Palomar Transit Factory
PTF • Missions & Center • Operational
The Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) is a fully-automated, wide-field survey aimed at a systematic exploration of the optical transient sky.
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. Photometric followup is undertaken by the automated Palomar 1.5-m telescope 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 60s the survey reaches an approximate depth of mR=20.5 and mg'=21.
Two major transient detection experiments are planned for the five-year project:
- a 5-day cadence supernova search
- 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.
IPAC is responsible for the data processing and archiving for PTF.