All-Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN)

June 23, 2021

All-Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN)

Image
Payne-Gaposchkin telescope at the Las Cumbres Observatory site in South Africa
Description

The All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN), an Ohio State-led automated telescope network that observes the entire sky every night, has received a five-year, $1.5 million grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The grant will help fund continued ASAS-SN operations through August 2026, guaranteeing its all-encompassing surveys continue providing images and data to support and inform research spanning all branches of astronomy.

“It remains the only project in optical light that actually observes the whole sky frequently,” said ASAS-SN co-principal investigator Kris Stanek, professor and University Distinguished Scholar in the Department of Astronomy.

ASAS-SN consists of 20 automated telescopes distributed around the world that combine to compile thousands of images per night to find things up to 50,000 times fainter than the human eye can see. The images are catalogued and compared to previous images of the same patches of sky to look for objects that have changed in brightness — in particular, explosive, transient events. These include exploding stars (supernovae), tidal disruption events where a star is ripped apart by a supermassive black hole and events associated with other probes of the variable sky like neutrinos.

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