The New Robotic Telescope (NRT) is an international, collaborative project to build the world’s largest robotic telescope; the first responder to explosive and rapidly fading sources in the night sky. Combining innovative ideas with 15 years’ experience of autonomous telescope and instrumentation operations, we will create a fully optimised observatory for the future of astronomical studies of transient phenomena.
Our Universe is active, dynamic and variable, with explosive and cataclysmic events happening all around us. The unpredictable nature of these events, coupled with their transience, makes them difficult, but incredibly exciting to study.
Transient phenomena are frequently the manifestation of the most extreme events in the universe: highly energetic processes occuring at extremely high densities, gravity and magnetic and electrical field strengths.
Building on the success of the LT, its 4 metre successor, the New Robotic Telescope (NRT), will focus on robotic, autonomous, fast follow-up of rapidly varying and fading transients, including gravitational wave candidates and new and exciting objects, which are anticipated to be discovered in the new upcoming era of survey telescopes. The next decade will see the commissioning of many major international projects, opening new windows on the time-variable universe. They will make it possible to search wider areas of the sky than ever before, and as such discover new classes of transient and time-variable sources at optical, radio and high-energy Gamma-ray wavelengths and exploiting multi-messenger and particle physics too. There is a critical need for a new 4-metre optical follow-up facility to rapidly respond to such discoveries and make detailed photometric, spectroscopic and polarimetric observations.
The NRT project is an international collaboration between engineering and science partners using innovation and creativity to create a ground-breaking facility for the astronomy community.