All posts by Nicholas Law

Physics and Astronomy

Summer AAS Presentations

We’re highlighting the ongoing Argus prototypes and Evryscope results at AAS 2022:

Hank Corbett: The sky at one terabit per second: the Argus Hierarchical Data Processing System

Amy Glazier: searching for exoplanet aurorae with Evryscope and SOAR

Alan Vasquez Soto; Argus Optical Array Motion Control: tracking the entire sky with a large single-dome array telescope


Ramses Gonzalez: The Hercules Mount
Shouldering the Weight of the Argus Array

Lawrence Machia; How to pamper your optics: Climate Cintrol for the Argus Optical Array

Nathan Galliher; ArgusSpec: an Autonomous Fast-Slew Spectrograph designed for rapid flare followup

 

Argus Pathfinder starts major construction!

We have begun the construction of Argus Pathfinder, the 1/3-scale prototype of the Argus Array. The 38-telescope prototype is being mounted into two shipping containers, which will undergo testing at our off-campus test facility in Chapel Hill before being deployed in the Appalachian Mountains this summer.

Argus Pathfinder, following on from the Argus Technology Demonstrator test platform, will validate the Argus tracking, thermal control and enclosure concepts, as well as performing a deep every-night survey of the Northern sky.

New paper on the Argus Array, the next generation Evryscope

The Argus Array, being developed by the Law group at UNC Chapel Hill, is a large (5m-aperture-equivalent) telescope consisting of 900 moderate-aperture, off-the-shelf telescopes multiplexed into a common hemispherical dome. The prototype, the Argus Pathfinder, will demonstrate the Argus concept and observe each part of the sky for nine minutes at high cadence each night.

See our new paper about large all-sky telescope arrays and the Argus Array!

We are actively building the science team for the system; please contact us (nmlaw@physics.unc.edu) if you’re interested!

Amy Glazier selected for NASA Exoexplorers

Evryscope graduate student Amy Glazier has been selected for the inaugural cohort of NASA’s Exoplanet Explorers program! One of ten early-career scientists selected nationally for the program, Amy will join the NASA ExoExplorers team, present her research to the exoplanet community, and learn from the experiences of established exoplanet researchers around the nation.

Evryscope at AAS 2021

R. Gonzalez
Session 124. (iPoster-Plus Session) — Stellar Rotation, Variability, and Flares
124.08. Automating Superflare Spectroscopy with Evryscope and SOAR

N. Law
235.02. The Argus Array: the Deep Sky Every Minute

A. F. Vasquez Soto
Session 405 – (Oral Session) — The Sun and The Solar System
405.09. A First Look at Earth’s Orbital Space Measured with the Evryscopes
January 14, 2021, 1:20 PM – 1:30 PM

H. Corbett
Session 509 – (Oral Session) — Supernovae 3
509.08. Orbital Foregrounds for Ultra-Short Duration Transients
January 15, 2021, 1:20 PM – 1:30 PM

W. S. Howard
Session 515 – (Oral Session) — Stellar Rotation and Flares 2
515.03 D. Investigating exoplanet habitability and the stellar magnetism of cool stars across half the Southern sky via superflares, starspots, and stellar rotation.
January 15, 2021, 12:20 PM – 12:40 PM

N. Galliher
Session 515 – (Oral Session) — Stellar Rotation and Flares 2
515.04. Chasing Young Star Superflares Using the Evryscopes
January 15, 2021, 12:40 PM – 12:50 PM

A. L. Glazier
Session 515 – (Oral Session) — Stellar Rotation and Flares 2
515.05. Constraints on Post Superflare ExoAuroral Emission with SOAR and the Evryscope Fast Transient Engine
January 15, 2021,12:50 PM – 1:00 PM

Evryscope ApJ Letter measures orbital foregrounds for ultra-short duration transients

Reflections from objects in Earth orbit can produce subsecond, star-like optical flashes similar to astrophysical transients. Reflections have historically caused false alarms for transient surveys, but the population has not been systematically studied. In a new ApJ Letter, we report event rates for these orbital flashes using the Evryscope Fast Transient Engine, a low-latency transient detection pipeline for the Evryscopes.

Evryscope and TESS measure the temperatures of dozens of superflares

Ultraviolet light from giant stellar flares can destroy a planet’s habitability. New research from the Evryscope will help astrobiologists understand how much radiation planets experience during superflares and whether life could exist on worlds beyond our solar system.

Super flares are bursts of energy that are 10 to 1,000 times larger than the biggest flares from the Earth’s sun. These flares can bathe a planet in an amount of ultraviolet light huge enough to doom the chances of life surviving there.

We  have for the first time measured the temperature of a large sample of super flares from stars, and the flares’ likely ultraviolet emissions. Our findings, published on arxiv Oct. 5 ahead of print in Astrophysical Journal, will allow researchers to put limits on the habitability of planets that are targets of upcoming planet-finding missions.

See the great popular-press writeups at Space.com and Universe Today (among others).

