Mary, a pipeline to aid discovery of optical transients

I. Andreoni*, C. Jacobs, T. Pritchard, S. Ryder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The ability to quickly detect transient sources in optical images and trigger multi-wavelength follow up is key for the discovery of fast transients. These include events rare and difficult to detect such as kilonovae, supernova shock breakout, and ‘orphan’ Gamma-ray Burst afterglows. We present the Mary pipeline, a (mostly) automated tool to discover transients during high-cadenced observations with the Dark Energy Camera at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO). The observations are part of the ‘Deeper Wider Faster’ programme, a multi-facility, multi-wavelength programme designed to discover fast transients, including counterparts to Fast Radio Bursts and gravitational waves. Our tests of the Mary pipeline on Dark Energy Camera images return a false positive rate of ~2.2% and a missed fraction of ~3.4% obtained in less than 2 min, which proves the pipeline to be suitable for rapid and high-quality transient searches. The pipeline can be adapted to search for transients in data obtained with imagers other than Dark Energy Camera.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere037
Number of pages14
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of Australia
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Gravitational waves
  • Methods: data analysis
  • novae, cataclysmic variables
  • supernovae: general
  • techniques: image processing


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