The Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) is a fully-automated, wide-field survey aimed at a systematic exploration of the optical transient sky.

Spectroscopically confirmed supernova discoveries (as of today)
Access public spectra (WISeREP)


PTF papers

64 (list of papers)
 

Recent News

February 2013: PTF discovers an outburst from a massive star 40days before a supernova explosion (Nature)

February 2013: The intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF) begins (Atel #4807)

January 2013: PTF discovers its first comet (PALOMAR) and 5 others await confirmation

July 2012: PTF discovers a type-Ia SN with a Symbiotic Nova Progenitor (Science)

September 2011: Come to Caltech and see a supernova with your own eyes!

September 2011: PTF11kly on PBS Newshour!

August 2011: PTF11fzx is the centrepiece of the Galaxy Zoo forum's Object of the Day - PTF10ops is also discussed here.

August 2011: PTF11kly is the Astronomy Picture of the Day

August 2011: PTF11kly, the new M101 supernova, in the news: BBC, Telegraph, Nature News, Popular Science, Sky and Telescope, New Scientist, MSNBC, Slashdot, and many others.

August 2011: PTF11kly, the nearest Type 1a supernova seen in decades:

August 2011: Bad Astronomy blog on PTF11kyl.

August 2011: A new supernova in M101! Finding chart is here (North up, East left, crosshairs show supernova).

June 2011: PTF in the news for finding a new class of supernovae: MSNBC, National Geographic, CBC, LA Times, New Scientist, and many others.

June 2011: New PTF Nature paper: Hydrogen-poor superluminous stellar explosions (Quimby et al.)

June 2011: New PTF images

May 2011: Several new papers, including The Subluminous and Peculiar Type Ia Supernova PTF 09dav

Previous news items


The PTF Project

The program is centered on a 12Kx8K, 7.8 square degree CCD array (CFH12K) re-engineered for the 1.2-m Oschin Telescope at Palomar Observatory by COO (Rahmer et al. 2008). Photometric followup is undertaken by the automated Palomar 1.5-m telescope (Cenko et al. 2006) and other facilities provided by consortium members.

PTF uses eighty percent of the 1.2-m and fifty percent of the 1.5-m telescope time. With an exposure of 60-s the survey reaches an approximate depth of m_R=20.5 and m_g'=21.

Two major transient detection experiments are planned for the five-year project:

1) a 5-day cadence supernova search

2) an exotic transient search with cadences between 90 seconds and 1 day.

PTF provides automatic, realtime transient classification and followup, as well as a database including every source detected in each frame.

PTF is a collaboration of Caltech, LBNL, IPAC, Berkeley, LCOGT, Oxford, Columbia and the Weizmann Institute.


Previous news

Jan 2011: Two new papers: PTF 10bzf (SN 2010ah): a broad-line Ic supernova discovered by the PTF and Real-Time Detection and Rapid Multiwavelength Follow-up Observations of a Highly Subluminous Type II-P Supernova from the PTF

Jan 2011: PTF at the AAS

Dec 2010: PTF conference proceedings from Cool Stars 16: PTF/M-dwarfs: A Large New M-dwarf Planetary Transit Survey; The Age-Rotation-Activity Relation: From Myrs to Gyrs; Ultracool Dwarf Science from Widefield Multi-Epoch Surveys

Nov 2010: News about the Supernova Zoo PTF Key Project: Wired.com; Universe Today;The Physics arXiv Blog

Nov 2010: Two new papers: Evidence for an FU Orionis Outburst from a Classical T Tauri Star (ApJ submitted), and An Outbursting Class I Protostar in the Pelican/North American Nebula (ApJ submitted)

Oct 2010: Two new papers: Hubble Space Telescope Studies of Nearby Type Ia Supernovae (ApJL submitted) and Galaxy Zoo Supernovae (MNRAS submitted).

Sep 2010: Rapidly Decaying Supernova 2010X: A Candidate ".Ia" Explosion ApJL submitted

Sep 2010: Palomar Transient Factory Discovery of 5 New Supernovae (ATel #2835)

August 2010: Discovery follow-up of a broad-line type Ic supernova (ATel #2817)

August 2010: PTF Discovery of Three Type II Supernovae (ATel #2802)

August 2010: The early Type Ia Supernovae PTFqjq and PTFqjl (ATel #2776)

July 2010: PTF Discovery of PTF10llv (ATel #2765)

July 2010: PTF discovery of PTF10myz, a type II supernova (ATel #2757)

July 2010: Discovery of a Luminous Supernova, PTF10hgi (ATel #2740)

July 2010: The Early Type Ia Supernovae PTF10nlg and PTF10ndc (ATel #2735)

July 2010: PTF discovery of PTF10ksq, a type II supernova (ATel #2723)

July 2010: The early SN Ia PTF10mwb (ATel #2718)

June 2010: PTF discovery of PTF10htz, a type II supernova (ATel #2685)

June 2010: PTF discovery of PTF10hny, a type II supernova (ATel #2678)

June 2010: PTF discovery of PTF10jop, a strongly interacting supernova (ATel #2676)

June 2010: PTF discovery of PTF10jkx, a type II supernova (ATel #2675)

June 2010: Discovery of Three New Supernova by the Palomar Transient Factory (ATel #2657)

May 2010: PTF discovery of PTF10hif, a type IIn supernova (ATel #2649)

May 2010: Discovery of PTF10heh, a Luminous Type IIn Supernova (ATel #2634)

May 2010: PTF discovery of PTF10hcw, a type Ib supernova (ATel #2631)

May 2010: PTF discovery of a type II SN (ATel #2621)

May 2010: PTF10fqs: A Luminous Red Nova in the Spiral Galaxy Messier 99 (submitted to ApJ)

May 2010: PTF & ROTSE find a young core-collapse supernova (ATel #2603)

May 2010: PTF discovers, follows-up, and spectroscopically classifies a possible super-Chandrasekhar mass supernova, all in the same night! (ATel #2600)

Apr 2010: PTF discovers a Luminous Red Nova in the spiral galaxy M9 (ATel 2590)

Apr 2010: PTF discovers and classifies a Type 1a supernova 13 days before peak brightness (ATel 2580)

Apr 2010: Core-Collapse Supernovae from the Palomar Transient Factory: Indications for a Different Population in Dwarf Galaxies (submitted to ApJ)

Mar 2010: PTF discovers twin supernovae: a core-collapse & a 1a in the same galaxy.

Mar 2010: PTF discovers an extremely young SN 1a (ATel 2453)

Mar 2010: Palomar Transient Factory discovers a young, broad-line Type Ic supernova (ATels 2470, 2471)

October 2009: Mysterious transients unmasked as the bright blue death throes of massive stars submitted to Nature (embargoed for discussion in the press).

August 2009: PTF in the news: 1,2,3,4

29 June 2009: Two new papers: a detailed description of the PTF project and the commissioning results (astro-ph/0906.5350) and a study of the science planned for PTF (astro-ph/0906.5355).

23 May 2009: Discovery, Photometric and Spectroscopic Follow Up Of Another Fifteen Optical Transients (ATel #2055)

28 Apr 2009: The Palomar Transient Factory Discovers a Possible super-Chandrasekhar Type Ia Supernova (ATel #2037)

2 Apr 2009: Another 25 transient detections and followups from PTF (ATel #2005)

22 March 2009: Eleven more transient detections from PTF (ATel #1983)

11 March 2009: The first PTF transient detections! (ATel #1964)

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