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Activities for GTN Members

Adopt a Blazar

Members agree to monitor a specific object from the GTN database at regular intervals. This could be as often as once a week, or once a month. The important aspect of this activity is that the same object be followed for a long period of time at roughly regular intervals. Of course, sometimess the object will not be visible because it will be up in the daytime, so there will have to be some gaps in coverage.

A Blazar a Month

In this activity the observer agrees to observe at least one blazer each month. The GTN Catalogue objects are widely spread around the sky, so there are always a few visible on any night during the year.

A Blazar a Week

Just like the previous Blazar a Month program, only with this one the observer agrees to observe at least one blazar each week.

Microvariability Campaigns

In this program, observers around the world will try to observe an object continuously to see if it is undergoing short-term (~day or less) variations in brightness. Continuous coverage here is important so that the day/night periodicity and data gaps can be removed. These campaigns will often occur if one of the AGN (or some other one) is observed to be undergoing an outburst.

Polar Surveillance

Just like the AGN activities, but the observer agrees to monitor one or more of our polar candidates. These are also listed in the GTN Catalogue.

High Time-Resolution Datasets

Some objects can undergo very rapid, small amplitude variations in brightness, on minute or hour time-scales. In this activity the observer monitors one of the AGN continuously for several hours, taking exposures of only a minute or two. The data is then analyzed to determine if any microflaring was occurring.

Gamma Ray Bursts

Gamma ray bursts are transient objects that occur a few times a week. They are generally detected in gamma rays, and then the race is on for optical and other telescopes to try to observe them before they fade from view. Sometimes they will fade so quickly that they are gone only a minute or less after the gamma ray trigger. Others can remain visible for many minutes or even days. If you would like to try to catch one of these elusive objects while it is still bright, you can try this activity. It will require that your telescope be open and running when the trigger comes in. You will probably also want to be subscribed to the Gamma ray burst Coordinate Network so that you will be notified when bursts occur.

Data Reductions

Members can contribute by reducing their own or someone else's data. If you are an Associate member, then you can work with a Partner to reduce some of their data. Or you could download data from the archive and reduce it.

Donate Telescope Time

This activity is only possible for Partners. If they wish, they can donate some of their telescope time to another GTN member. This could be done remotely if the telescope is so capable, or a Partner could volunteer to make a set of observations and then give the data to the other member. Whatever the two people agree on is probably fine.

Mentor Other GTN Members

While it is possible that some Associate members will be able to mentor other associate members, we envision that many Associates will be new to making astronomical observations. On the other hand, Partners are people who have their own observing facilities and therefore are likely to have a lot of experience. We hope that they will be willing to share this experience with other members. This mentoring could be related to making observations, reducing data, or any other topics that members feel would be useful.

Contribute to Papers

Some Partners might wish to contribute (as an author) to scientific papers to which they contribute data. Authorship requires quite a lot more involvement, but if any of our members have the interest and ability, we would like to know.

Quick Look

Would you be willing to use your telescope to take a $quot;Quick Look$quot; at a target, just to see (or more likely confirm) that it is doing something intersting?

Imaging Reports to the AAVSO or GCN

Contribute Images to the GTN Archive

Would you be willing to submit any observations you make to our archive? We have (or will soon) an interface that allows you to upload your files to our server.


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

This page was last modified on Friday 01st September 2017 @ 09:20am

Science Mission Directorate Universe Division

Responsible SSU Personnel:

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

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