2 April 2012
Observers Stefano Valenti (of INAF, Padova, Italy) and Sandra Benitez (of MPA, Garching, Germany) targeted promising supernova candidates, discovered mainly by the La Silla-Quest ( LSQ) survey, and managed to confirm and classify 18 of these as bona-fide supernovae. As PESSTO is a public survey, the classifications have already been pushed] to the astronomical community and the data made [[http://www.pessto.org/pessto/data.html | publicly available via the aptly named WISEASS database.
PESSTO uses the EFOSC2 (optical) and SOFI (NIR) spectrographs onboard the NTT and aims to classify 2000 supernovae in its 4-5 years of operations. It is one of two currently running public spectroscopic surveys at ESO. The PESSTO survey relies on other partnered 'feeder' surveys to discover fresh supernova candidates that it can then confirm, classify and also follow in detail if they are deemed peculiar or interesting. The feeder surveys include La Silla-Quest, Pan-STARRS1, CHASE and eventually SkyMapper when it begins full survey operations.
To read more about PESSTO and follow its progress please browse over to http://www.pessto.org.