Using robotic telescopes for astronomy education is something that is at the heart of my professional interests and I have been actively working on this during my nine years at LCO. This week, my collaborator Dr Michael Fitzgerald and I published a review paper on the subject in the journal, The Astronomical Review.
People living in the UK and some Northern European countries have been treated to 3 live TV shows about astronomy this week, presented by BBC Stargazing Australia. All of the shows were broadcast live from Siding Spring Observatory in New South Wales, Australia, where LCO has an observatory site. The TV show was hosted by particle physicist Prof Brian Cox and comedian Dara O'Briain.
The first unit of the Network of Robotic Echelle Spectrographs (NRES) was successfully installed at our Chilean site at the beginning of the month. NRES is not yet ready for routine science observations (updates will be posted on the LCO website), but from now on, commissioning tests should be intermittent and less disruptive. The telescope in Dome C, with a repaired fl04 Sinistro camera, began making routine science observations again on the night of March 14. The telescope in Dome B was returned to science observing on March 21.
Applications for this internship are now closed
Last week (Friday 3 February) the LCO education team hosted a teacher training event in Cardiff University, jointly with School of Physics & Astronomy, Universe in the Classroom, and Space Awareness. It was the not only the largest teacher training event ever run at the School of Physics & Astronomy (with 35 registered teachers from across Wales) but was also our first event as official partners with Space Awareness.
Following the recommendations of an independent Time Allocation Committee (TAC), five new Key Projects have been awarded time on the LCO Network. The list of all key projects that will run during the 2017AB semester has been posted on the website's Science section.