News & Announcements

Current news from LCO

The new portal is LIVE!

05 Jun 2017
LCO's new observing portal is now available! Thanks for your patience while we brought the portal online. We think that you'll like it.

Coming soon: new user portal

25 May 2017
In June, LCO will unveil a new observing portal, the interface through which you interact with the Network. This new portal has been developed (under the codename "Valhalla") over many months. We expect that the re-designed portal will be easier for

FLUXAPER values in image headers

19 May 2017
We recently discovered an error in our BANZAI data pipeline. In the source catalogs (i.e. the .CAT extensions) that accompany the reduced images, the set of FLUXAPER* keywords are used to indicate the source fluxes within circular apertures of * arcs

The situation at LSC

12 May 2017
We have had to discontinue observations with the telescope in Dome C at our Chilean site (LSC). The Sinistro camera in that dome (fl04) appeared to have a steep drop in temperature on 2017-05-07. The drop was actually a symptom of a problem with a ci

FLOYDS "sky" mode fixed

28 Apr 2017
We have debugged the "Sky" slit positioning mode on FLOYDS. "Sky" mode allows you to fix the position angle of the slit. (The more commonly-used mode sets the slit at the parallactic angle.) The change will take effect with FLOYDS observations beginn

Network status: FLOYDS, default airmass; TDA workshop

18 Apr 2017
It's already the third week of the 2017AB semester. In a break with routine, this semester will be 8 months long, ending on November 30. As in past semesters, if you'd like assistance with preparing your observing requests, please email our 

Robotic Telescopes in Education

13 Apr 2017
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 r

BBC Stargazing Australia features LCO

31 Mar 2017
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 Wale

NRES commissioning

22 Mar 2017
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), bu

Science Communication internships 2017

22 Mar 2017
Applications for this internship are now closed

NRES installation in Chile

28 Feb 2017
As I write this, a crew of LCO engineers, IT specialists, and scientists is traveling to Cerro Tololo. Their mission is to install the first element of the NRES (Network of Robotic Echelle Spectrographs), as well as to do some site maintenance work.

Teachers reach for the stars!

07 Feb 2017
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 traini

New Key Projects announced

01 Feb 2017
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 websit

Call for proposals 2017AB

18 Jan 2017
Las Cumbres Observatory is soliciting proposals for science observations for the 2017AB semester, which will begin on 1 April 2017 and run through 30 November 2017. This call is for astronomers from institutions without guarantees of Network time: th

Network status: Happy Holidays!

21 Dec 2016
The Network suffered a one-two punch of power outages in the past week. On December 17, power was lost on Haleakala. As a result, science observations from that site (OGG) weren't possible on December 17-18. ----- A few days earlier, on December 13,

"Brightest Supernova” Not a Supernova, but a Star Ripped Apart by a Spinning Black Hole

12 Dec 2016
A version of this article is also available for young scientists! Read it at

Space Scoop comic book contest

09 Dec 2016
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 adult

Network status: telescopes in Australia, internet to Chile

07 Dec 2016
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 Decembe

Network status: Happy Thanksgiving!

18 Nov 2016
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 we