The LCO Outbursting Objects Key Project Overview and Year 1 Status

LOOK Collaboration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The LCO Outbursting Objects Key (LOOK) Project uses the telescopes of the Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) Network to: (1) to systematically monitor a sample of Dynamically New Comets over the whole sky, and (2) use alerts from existing sky surveys to rapidly respond to and characterize detected outburst activity in all small bodies. The data gathered on outbursts helps to characterize each outburst's evolution with time, assess the frequency and magnitude distribution of outbursts in general, and contributes to the understanding of outburst processes and volatile distribution in the Solar System. The LOOK Project exploits the synergy between current and future wide-field surveys such as ZTF, PanSTARRS, and LSST as well as rapid-response telescope networks such as LCO, and serves as an excellent testbed for what will be needed the much larger number of objects coming from Rubin Observatory. We will describe the LOOK Project goals, the planning and target selection (including the use of NEOexchange as a Target and Observation Manager or "TOM"), and results from the first phase of observations, including the detection of activity and outbursts on the giant comet C/2014 UN271 (Bernardinelli-Bernstein) and the discovery and follow-up of outbursts on comets. Within these outburst discoveries, we present a high cadence of 7P/Pons-Winnecke with days, a large outburst on 57P/duToit-Neujmin-Delporte, and evidence that comet P/2020 X1 (ATLAS) was in outburst when discovered.
Original languageEnglish
Article number173
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalThe Planetary Science Journal
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • astro-ph.EP
  • astro-ph.IM


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