A version of this article is also available for young scientists! Read it at
As well as being the LCO education team, Sarah Eve Roberts and I are also the team behind Space Scoop, an astronomy news service for kids. Although the primary audience for Space Scoop is kids from the age of 8, we know that many older kids and adults also enjoy reading Space Scoop. Each Scoop is written about a brand discovery in astronomy or space sciences, based on a current press release. We aim to release every Space Scoop at the same time as the research press release is published, that way scientists, journalists and kids all get to hear about exciting space news at the same time.
A new SBIG camera (kb98) was installed on the 0m4a (40cm) telescope at our Australia site on November 24. The camera was enabled for science observations on December 1.
Also at the Australia site, the 2-meter telescope was taken offline on December 4. Our TelOps team detected some anomalous behavior in the telescope's motion. They've now found the likely source of the anomaly and fixed the problem. We expect to re-enable the telescope for science observation for the 2016-12-08 night.
I reported in November that we've been experiencing internet connectivity problems to our site in Chile. Those problems, although now less frequent, haven't ceased. The unreliable connection can disrupt the delivery (and subsequent processing) of images. If you can't find images in the archive from observations made at our Chile site (LSC), please send an email to email@example.com
In the past few weeks, we've experienced intermittent problems with internet connectivity to some of our network sites, which has prevented us from promptly delivering images to our science archive. In all of these cases, the connectivity problems were not due to LCO hardware or software failures, but to failures beyond our power to fix (e.g. fiber breaks). Connections to Australia and South Africa have now been stable for several days, but our connection to Chile remains unreliable. The connectivity problems are affecting all facilities on Cerro Tololo.
One week ago, all of LCO's 1-meter telescopes are equipped with Sinistro cameras. Today, all of the Sinistros are available for science observations, and the raw images are getting processed through the BANZAI reduction pipeline.