FM10p.03 — MASTER-SAAO: optical transient detections and followups

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Aug 10th at 6:00 PM until 6:00 PM

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Author(s): David A.H. Buckley2, Vladimir Lipunov3, Evgeny Gorbovskoy3, Oleg Gress1, Stephen Brian Potter2, Alexei Kniazev2

Institution(s): 1. Irkutsk State University, 2. SAAO, 3. Sternberg Astronomical Institute

Following its installation at Sutherland in late Dec 2014, the SAAO node of the MASTER optical transient detection network has been busy discovering new optical transient sources and following up on other transient triggers. This is the first general transient detection system to be installed at SAAO, allowing for the rapid detection and followup of the likes of CVs, GRBs, SNe and flaring blazars. Up to mid-March 2015, some 40 transients have been discovered by MASTER-SAAO. In addition several Gamma Ray Burst (GRB) follow-up observations were conducted with MASTER-SAAO, leading to the identification of optical counterparts and the determination of the afterglow decay light curves for two of them, and upper limits for the rest. We discuss the MASTER-SAAO system and future plans to automate followup observations with SALT and a new 1.0 m robotic telescope at SAAO.