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The SED Machine: A Robotic Spectrograph for Fast Transient Classification

Blagorodnova, Nadejda and Neill, James D. and Walters, Richard and Kulkarni, Shrinivas R. and Fremling, Christoffer and Ben-Ami, Sagi and Dekany, Richard G. and Fucik, Jason R. and Konidaris, Nick and Nash, Reston and Ngeow, Chow-Choong and Ofek, Eran O. and O’Sullivan, Donal and Quimby, Robert and Ritter, Andreas and Vyhmeister, Karl E. (2018) The SED Machine: A Robotic Spectrograph for Fast Transient Classification. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 130 (985). Art. No. 035003. ISSN 0004-6280. doi:10.1088/1538-3873/aaa53f.

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Current time domain facilities are finding several hundreds of transient astronomical events a year. The discovery rate is expected to increase in the future as soon as new surveys such as the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) and the Large Synoptic Sky Survey (LSST) come online. Presently, the rate at which transients are classified is approximately one order or magnitude lower than the discovery rate, leading to an increasing "follow-up drought". Existing telescopes with moderate aperture can help address this deficit when equipped with spectrographs optimized for spectral classification. Here, we provide an overview of the design, operations and first results of the Spectral Energy Distribution Machine (SEDM), operating on the Palomar 60-inch telescope (P60). The instrument is optimized for classification and high observing efficiency. It combines a low-resolution (R ~ 100) integral field unit (IFU) spectrograph with "Rainbow Camera" (RC), a multi-band field acquisition camera which also serves as multi-band (ugri) photometer. The SEDM was commissioned during the operation of the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF) and has already lived up to its promise. The success of the SEDM demonstrates the value of spectrographs optimized for spectral classification.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Blagorodnova, Nadejda0000-0003-0901-1606
Neill, James D.0000-0002-0466-1119
Walters, Richard0000-0002-1835-6078
Kulkarni, Shrinivas R.0000-0001-5390-8563
Fremling, Christoffer0000-0002-4223-103X
Ben-Ami, Sagi0000-0001-6760-3074
Dekany, Richard G.0000-0002-5884-7867
Konidaris, Nick0000-0003-1905-2815
Ngeow, Chow-Choong0000-0001-8771-7554
Ofek, Eran O.0000-0002-6786-8774
O’Sullivan, Donal0000-0002-4959-9179
Quimby, Robert0000-0001-9171-5236
Additional Information:© 2018 Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Received 2017 October 11. Accepted 2018 January 4. Published 2018 February 12. The SEDM was funded via NSF 1106171. This work was supported by the GROWTH project funded by the National Science Foundation under grant No 1545949. Facilities: PO:1.2 m - , PO:1.5 m - .
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Issue or Number:985
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180213-093625443
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Nadejda Blagorodnova et al 2018 PASP 130 035003
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:84808
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:13 Feb 2018 18:18
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 20:23

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