LCOGT 1m telescope time for PESSTO

Overview and time purchased 

We have purchased 100hrs of 1m time at LCOGT running 1st May 2014 - 30th April 2015 for PESSTO use. This was funded jointly by Queen's (Smartt), Southampton (Sullivan) and Weizmann (Gal-Yam)  : $25,000 total for the 100hrs. The time is for general PESSTO use, and these funders should be credited with co-authorship on papers that use the data. 

We have now purchased at further 100hrs of 1m time at LCOGT running 1st May 2015 - 30th April 2016 for PESSTO use.

Which targets can ask a trigger?

The following guidelines apply to targets triggered with LCOGT:

- Maximum 5 hours per object (including overhead time, ~30-45% of total exposure)

- Maximum 3 filters per target (unless there is a compelling scientific reason to do otherwise) 

- Default filters gri (unless there is a compelling scientific reason to do otherwise). 

- Objects not followed once they are fainter than ~20th mag (when fainter, you can use EFOSC2)

- Southern hemisphere only (as we have other facilities in the north)

The above can only be over-ridden with the approval of Stephen/Mark/Kate as is the case for designating objects as follow-up targets in the first place.

[NEWS! 15/March/2016New LCOGT Data Reduction Pipeline

LCOGT are testing and deploying a new data reduction pipeline. The new pipeline is being developed in-house, and its main advantage is that it will be easier to adapt and support than ORAC-DR. It should be faster, too. They expect to begin processing all incoming frames with the new pipeline by the start of the 2016A semester. Subsequently, they will reprocess all archived frames back to May 1, 2016.

[NEWS! 15/March/2016Replacing Sinistro Cameras on 

The 1-meter telescope in Dome A at Siding Spring was fitted with a Sinistro camera on October 13. The 1-meter telescope in Dome C at Sutherland was fitted with a Sinistro camera on December 13. The commissioning of these new cameras has been arduous, and unfortunately, these cameras simply do not perform as well in the field as they did on the test telescope in Santa Barbara. The commissioning team has decided to replace these two cameras with the next two Sinistros that are available in the lab.

[NEWS! 1/Sep/2015SBIG and Sinistro Cameras update

The LCOGT network plans to switch the SBIG cameras with the newer Sinistro ones. This is planned to happen during the forthcoming year. As a result, we need to update our observing strategy, regarding reference images for each SN. With this in mind, we ask the PIs to add to the requirement form (see below) whether the host galaxy is visible, so that we can trigger accordingly.

[NEWS! 27/Aug/2015] Zero points and colour term of LCOGT-1m telescopes

Thanks to Stefano Valenti. 

This table is a part of Stefano's on-going paper. If you use this table, please add a citation to his paper. 

The reference info will show up when we have it!

(click the table below to see with a high resolution).

[NEWS! 10/Feb/2015Collaboration with LCOGT SN Key project 

For science PIs, please request an account on SNEx (the SN Exchange) at:

SNEx is the LCOGT marshall for their SN Key project, within which one can trigger LCOGT time either with Key Project time or our own PESSTO purchased time :

In the homepage, search for your target, and you will see a subpage of the SN.

Please add a comment: "PI's (your) name in charge for PESSTO" if it hasn't been added.

In the "Calibrated Photometry" plot, you will see all the points observing by LCOGT, using both LCOGT SN key project time and PESSTO purchased time. Please consider your observation plan based on this plot. We would like to use our PESSTO time to fill the LCOGT SN key project gap, and additional filters that suitable for your science. If the LCOGT SN key project has already covered a good photometry follow-up, we do not suggest you to trigger PESSTO time.


All trigger MUST be sent to, in order to control the total time spent. Science PIs do NOT send your own triggers using the SNEx page. The people responsible for triggering the targets are Giacomo (Queen's) and Giorgos (Southampton).

How to send a trigger?

Please send your requirement to the e-mail address:  

with the following information:

  1. Object name: 
  2. SciencePI name:
  3. RA: 
  4. DEC: 
  5. Current mag:
  6. Is there any host galaxy?
  7. Requested cadence:
  8. Filters (gri in presumptions) and exposure time 
  9. SN type:
  10. Expected magnitude evolution (if known) eg brightening, fading, fast-evolving, slow-evolving, etc..

Two notes:

  1. Emailing with a trigger request is not sufficient. The request must be sent to
  2. It is the science PI's job (or his/her delegate) to monitor the data to ensure that an object is being detected at the required S/N. If it becomes clear that the Science PI is not doing this (ie many observations of non-detections) then that Science PI may not be permitted to trigger in the future.

After sending a trigger?

Please trace your photometry follow-up on the SNEx webpage, in the "Calibrated Photometry" plot.

Data access 

The LCOGT Data Archive

Beginning with the start of the 2016A semester, LCOGT data products will be stored in a new in-house archive. All data has been ingested back to May 1, 2014. The authentication system is the same as the one for the observatory portal. 


