GOTO-South forms part of an international network of wide-field optical telescopes to detect counterparts of gravitational-wave events.

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Duncan Galloway

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The Gravitational-wave Optical Transient Observer (GOTO) project consists of a network of wide-field telescopes on a single mount, designed to promptly cover the large source regions on the sky that accompany detections of gravitational waves with LIGO and Virgo.

An initial prototype phase using a single mount with 4 telescope units made observations from the Roque de los Muchachos observatory on La Palma from 2017 onwards, including throughout the 3rd LIGO/Virgo observing period (O3).  The second (and current) phase included deployment of an upgraded full-scale instrument at the La Palma site, as well as a second deployment in Australia, at Siding Spring Observatory, from 2023 onwards.

The network is managed by an international consortium including Warwick University, Monash University, Sheffield University, Leicester University, Armagh Observatory & Planetarium, Manchester University, the University of Turku, University of Portsmouth, the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT), and the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC). We acknowledge the support of the consortium institutions, as well as the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the Monash-Warwick Alliance.

Visit goto-observatory for more details.


  • Each instrument consists of an array of 8x40cm f/2.5 optical telescope assemblies (OTAs) on a single mount.
  • Each node consists of two instruments totalling 16 OTAs per site. Each OTA is provided with an FLI 50Mpix Microline camera, 1.25"/pixel, field of view 2.8x2.1deg.
  • The combined field of view of each instrument is approximately 40 square degrees, for a total of 160 square degrees over the two sites.
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