The Gravitational-wave Optical Transient Observer (GOTO)

Martin J. Dyer, Danny Steeghs, Duncan K. Galloway, Vik S. Dhillon, Paul O'Brien, Gavin Ramsay, Kanthanakorn Noysena, Enric Pallé, Rubina Kotak, Rene Breton, Laura Nuttall, Don Pollacco, Krzysztof Ulaczyk, Joseph Lyman, Kendall Ackley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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The Gravitational-wave Optical Transient Observer (GOTO) is a wide-field telescope project focused on detecting optical counterparts to gravitational-wave sources. GOTO uses arrays of 40 cm unit telescopes (UTs) on a shared robotic mount, which scales to provide large fields of view in a cost-effective manner. A complete GOTO mount uses 8 unit telescopes to give an overall field of view of 40 square degrees, and can reach a depth of 20th magnitude in three minutes. The GOTO-4 prototype was inaugurated with 4 unit telescopes in 2017 on La Palma, and was upgraded to a full 8-telescope array in 2020. A second 8-UT mount will be installed on La Palma in early 2021, and another GOTO node with two more mount systems is planned for a southern site in Australia. When complete, each mount will be networked to form a robotic, dual-hemisphere observatory, which will survey the entire visible sky every few nights and enable rapid follow-up detections of transient sources.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProc. SPIE 11445, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes VIII
EditorsHeather K. Marshall, Jason Spyromilio, Tomonori Usuda
PublisherSPIE Press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781510636781
ISBN (Print)9781510636774
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2020
EventSPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2020 - Online only, United States
Duration: 14 Dec 202018 Dec 2020

Publication series

NameProc. SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceSPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • astro-ph.IM
  • gr-qc
  • RCUK
  • STFC
  • ST/T007184/1
  • ST/T003103/1
  • telescopes
  • gravitational waves
  • transient follow-up
  • sky surveys
  • multi-site observatories


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