Las Cumbres Observatory is soliciting proposals for science observations for the 2018A semester, which will begin on 1 December 2017 and run through 31 May 2018. This call is for astronomers from institutions without guarantees of Network time: the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC), the University of Colorado, and the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC). Astronomers affiliated with LCO, including Time Allocation Committee members and Science Advisory Committee members, are also welcome to submit proposals. (LCO's Science Collaboration partners that have guaranteed time conduct independent proposal solicitations and reviews.)
The Las Cumbres Observatory education team tripled in size this summer, as four interns joined us to work on an exciting new project for elementary school students called 'Project Serol'.
Supernova 2017cbv, on the outskirts of the spiral galaxy NGC 5643. Data are from the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Supernova Project and the Carnegie-Irvine Galaxy Survey. Credit: BJ Fulton, LCO.
For the past 2 months we have been running an experiment on The Zooniverse's project builder platform, called Agent NEO. We had 2 aims: 1) to improve our code for finding NEO candidates and 2) to shorten the time from observation of the candidate to reporting the result to the Minor Planet Center.
is LCO's set of high-resolution echelle spectrographs. The first NRES unit was installed at our Chilean site in March, and it has been undergoing development and testing ever since. Earlier this week, members of the NRES project team met to review the instrument's readiness for routine science operations. The result of that discussion is that we have decided to delay the release of NRES from our original target date, August 1. We expect the delay to be on the order of weeks, not months. PIs who are waiting to use NRES can expect to receive a notification no less than a week before the instrument will become available.
The deadline has now passed and we are not accepting any more applications for this round.
Three of LCO's 0.4m telescopes
, which hitherto had made observations exclusively of satellites and space debris, are now making science observations. So, if you are an investigator on a project that was granted 0.4m-time, the scheduler may assign your observation requests to one of these "new" telescopes. The locations, camera codes, and dates of first observations for these telescopes are as follows:
- Siding Spring (Australia); camera = kb97; start date = 2017-06-16.
- Teide (Tenerife); camera = kb88; start date = 2017-06-20.
- Haleakala (Maui); camera = kb82; start date = 2017-06-20.
BANZAI-processing of images from these telescopes has begun, and data are available in the archive.
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.
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 you to use: to compose observation requests, to check the status of those requests, to retrieve your data, and to monitor the hours remaining for your science project. The big change for us here at LCO is that the new portal will be easier for our software team to maintain and improve.
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