) and E. Sterl Phinney (high energy astrophysics, stellar astronomy, AGN). For an incomplete list of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who use ZTF see here.

The Project personnel are as follows: M. J. Graham (Project Scientist), F. Masci (lead ZTF Data Center), Dmitry A. Duev, Astro-informatics, E. Bellm (Survey Scientist), R. Smith (ZTF CCD imager engineer), D. Neill (SEDM Project Scientist), R. Walters (P60 & P48 Operations), A. Drake (DQA for ZTF, stellar binaries) and Reed Riddle (Telescope & Robotic System).

ZTF is a project led by PI S. R. Kulkarni at Caltech (see ATEL #11266) and is funded by the National Science Foundation (MSIP Grant 1440341) and an international partnership: WIS, Israel; OKC, Sweden; JSI/UMd, USA; UW,USA; DESY, Germany; NRC, Taiwan; UW Milwaukee, USA and LANL USA. IPAC, Caltech is the official ZTF Data Center. Alert distribution service provided by DIRAC@UW. Alert filtering is being undertaken by the GROWTH marshal system, supported by NSF PIRE grant 1545949.