New research opportunities with GROWTH for the Astrophysics Research Institute

The Astrophysics Research Institute (ARI) has been named as an official partner in the GROWTH (Global Relay of Observatories Watching Transients Happen) scientific collaboration, setting up exciting research opportunities in a range of areas to tell us more about the Universe, from time domain astrophysics to fast-changing events in the cosmos like supernovae, neutron stars, black hole mergers, and near-earth asteroids.

GROWTH is led by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and works through the coordinated efforts of international teams and facilities to continuously gather data of cosmic transient events in the first 24 hours after detection to build a more complete picture and better understand the physical processes of their evolution. This includes discovery engines such as the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).

The Liverpool Telescope (LT), operated by the ARI will also join the GROWTH global network of observatories providing additional follow-up resources for the search of electromagnetic counterpart to gravitational wave sources.

Students and young researchers can also benefit from being part of the GROWTH Graduate/Postdoc Exchange Program and the Summer Research Program, designed for undergraduates. Last year, Caltech student Kit Chinetti spent her summer at the ARI working with Dr Matt Darnley and Professor Paolo Mazzali on discovery and classification of novae in the Andromeda Galaxy. During the summer project, she discovered a nova in the outskirts of Andromeda galaxy and wrote her first post to the Astronomer’s Telegram (ATel) – an online platform for announcements of discoveries of transient events to the global astronomical community.