Scientific motivation

France and Mexico are jointly developing a robotic telescope motivated by the Sino-French SVOM mission and designed for the study of the deep and transient sky. One of the main challenges for the project is to stimulate the scientific exploitation of this new facility, the COLIBRI telescope, beyond its core team of the builders. France and Mexico will operate this facility jointly and it would be unfortunate to have these two communities operating in a completely disjointed manner. From the beginning, we have carried out this project with a real spirit of cooperation, and we seek to obtain the same during its scientific exploitation. It is therefore crucial to promote now exchanges between scientists, beyond the core of the project, to build these links.

The motivation of the LIA is to establish a strong collaboration on several topics in order to contribute to key scientific questions, which will benefit from Colibri and the observational capabilities and scientific expertise of each of the partners:

  • What are the physical properties of Trans-Neptunian Objects, the most distant known bodies in our Solar System? How are these physical properties related to the orbital parameters? What can this tell us about the formation and evolution of our Solar System?
  • How are planetary systems formed? How do the planets evolve? How can we explain their diversity?
  • Do low-mass stars and brown dwarves form and evolve in the same way as stars like our Sun?
  • How do massive stars form and what is their impact their surrounding medium in galaxies? What is their role in triggering the formation of new generations of stars?
  • How does the large-scale distribution of matter (in the form of diffuse gas, stars, or dark matter) affect the formation and evolution of galaxies?
  • What are the astrophysical sources at the origin of the observed gravitational waves and the highly energetic neutrinos? What are the mechanisms behind the most violent phenomena in the universe, such as the GRBs? Can we use these transient sources to probe the deep Universe?
  • When did the first stars and galaxies form? What is their nature? How much do they contribute to the reionisation of the universe?

At the same time, we also wish to initiate collaboration on future astronomical instruments.