The SED machine-fast classification of transient objects

A. Ritter, C. C. Ngeow, N. Konidaris, R. Quimby, S. Ben-Ami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The field of time-domain astronomy is expected to enjoy a golden age during this decade. However, the traditional method for the classification of transient candidates using spectra obtained with medium-to large-aperture telescopes is extremely time consuming and struggling to keep up with the discovery rate. The Spectral Energy Distribution (SED) Machine uses a new approach in order to overcome this shortcoming. It employs a lenslet-based Integral-Field Unit (IFU) with a Field-of-View (FoV) of 26" × 26" and 3,600 hexagonal ~ 0.675" spaxels, as well as a 4-colour Rainbow Camera (RC) for flux calibration. The nearly constant resolution of R≈100 over an extremely wide wavelength range 360-980 nm is sufficient to effectively classify transients. Using off-the-shelf CCD cameras the costs of the instrument are moderate. The SED Machine is currently being tested on the Palomar 60-inch (P60) telescope.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-215
Number of pages7
JournalContributions of the Astronomical Observatory Skalnate Pleso
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014


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