The Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia ( Spain ) has completed the deployment of the BOOTES (Burst Observer and Optical Transient Exploring System) network, the first network of robotic telescopes with stations on five continents. This was reported in a press release on Phys.org.
The main goal of the BOOTES network is to quickly and autonomously observe the so-called transient sources (transients) – astrophysical objects that do not emit constant light, but flare up for a short time, releasing a large amount of radiant energy. The network of telescopes is also capable of quickly detecting satellites, space debris and objects such as comets and asteroids.
BOOTES has already been used to make detailed observations of GRBs, from the first seconds to the last phases, which has improved the models that describe the mechanisms of these high-energy phenomena. So, one of the observatories of the network observed in 2017 an event known as GW170817, which was the first ever detection of an electromagnetic analogue of a gravitational wave. This made it possible for the first time to conduct a simultaneous study of light and gravitational waves and opened a new era in astronomical observations.
In 2020, BOOTES has already contributed to the identification of the source of very short radio bursts in the Milky Way. It is assumed that it is a magnetar – a neutron star with a very strong magnetic field.