Abstract Details

Title: Rapid Response to transient events at the VLT

Authors: Fernando Comeron

Institute/Affiliation: European Southern Observatory

Abstract Type: talk

Abstract Information:

The ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) has been offering for the last eight years a Rapid Response Mode that allows authorized users to automatically trigger follow-up observations of transient phenomena. The delay between the reception of the trigger and the beginning of the science exposure is no more than a few minutes, similar to that of robotic telescopes. However, the sheer size of the VLT Unit Telescopes and the variety of its instrumentation have opened up new scientific fields where the Rapid Response capability has made a decisive difference. The mechanics of the Rapid Response Mode will be described, as well as some perspectives for its future implementation at the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). Operational possibilities to be enabled by a new large bandwidth link between the observatory and Europe, currently undergoing commissioning, will allow in the future near-real time interactivity between the facility and observers located in another continent, leading to the full exploitation of the Rapid Response Mode.