Dr. Andrew Drake

Research Scientist, Center for Advance Computing Research, Caltech

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      Catalina Real-time Transient Survey (CRTS)

      Real-time transient astronomy

      Event based astronomy is assuming an increasingly important role in astronomy as large time-domain surveys such as CRTS, Pan-STARRs, SkyMapper and LSST come online. Surveys such as CRTS are already discovering thousands of transient astronomical sources ranging from Near Earth Asteroids to distant Supernovae.

      Although the primary survey instruments and pipelines for some of these surveys are in place, in order to fully characterize the nature of rapid transient events, automated alerting and follow-up and characterization is a necessity. Such real-time astronomy can now be carried out via tools such as VOEventNet, SkyAlert, and time-domain astronomy archives and classifiaction tools.

      Time-domain astronomy

      The Universe is an ever change place. Time-domain astronomy involves understanding and characterizing the past, current, and future of astronomical sources through synoptic astronomical surveys.

      White Dwarf Exoplanets

      Over the last 10 years the search for planets like our own has grown to become a major research area in astronomy. However, ground-based surveys remain limited in their senstivity to Earth-size planets. One prospect is the search for such planets around evolved white dwarf stars, where a planet the size of Earth could becoming detectable by creating total eclipses of its companion star.