We can now access data through SNeX. To do so:

1. navigate to the SNeX login page and sign-in with your individual username and password.

2. search for your object via the search box

3. select the 'batch download' button in the top navigation bar:

Note, before data was available on SNeX (May 2015), data was stored in a private area of the PESSTO pages:


Any scientific publication which result from the use of LCOGT facilities should include an acknowledgment of this support:

"This work makes use of observations from the LCOGT network."

If appropriate you may also consider citing our paper which defines the goals, capabilities and research interests of LCOGT.

"Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network", Brown, T. M. et al.,  Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 2013, Volume 125, issue 931, pp.1031-1055

Standard stars  

LCOGT observe standards almost every night, from different observing sites of the network and in various filters and cameras. It does not consume our purchased time. In order to download images, navigate to the desired standard field through SNeX and download the corresponding images at the same way as you would download the science images. A list of standard fields observed is:

  • L113
  • L101
  • SA109
  • L94
  • L95
  • RU149
  • SA95
Note, up until now, it is the PI's responsibility to find and acquire the relevant images, depending on the observing site, filter, epoch and camera.

LCOGT Exposure Time Calculator

Rota of people responsible for monitoring 
  • 2015 August 01 to 2015 September 01

            Primary person: Giacomo Terreran

            Secondary person: Giorgos Dimitriadis       

  • History record (outdated):
    • 2015 February
      • Giorgos looks after ASASSN-15be, PESSTOESO154-G10, ASASSN-15ba, ASASSN-14lw.
      • Janet looks after ASASSN-14ha, PSNJ13124116+1236018, ASASSN-14ko, ASASSN-15bd.
    • 2014 December 13 to 2015 January 31 (Primary person: Giorgos Dimitriadis, Secondary person: Janet Chen)
      • Giorgos looks after ASASSN-14lw (PI: Sullivan), ASASSN-15bd (PI: Steve Schulze), PSNJ13124116+1236018 (PI: Lina Tomasella), ASASSN-15ba (PI: Mike Childress), ASASSN-15be (PI: Kate Maguire).
    • 2014 November 7 to 2014 December 12 (Primary person: Janet Chen, Secondary person: Giorgos Dimitriadis)
      • Janet looks after ASASSN-14ko (PI: Mattila), PSNJ09204691-0803340 (PI: Harmanen), ASASSN-14kp (PI: Anderson), LSQ14gfb (PI: Gonzalez-Gaitan), OGLE-2014-SN-073 (PI:Terreran)
      • Giorgos looks after PESSTOESO154-G10 (PI: Dimitriadis)
    • 2014 October 16 to 2014 November 6 (Primary person: Giorgos Dimitriadis, Secondary person: Janet Chen)
      • Giorgos looks after LSQ14fxj (PI: Cosimo Inserra). 
    • 2014 September 15 to 2014 October 15 (Primary person: Giorgos Dimitriadis, Secondary person: Janet Chen)
      • Giorgos looks after ASASSN-14hu (PI: Kate Maguire).
    • 2014 August 15 to 2014 September 15 (Primary person: Janet Chen, Secondary person: Giorgos Dimitriadis)
      • Janet looks after ASASSN-14ha (PI: Morgan Fraser).

Useful Information from LCOGT about the Sinistro cameras

Our new Sinistro cameras are now available for science use, offering a wider field of view over our existing SBIGs.  The Sinistro cameras are currently available at our Chilean site only - we plan to commissioning more Sinistros at South Africa and Australia soon.  We will send updates on that process nearer the time.

You can find more information on these cameras, including the results of our commissioning studies, on our website at:

We will be continuing to monitor and characterize the performance of these cameras during the semester.  The commissioning documentation will be updated as more results become available, so we recommend that you refer to the website.

There are a couple of features users need to be aware of with these instruments:

  • * The Sinistro and SBIG cameras are currently scheduled separately - that is, if you need observations from Chile plus another site, you will need to enter separate observation requests.
  • * Their performance has been optimized in bin 1x1 mode.  We strongly recommend that you select this binning for your Sinistro observations (avoiding the default of bin 2x2).
  • * Sinistro images are composed of four quadrants due to the 4-amplifier readout.  The quadrants join in the center of the frame, so your target is likely to fall on a quadrant boundary.  Users may wish to avoid this by offseting their pointing slightly.
  • * We recently optimized the gain configuration of these cameras to improve data quality.  While these means the cameras can remain stable for the whole semester, it unfortunately means that our library of flat fields in different filters will now have to be re-built as new data come in.  This will result in a delay in Sinistro data becoming available through the IPAC archive.  We will process the data as soon as possible.

Help manual 

Getting started with triggering the LCOGT telescopes : GettingStarted.pdf

Getting started with triggering with SNEx : Using_SNEx.pdf

Stephen Smartt,
6 May 2014, 12:16
Ting-Wan Chen,
10 Feb 2015, 08:02