Detecting supernovae with the Lasair alert broker
The discovery of young supernovae is a key science aim of LSST, so that a specialist instrument (spectrograph) can be directed as soon as possible, giving information close to the time of explosion, and allowing exploration of the supernova over its entire lifetime of weeks to months. LSST:UK will build a broker, called Lasair, for LSST transients for purposes such as this.
Figure 1: a screenshot from the prototype Lasair event broker showing (left) the lightcurve that led to the detection of SN 2019rqd and (right) an image of its host galaxy with the position of the supernova marked.
LSST is not yet observing; the picture above shows data from the prototype that uses data from the ZTF survey. The fingerprint of a supernova is a bright transient in a galaxy, that gets brighter with time. Once such a transient is observed, it is it is automatically queued for spectroscopic classification and followup.