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Session 34 - Real Instruments.
Display session, Tuesday, June 09
The WEB Telescope (WEBT) is a network of optical observers who in concert have the capability to obtain continuous, high-temporal-density, optical monitoring. Because of the longitude diversity of participating observers, it is feasible to obtain continuous optical observations, with observing activity moving from east to west around the world as the Earth rotates. The WEBT web page is ``http://gamma.bu.edu/webt/''. This network was organized to study blazar type AGN. The optical blazar light curves obtained by the WEBT are studied in conjunction with observations at other wavelengths. Correlation analysis with X-ray and \gamma-ray light-curves is of particular interest for an investigation of the continuum emission produced by the relativistic jets of blazars. WEBT observers obtain accurate photometry with CCD cameras using multiple reference stars. The blazars investigated range in brightness from 12th magnitude to 18th. Operating experience and initial results will be presented. Because the operation of the WEBT now requires a significant effort by many observers, the WEBT is only active when data of extreme interest can be obtained. In the future, we expect that it will be worthwhile to operate the WEBT with a larger duty cycle. We expect that the most practical way to do this is to have access to approximately 15 robotic optical telescopes which are primarily dedicated to CCD imaging. These telescopes could be located at existing observing sites where power, occasional maintenance, and an Internet connection could be easily obtained. A coordinated multi-longitude network of optical telescopes also has potential for investigating a number of other phenomena, e.g. gamma-ray burst optical counterparts, asteroseismology, variable stars, microlensing, binary systems.
Program listing for Tuesday