Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope (LCOGT), with first lights at nine new 1-meter telescopes since April of 2012, achieved another critical milestone by capturing the first on-sky image with a production Sinistro camera. In development for over six years, the camera is arguably more important than the telescopes that will use them. “A telescope is really nothing more than a large camera lens,” explained Joe Tufts, instrumentation scientist on the Sinistro project. “A large, precise, stable, and very expensive camera lens.”
This weekend LCOGT are hosting a live astronomy Google+ Hangout. On Saturday 3 August between 21:00UTC and 23:00UTC, myself and Robert Hollow (CSIRO education officer) will be hosting Big Dipper to Southern Cross, in partnership with Astronomers Without Borders. For 2 hours, Rob and myself will be giving you a tour of the Southern Hemisphere night sky using one of the newly installed LCOGT 1-meter telescopes at our Sutherland observatory, South Africa.
FORT DAVIS — McDonald Observatory held their semi-annual University of Texas at Austin Astronomy Program’s Board of Visitors meeting over the weekend with more than 400 participants from the funding, agency and astronomy communities. A significant event among science talks, telescope tours and social mixers and meals at the conference was the dedication of the Alan Y. Chow Telescope at the observatory’s Frank N. Bash Visitors Center.
The LCOGT education operations centre is based in Cardiff University, School of Physics and Astronomy alongside the UK Herschel Outreach Office. Herschel Space Observatory spent over three years taking stunning images of the Universe in far infrared wavelengths, but in April the spacecraft depleted the last of its helium coolant, concluding science operations. After this, the spacecraft operations team performed a series of engineering tests. A series of thruster burns moved it from its orbit around the Lagrangian point, L2 1.5 million kilometres from the Earth, and into an orbit around the Sun. Finally, in June, the spacecraft was switched off.
Ten grade eight students from Roggeveled primary school in the small town of Sutherland (Northern Cape, South Africa), which is the home of the 3 x 1-meter class Las Cumbres Observatory (LCOGT) robotic telescopes, participated in an essay competition based on various astronomical observations they made using the LCOGT 2m Faulkes Telescopes in Hawaii and Australia. The various objects observed by these group of students include galaxies, star clusters and planetary nebulae.
Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope (LCOGT) announced this week that Dr. Todd Boroson has accepted the role of Director effective August 1, 2013. Dr. Boroson will replace Wayne Rosing, Founder and President, and Tim Brown, Science Director.
“Lets do some great science.” With these words Wayne Rosing announced that the LCOGT Southern ring was complete. Like many projects, science on the LCOGT network began before the completion of construction. Christopher Kim, from Maui High School, used data from the 1.0 meter telescopes in Chile to study Cataclysmic Variable (CV) stars. His project entitled, “Spectral and period analysis of Catacalysmic Variable System FO Aqr” was entered into the Hawai'i State Science and Engineering Fair, where he received awards from the:
Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson spoke at Santa Barbara's Granada Theater on May 2, 2013. Before the lecture, Dr. Tyson stopped by Las Cumbres Observatory's headquarters in Goleta. Photographer Kimberly Citro, working with UCSB Arts & Lectures which sponsored the lecture, has kindly shared some of her photos of the event with LCOGT.