The MASTER-II network of robotic optical telescopes. First results
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Gorbovskoy, E.S., Lipunov, V.M., Kornilov, V.G. et al. Astron. Rep. (2013) 57: 233. doi:10.1134/S1063772913040033
The main stages in the creation of the Russian segment of the MASTER network of robotic telescopes is described. This network is designed for studies of the prompt optical emission of gammaray bursts (GRBs; optical emission synchronous with the gamma-ray radiation) and surveys of the sky aimed at discovering uncataloged objects and photometric studies for various programs. The first results obtained by the network, during its construction and immediately after its completion in December 2010, are presented. Eighty-nine alert pointings at GRBs (in most cases, being the first ground telescopes to point at the GRBs) were made from September 2006 through July 2011. The MASTER network holds first place in the world in terms of the total number of first pointings, and currently more than half of first pointings at GRBs by ground telescopes are made by the MASTER network. Photometric light curves of GRB 091020, GRB 091127, GRB 100901A, GRB 100906A, GRB 10925A, GRB 110106A, GRB 110422A, and GRB 110530A are presented. It is especially important that prompt emission was observed for GRB 100901A and GRB 100906A, and thar GRB 091127, GRB 110422A, and GRB 110106A were observed from the first seconds in two polarizations. Very-wide-field cameras carried out synchronous observations of the prompt emission of GRB 081102, GRB 081130B, GRB 090305B, GRB 090320B, GRB 090328, and GRB 090424. Discoveries of Type Ia supernovae are ongoing (among them the brightest supernova in 2009): 2008gy, 2009nr, 2010V, and others. In all, photometry of 387 supernovae has been carried out, 43 of which were either discovered or first observed with MASTER telescopes; more than half of these are Type Ia supernovae. Photometric studies of the open clusters NGC 7129 and NGC 7142 have been conducted, leading to the discovery of 38 variable stars. Sixty-nine optical transients have been discovered.