WINTER – An IR Survey Telescope For Gravitational Wave Follow-up (speakers: Danielle Frostig And Nathan Lourie (MIT/MKI) — GRITTS 2/12/2020

Wednesday February 12, 2020 4:00 pm
NW22 LIGO interaction area

LIGO’s fourth observing (O4) run is expected to find approximately one binary neutron star (BNS) merger per month and at least one neutron star black hole (NSBH) merger per year. Models predict that visible-wavelength optical counterparts will not always be present during a neutron star merger, but infrared (IR) emission should be present after all BNS mergers and potentially in NSBH events for a week or more, regardless of geometry, opacity, or mass ratio. The Wide-Field Infrared Transient Explorer (WINTER)—currently under construction at MKI—will perform the first seeing-limited, infrared time-domain survey. WINTER operates in the near IR, 0.9 – 1.7 microns, to study r-process nucleosythnesis in gravitational wave events and other IR transients. By tiling six InGaAs detectors, WINTER observes 1.19 x 1.02 degrees per pointing, covering the full LIGO O4 positional error contour to a distance of 190 MPc within four hours. In this talk, we present the instrument design, plans for integration with a 1-meter telescope (currently in building 37), and plans for commissioning and operations at Palomar Observatory. We are excited to share with you the new instrumentation under development at MIT and the unique collaborations it can bring.


Event Contact

Carl-Johan Haster