980 transients classified by PESSTO so far
215 transients are being followed by PESSTO

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PESSTO the world’s leading classification engine

PESSTO’s science goals have been to study the extremes of the explosive populations being found in large numbers by the most efficient surveys that have ever run. An important part of running the survey is taking a spectrum as quickly as possible after a transient is found and also to release the data, classification, redshift and any important or unusual characteristics. We do this on a daily basis, and nearly always within 12hrs of the end of the Chilean night.

As of January 1, 2016 the Transient Name Server (TNS) has been the official IAU mechanism for reporting new astronomical transients such as supernova candidates. Hosted at the Weizmann Institute of Science, this is a continuation of the IAU naming scheme for supernovae which was handled by the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams until the end of 2015, and has been approved as the official IAU naming scheme by the IAU Executive Committee from 1st January 2016.

The IAU TNS keeps track of all the supernova candidates posted publicly and all spectroscopic classifications. The statistics are available on this page, showing that in the first 9 months of 2016 PESSTO is the leading engine to classify supernovae and report the results promptly to the community. Our results always have a reduced spectrum publicly available on the same rapid timescale, released through WISeREP

Latest update as PESSTO starts its fifth year

PESSTO started its fifth year of operations in August 2016 after being reviewed and recommended for continuation by ESO’s Public Spectroscopic Survey Panel. We have joined the search for the counterparts of gravitational waves, by spectroscopically classifying transients found in the wide-field surveys that search the uncertainty regions of several hundred square degrees e.g. see paper just accepted in ApJ Letters by Smartt et al. 2016. A total of 41 PESSTO papers are in published or submitted and on arXiv, with another 9 due for release in August 2016. A full list of publications are here.

In partnership with Pan-STARRS, PESSTO is classifying transients from the Zooniverse Citizen science project. “Supernova Hunters” review Pan-STARRS detections, picking out the real objects and these are passed to PESSTO for classification. A recent example is the latest “superluminous supernova” discovery (SN2016els) from Pan-STARRS thanks to Zooniverse Citizen Scientists ‘TED91’, ‘nilium’ and ‘voyager1682002’ (announced in Seppo Mattila’s recent Astronomer’s telegram)

a few of the most recent PESSTO papers ...

Early observations of the nearby Type Ia supernova SN 2015F  Cartier, R.; Sullivan, M.; Firth, R. E. et al.
ASASSN-15oi: a rapidly evolving, luminous tidal disruption event at 216 Mpc  Holoien, T. W.-S.; Kochanek, C. S.; Prieto, J. L. et al.
An optical and near-infrared study of the Type Ia/IIn Supernova PS15si  Kilpatrick, Charles D.; Andrews, Jennifer E.; Smith, Nathan et al.