Télescopes à Action Rapide pour les Objets Transitoires

TAROT is an automated telescope network located at different sites around the world with automated observations (without human interaction). TAROT was first designed as a robotic observatory in 1995. Calern observatory in France hosted the first TAROT and its first light was in 1998. Now TAROT is located at three sites:

  • TAROT Calern (TCA, long. = 6.92353 E lat. = 43.75203 alt. = 1320m) has a diameter of 250 mm, focal length of 800 mm and is equipped with a CCD ANDOR IKON L936 BEX2-DD with filters Sloan: g’, r’, i’, z’, clear, Density 100.
  • TAROT La Silla (TCH, long. = 70.73260 W lat. = -29.25992 alt. = 2398m) has a diameter 250 mm, focal length 800 mm and is equipped with a CCD ANDOR IKON DW 436 N – BV with filters Sloan: g’, r’, i’, z’, clear,Density 100.
  • TAROT Reunion (TRE, long. = 55.41022 E lat. = -21.19882 alt. = 991m) has a diameter 180 mm, focal length 500 mm and is equipped by a CCD FLI Proline KAF-16803.

TCA and TCH have a FoV 1.8 x 1.8 square degrees whereas the FoV of TRE is 4.2 x 4.2 sqare degrees. TCA and TCH have a limiting R magnitude of 18.2 at 5 sigma for one minute exposures unfiltered whereas the limiting magnitude of TRE is R = 17 mag.

TAROT has many scientific targets requested by scientists, amateur astronomers, and space sectors to conduct scientific studies such as gamma-ray bursts, variable stars, minor planets, supernovae and satellite tracking. However, TAROT is mainly designed to follow counterparts of gamma-ray bursts thanks to its very large field of view. TAROT is also suitable for optical counterpart searches to gravitational-wave events and can scan rapidly the localization error box in low latency. As an example, TRE can observe 50 square degrees within 10 minutes. During the next observational campaign, TAROT will provide optical counterpart candidates of gravitational waves which can be vetted by the others telescopes of the GRANDMA consortium.


Michel Boer (Artemis), Alain Klotz (IRAP), Bruce Gendre (UWA), R. Laugier (Artemis), Kanthanakorn Noysena (Artemis)


TAROT is founded by CNES and CNRS.


  1. Boër, M., Klotz, A., Laugier, R., et al. 2017, in 7th European Conference on Space Debris ESA/ESOC, Darmstadt/Germany,ESA, Darmstadt, German
  2. Klotz, A., Boër, M., Atteia, J. L., & et al. 2009, The Astronomical Journal, 137, 4100
  3. Klotz, A., Boër, M., Eysseric, J., & et al. 2008, Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 120, 1298
  4. http://tarot.obs-hp.fr/infos/