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About the GTN
About the GTN

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The GTN is a network of small telescopes around the world. Members include students, educators and amateur and professional astronomers. The purpose of the GTN is to support the science of NASA and ESA high energy astrophysics missions, including XMM-Newton, Swift and Fermi. These missions are designed to study astronomical objects through their emission of x-rays and gamma rays. However, much can be learned by combining observations over a broad range in the electromagnetic spectrum. The GTN has been assembled to make observations in the optical that will compliment the observations done at higher energies by space-borne observatories.

There are two categories of membership in the GTN. These are based on interest and ability. They are Associate and Partner, and are described below. Use the link in the header portion of this page to become a member of the GTN.

Associates are individuals or groups who dedicate some portion of their time to analyzing data taken with other people\'s telescopes. You can adopt your own program objects from our list or request data for other objects by submitting a short proposal.

Partners are individuals or groups who dedicate some portion of their time and expertise on observatory hardware they already own. They agree to regularly observe astronomical targets that are part of the GTN program. Partners may occasionally be able or willing to offer telescope time to other GTN participants. Of course, partners may also analyze GTN data, either their own or data taken by others.

The following groups are founding partners of the GTN:

Click Here for a full list of GTN Partners

 

Activities:

AGN Surveillance Data Analysis

Description: Using data already collected by previous surveys determine magnitudes for a GTN program object.

Requirements: You must be able to perform photometry on astronomical images. You should also have, at a minimum, familiarized yourself with the AGN Information on this site.

Monitor an AGN for long time scale variability

Description: The GTN has compiled a set of AGN referred to as the GTN AGN Program Objects. These AGN, all accessible from the Northern hemisphere, are all bright enough to be easily studied using small telescopes with CCD cameras. In this activity you will observe one (or more) of these GTN AGN program objects once a month and search for long-term changes in its brightness.

Requirements: You must be able to perform basic photometry. You should also be familiar with the AGN Information on this web site. In addition you should have completed at least one AGN Surveillance Data Analysis activity.

Active galaxy monitoring for micro-variability

Description: AGN vary on many different time scales. Different phenomenon at the core of AGN can cause measurable variability of AGN on time scales of hours or even less. In this activity you will observe and analyze the micro-variability of a GTN AGN program object by taking a series of images over several hours or consecutive nights.

Requirements: You must be able to perform basic photometry. You should also be familiar with the AGN Information on this web site. In addition you should have completed at least one AGN Surveillance Data Analysis activity.

Gamma-ray Burst Astrometry Analysis

Description: An important part of gamma-ray burst analysis is quickly determining the location in the sky where the GRB actually occurred. This analysis allows subsequent follow-up observations to be made to future understand the nature of GRBs. In this activity you will compare images taken during a GRB to images of the same field to determine where the GRB occurred.

Requirements: You must be able to determine accurate positions of objects on astronomical images. See astronometry introductory materials on this site. Also, you should have completed the GRB education tutorial.

Gamma-ray Burst Photometry Analysis

Description: GRBs are temporarily the brightest gamma-ray objects in the sky, but range in brightness in visible light from 9th magnitude to far fainter (though a burst on March 19, 2008 was estimated to be between 5th and 6th magnitude). The visible light fades rapidly as a function of time following the gamma-ray trigger. When observed promptly (while the gamma-rays are still present), GRBs can be bright enough to be seen by the human eye but in a matter of hours can become too faint to be observed by most small telescopes.

Requirements: You should have read through the basic photometry tutorial as well as the GRB education tutorial. You must be able to perform photometric measurements on astronomical images.

 


If you have a question about the GTN, please contact one of the "Responsible SSU Personnel" below.

This page was last modified on Monday 05th November 2012 @ 09:49am

Science Mission Directorate Universe Division

Responsible SSU Personnel:

Dr. Kevin McLin (mclin at universe dot sonoma dot edu)

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