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The Gravitational-wave Optical Transient Observer

The Gravitational-wave Optical Transient Observer (GOTO) project has as its primary objective to identify optical counterparts to gravitational wave events.

GOTO site
The GOTO prototype at Roque de Los Muchachos observatory, La Palma, Canary Islands.


The GOTO project consists of multiple wide-field telescopes on a single mount, necessary to map 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 2017 onwards, including throughout the 3rd LIGO/Virgo observing period (O3), The second phase will deploy a full-scale instrument at the La Palma site, as well as developing a second site in Australia.

The project is a collaboration between Warwick University, Monash University, University of Sheffield, University of Leicester, Armagh Observatory & Planetarium, the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand, University of Turku, University of Portsmouth University of Manchester and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias.