The Catalina Real-Time Transient Survey (CRTS)


Catalina Real-Time Transient Survey (CRTS) is a synoptic sky survey uses data streams from 3 wide-field telescopes in Arizona and Australia, covering the total area of ~30,000 deg2, down to the limiting magnitudes ~ 20 - 21 mag per exposure, with time baselines from 10 min to 6 years (and growing); there are now typically ~ 200 - 300 exposures per pointing, and coadded images reach deeper than 23 mag. The basic goal of CRTS is a systematic exploration and characterization of the faint, variable sky. The survey has detected ~ 3,000 high-amplitude transients to date, including ~ 1,000 supernovae, hundreds of CVs (the majority of them previously uncatalogued), and hundreds of blazars / OVV AGN, highly variable and flare stars, etc. CRTS has a complete open data philosophy: all transients are published immediately electronically, with no proprietary period at all, and all of the data (images, light curves) will be publicly available in the near future, thus benefiting the entire astronomical community. CRTS is a scientific and technological testbed and precursor for the grander synoptic sky surveys to come.