Study of the Dynamical Solar System and Variable Stars in the Ztf Era

Project Details


The beginning of the scientific operations of the Zwicky Transient Facility will usher in an new era of time-domain astronomy. With its field-of-view of 47 sq. deg., ZTF will scan the visible northern sky twice (g+r) a night and the Galactic Plane once a night. This unprecedented capability will provide tremendous impetus to our investigations of the population of super-fast rotating asteroids, the census of the small near-Earth objects with size of 10-100 m, the temporal activities of comets and Centaurs,characterization of the outgassing effect of active asteroids, and the detection of interstellar asteroids like A/2017U1 'Oumuamua". Our research work in the solar system will be complemented by observations from CFHT, Subaru and Pan-Starrs 1/2, all with approved time allocations. For variable stars and binaries, we will use the newly refurbished Robo-AO system to investigage the possible binarities of some exoplanets, and super-flaring G-type stars. The Galactic Plane survey of ZTF combined with the PTF data will be very valuable, especially, in categorizing eclipsing binaries. We will first explore this feasibility by examining photometric data of some nearby star clusters. The ZTF data will be of unique value in the tracing of short-term variabilities of AGNs at different (hour-to-night) time scales.Of equal importance, we will continue the very productive collaborative project in the detection of the gravitational wave/optical counterparts in the framework of the ZTF project.
Effective start/end date1/08/1831/07/20

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


  • Time-domain astronomy
  • ZTF
  • asteroids
  • comets
  • exoplanets
  • variable stars
  • gravitational waves
  • active galactic nuclei.


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