Five new Evryscope Papers

The Evryscope Team and collaborators have published new papers based on Evryscope data:

EVR-CB-004: An Inflated Hot Subdwarf O Star + Unseen WD Companion in a Compact Binary Discovered with the Evryscope

Evryscope and K2 Constraints on TRAPPIST-1 Superflare Occurrence and Planetary Habitability

Evryscope-South Survey of Upper- and Pre-main Sequence Solar Neighborhood Stars

Multiwavelength Photometry and Progenitor Analysis of the Nova V906 Car

EvryFlare. II. Rotation Periods of the Cool Flare Stars in TESS across Half the Southern Sky

Jeff Ratzloff wins UNC’s Dean’s Distinguished Dissertation Award

We are excited to announce that Jeff Ratzloff, the Evryscope mechanical designer and leader of our compact-objects and fast-transiting-exoplanets programs, has been selected to receive the 2020 Dean’s Distinguished Dissertation Award in the area of Mathematics, Physical Sciences & Engineering. The Dean’s Distinguished Dissertation Award recognizes the highest level of graduate student scholarship at UNC Chapel Hill; there is one award in physical sciences and mathematics each year.

Evryscope @ AAS 2020

The Evryscope team are presenting new surveys and results @ AAS 2020:

Hank Corbett talking about his fast transient survey, including EFTE, his minute-cadence all-sky transient detection and followup system Surveys and Large Programs I, Jan 5, 2:00pm-2:10pm
Measurement of the Bright and Fast Transient Foreground with the Evryscope Fast Transient Engine
H. Corbett, N. Law, R. Gonzalez, A. Vasquez Soto, J. Ratzloff, W. Howard, A. Glazier, N. Galliher
Amy Glazier, eclipse timing variations survey. Ask her too about her recent paper on superflares from TRAPPIST-1! 170.19. Evryscope Searches for Circumbinary Planets, January 5, 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm.
Alan Vasquez, searching for solar-system moving objects with Evryscope 278.02, A New Near Earth Object Survey using the Evryscopes, Jan. 6 5:30-6:30.
Nathan Galliher, young star variability with Evryscope 110.22. Evryscope-South Survey of Young Upper-main and Pre-main Sequence Solar Neighborhood Stars, January 5, 9:00 am – 10:00 am

New papers exploring hot-subdwarf planets and common-envelope evolution

Two new papers from the Evryscope team detail the results of the Evryscope hot subdwarf binary and planet transit surveys:

Hot Subdwarf All Southern Sky Fast Transit Survey with the Evryscope (AJ 2020, in press)
Ratzloff, Jeffrey K.; Barlow, Brad N.; Nemeth, Peter; Corbett, Henry T.; Walser, Stephen; Galliher, Nathan W.; Glazier, Amy; Howard, Ward S.; Law, Nicholas M.

EVR-CB-001: An Evolving, Progenitor, White Dwarf Compact Binary Discovered with the Evryscope (ApJ 2019, 883 51R)
Ratzloff, Jeffrey K.; Barlow, Brad N.; Kupfer, Thomas; Corcoran, Kyle A.; Geier, Stephan; Bauer, Evan; Corbett, Henry T.; Howard, Ward S.; Glazier, Amy; Law, Nicholas M.

Several more results from this survey, which has found dozens of multiple-star systems in this mysterious phase of stellar evolution, are under review.

Three new Evryscope papers!

EvryFlare I: Long-term Evryscope Monitoring of Flares from the Cool Stars Across Half the Southern Sky (submitted to AJ)
Howard, Ward S.; Corbett, Hank; Law, Nicholas M.; Ratzloff, Jeffrey K.; Glazier, Amy L.; Fors, Octavi; del Ser, Daniel; Haislip, Joshua

Variables in the Southern Polar Region Evryscope 2016 Dataset (accepted to PASP)
Ratzloff, Jeffrey K.; Corbett, Henry T.; Law, Nicholas M.; Barlow, Brad N.; Glazier, Amy; Howard, Ward S.; Fors, Octavi; del Ser, Daniel; Trifonov, Trifon 

Building the Evryscope: Hardware Design and Performance (accepted to PASP)
Jeffrey K. Ratzloff, Nicholas M. Law, Octavi Fors, Henry T. Corbett, Ward S. Howard, Daniel del Ser, Joshua Haislip

Evryscope @ AAS Winter 2019

The Evryscope team and collaborators are presenting talks and posters about Evryscope science results and papers at the AAS winter meeting:

Overview project-status and science-result iPoster, viewable every day in the poster sessions (official session is Wednesday evening), and online.

10am Tuesday (Terrestrial Planets and Habitability; 203.01):

Evryscope flares as probes of the space weather environments of Proxima b and the nearest rocky exoplanets (Ward Howard)

Tuesday posters (Extrasolar Planets: Characterization & Theory; 247.05):

Evryscope and K2 Constraints on TRAPPIST-1 Superflare Occurrence and Planetary Habitability
(Amy Glazier)

Wednesday posters (Surveys and Large Programs; 363.11):

All-sky rapid transient searches with the Evryscope network (Hank Corbett)

Wednesday posters (Variable Stars; 360.16):

Evryscope Observations of Post-Common-Envelope Hot Subdwarf Systems (Kyle Corcoran)

2pm Thursday (Extrasolar Planets: Detection – Transit and Microlensing Searches):

Fast Cadence Planet-searches with the All-sky, Gigapixel-scale Evryscope (Jeffrey Ratzloff)

Thursday posters (Stars In All Their Glory; 464.03):

Evryscope Photometry of the New Hot Subdwarf Reflection Effect Binary EC 01578-1743 (Stephen Walser)