BlackGEM is a wide-field telescope array dedicated to measure the optical emission from pairs of merging neutron stars and black holes. BlackGEM will be triggered by the Advanced LIGO & Virgo gravitational wave detectors. BlackGEM will be operational by early 2020. The prototype system MeerLICHT was installed in July 2017 and remains operational at the SAAO Sutherland site in South Africa, also during the current covid-19 pandemic.
The BlackGEM telescope will, for the first time ever, construct a multicolored movie of the dynamic and variable Southern skies! BlackGEM will start with 3 telescopes of 65cm diameter, located at ESO La Silla, Chile. Each telescope is equipped with a 110 Mpix camera, consisting of a single 10.5k x 10.5k CCD, and covering 2.7 square degrees in one go, at 0.56 ”/pix. Installation of the first two telescopes started in August 2019, and the third telescope will be installed in January 2020.
BlackGEM is designed, built and operated by a consortium consisting of NOVA (Netherlands Research School for Astronomy), Radboud University, the KU Leuven and partner institutes