Tim Lister

Project Scientist

Tim Lister hails from the city of Manchester in the UK and obtained a MSci and a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of St. Andrews in 1997 and 2000 respectively.Following his PhD he worked as a Linux sysadmin in the Astronomy Group and then joined the SuperWASP Project as a postdoc. During that time he substantially contributed to the development of the pipelines and data reduction systems which finally culminated in the first WASP extrasolar planet in 2006. Since then the SuperWASP project and instruments have gone on to discover over forty extrasolar planets making it one of the most successful planet search programs.

In 2006, Tim moved to the Keele Astrophysics Group  to work on setting up SuperWASP-South which would search for planets in the southern hemisphere from  SAAO in South Africa. Tim joined LCO as a Project Scientist/Astronomer and moved out to sunny Santa Barbara in Feb. 2007. While at LCO he is involved with developing the pipeline and archives which will handle the data coming from LCO's many telescopes and continues to do research on extrasolar planets, magnetic activity on binary stars and Solar System objects.

A lot of my work at the minute is concerned with following up new asteroid discoveries from PanSTARRS and other NEO surveys in both the inner and outer Solar System. My follow-up using LCO's telescopes have confirmed over 250 new Near Earth Objects (NEOs) from PanSTARRS and over a hundred other objects including several comets and a Centaur. In the course of this follow-up I have discovered almost 100 new asteroids in the Main Belt and a Jupiter Trojan - one of the two families of asteroids that are trapped in Jupiter's Lagrange Points so they are always 60 degrees ahead or behind of Jupiter in it's orbit.


Here is some of my work on obtaining light curves and rotation rates for radar-targeted NEOs.

I have also given a public talk on "Asteroids, NEOs, Comets and Meteors" and that is available here


  • Gemini and Lowell Observations of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko During the Rosetta Mission
    eprint arXiv:1709.06552
  • Ground-based astrometry calibrated by Gaia DR1: new perspectives in asteroid orbit determination
    eprint arXiv:1709.06471
  • The Unusual Apparition of Comet 252P/2000 G1 (LINEAR) and Comparison with Comet P/2016 BA14 (PanSTARRS)
    The Astronomical Journal, 2017 154 4
  • The 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko observation campaign in support of the Rosetta mission
    eprint arXiv:1705.10539
  • Gaia Data Release 1. Testing the parallaxes with local Cepheids and RR Lyrae stars
    Astronomy and Astrophysics, 2017 605
  • Gaia Data Release 1. Open cluster astrometry: performance, limitations, and future prospects
    Astronomy & Astrophysics, Volume 601, id.A19, 65 pp.
  • The perihelion activity of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko as seen by robotic telescopes
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 462, issue Suppl 1, pp. S138-S145
  • Gaia Data Release 1: Astrometry - one billion positions, two million proper motions and parallaxes
    Astronomy & Astrophysics, Volume 595, id.A4, 32 pp.
  • Gaia Data Release 1. Summary of the astrometric, photometric, and survey properties
    Astronomy & Astrophysics, Volume 595, id.A2, 23 pp.
  • The Gaia mission
    Astronomy & Astrophysics, Volume 595, id.A1, 36 pp.
  • Distant activity of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014: Ground-based results during the Rosetta pre-landing phase
    eprint arXiv:1602.01493
  • Results from the worldwide coma morphology campaign for comet ISON (C/2012 S1)
    Planetary and Space Science, Volume 118, p. 127-137.
  • The Outer Solar System Origins Survey. I. Design and First-quarter Discoveries
    The Astronomical Journal, Volume 152, Issue 3, article id. 70, 25 pp. (2016).
  • Hot Jupiters with relatives: discovery of additional planets in orbit around WASP-41 and WASP-47
    Astronomy & Astrophysics, Volume 586, id.A93, 12 pp.
  • WASP-20b and WASP-28b: a hot Saturn and a hot Jupiter in near-aligned orbits around solar-type stars
  • Kuiper Belt Occultation Predictions
  • Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network
  • The Pan-STARRS Moving Object Processing System
  • WASP-42 b and WASP-49 b: two new transiting sub-Jupiters
  • Discovery of Main-belt Comet P/2006 VW_139 by Pan-STARRS1
  • Three New Eclipsing White-dwarf-M-dwarf Binaries Discovered in a Search for Transiting Planets around M-dwarfs
  • WASP-23b: a transiting hot Jupiter around a K dwarf and its Rossiter-McLaughlin effect
  • WASP-22 b: A transiting "hot Jupiter" planet in a hierarchical triple system
  • A 2017 stellar occultation by Orcus/Vanth
    AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts, 2017 49
  • Astrometry of the Orcus/Vanth occultation on UT 7 March 2017
    AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts, 2017 49
  • Measuring the Yarkovsky effect with Las Cumbres Observatory
    AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts, 2017 49
  • The LCO Follow-up and Characterization Network and AgentNEO Citizen Science Project
    AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts, 2017 49
  • Science operations for LCOGT: a global telescope network
  • Novel scheduling approaches in the era of multi-telescope networks
  • PTFO 8-8695b: An Extremely Young T-Tauri-Transiting Planet
    Search for Life Beyond the Solar System. Exoplanets, Biosignatures & Instruments. Online at http://www.ebi2014.org, id.P3.57
  • The LCOGT Near Earth Object (NEO) Follow-up Network
    American Astronomical Society, DPS meeting #46, #414.10
Tim's picture
Contact: tlister@lco.global