The zwicky transient facility: Science objectives

Matthew J. Graham, S. R. Kulkarni, Eric C. Bellm, Scott M. Adams, Cristina Barbarino, Nadejda Blagorodnova, Dennis Bodewits, Bryce Bolin, Patrick R. Brady, S. Bradley Cenko, Chan Kao Chang, Michael W. Coughlin, K. Kishalay De, Gwendolyn Eadie, Tony L. Farnham, Ulrich Feindt, Anna Franckowiak, Christoffer Fremling, Suvi Gezari, Shaon GhoshDaniel A. Goldstein, V. Zach Golkhou, Ariel Goobar, Anna Y.Q. Ho, Daniela Huppenkothen, Željko Ivezić, R. Lynne Jones, Mario Juric, David L. Kaplan, Mansi M. Kasliwal, Michael S.P. Kelley, Thomas Kupfer, Chien De Lee, Hsing Wen Lin, Ragnhild Lunnan, Ashish A. Mahabal, Adam A. Miller, Chow Choong Ngeow, Peter Nugent, Eran O. Ofek, Thomas A. Prince, Ludwig Rauch, Jan Van Roestel, Steve Schulze, Leo P. Singer, Jesper Sollerman, Francesco Taddia, Lin Yan, Quan Zhi Ye, Po Chieh Yu, Tom Barlow, James Bauer, Ron Beck, Justin Belicki, Rahul Biswas, Valery Brinnel, Tim Brooke, Brian Bue, Mattia Bulla, Rick Burruss, Andrew Connolly, John Cromer, Virginia Cunningham, Richard Dekany, Alex Delacroix, Vandana Desai, Dmitry A. Duev, Michael Feeney, David Flynn, Sara Frederick, Avishay Gal-Yam, Matteo Giomi, Steven Groom, Eugean Hacopians, David Hale, George Helou, John Henning, David Hover, Lynne A. Hillenbrand, Justin Howell, Tiara Hung, David Imel, Wing Huen Ip, Edward Jackson, Shai Kaspi, Stephen Kaye, Marek Kowalski, Emily Kramer, Michael Kuhn, Walter Landry, Russ R. Laher, Peter Mao, Frank J. Masci, Serge Monkewitz, Patrick Murphy, Jakob Nordin, Maria T. Patterson, Bryan Penprase, Michael Porter, Umaa Rebbapragada, Dan Reiley, Reed Riddle, Mickael Rigault, Hector Rodriguez, Ben Rusholme, Jakob Van Santen, David L. Shupe, Roger M. Smith, Maayane T. Soumagnac, Robert Stein, Jason Surace, Paula Szkody, Scott Terek, Angela Van Sistine, Sjoert Van Velzen, W. Thomas Vestrand, Richard Walters, Charlotte Ward, Chaoran Zhang, Jeffry Zolkower

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474 Scopus citations


The Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), a public–private enterprise, is a new time-domain survey employing a dedicated camera on the Palomar 48-inch Schmidt telescope with a 47 deg2 field of view and an 8 second readout time. It is well positioned in the development of time-domain astronomy, offering operations at 10% of the scale and style of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) with a single 1-m class survey telescope. The public surveys will cover the observable northern sky every three nights in g and r filters and the visible Galactic plane every night in g and r. Alerts generated by these surveys are sent in real time to brokers. A consortium of universities that provided funding (“partnership”) are undertaking several boutique surveys. The combination of these surveys producing one million alerts per night allows for exploration of transient and variable astrophysical phenomena brighter than r∼20.5 on timescales of minutes to years. We describe the primary science objectives driving ZTF, including the physics of supernovae and relativistic explosions, multi-messenger astrophysics, supernova cosmology, active galactic nuclei, and tidal disruption events, stellar variability, and solar system objects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number078001
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number1001
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • (galaxies:) quasars: general
  • supernovae: general
  • surveys


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