In 2016B, LCOGT Network has two 2-meter telescopes, nine 1-meter telescopes and three 0.4-meter telescopes available for science observations. The 1m telescopes are equipped with two different imagers (Sinistros and SBIGs); the distribution of camera types will be announced before the start of the semester. For information on the instruments available on the Network's telescopes, please consult the Observatory Instruments page.
We're pleased to announce that we've modified the observatory portal
to provide you with a trove of new information on submitted observing requests.
Las Cumbres Observatory have partnered with Asteroid Day and Universe Awareness to create a website which allows you to take pictures of asteroids, using a global network of telescopes, was launched by Dr Edward Gomez at the National Astronomy Meeting in Nottingham on Tuesday 28 June. Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) has 18 professional robotic telescopes in 7 remote, astronomical sites across the globe. With this website you can join the international campaign to study and raise awareness about asteroids.
In recent status reports, I mentioned that we've swapped SBIG cameras on telescopes in Australia (Dome B) and Chile (Dome A). The swaps were only one step in our efforts to eliminate occurrences of "shutter failure" in these cameras. We believe we have now fixed the "shutter failure" problem (on all SBIGs) through a combination of hardware and software modifications. We will continue to monitor the cameras' performance.
We have implemented a system to allow users to promote (or demote) the priority of observing requests within their science programs. An introduction to this system, called IPP for "Intra/Inter Proposal Priority", is available from our Documentation webpage, as well as in the observatory portal. The IPP system is voluntary; users may choose to adopt or ignore it.
May 31 is the last day that LCOGT's archive at IPAC will be available. If you haven't yet switched to retrieving your data from our new archive
, you must do so after today. The description of the archive (available at https://lcogt.net/documentation/archive-documentation/
) has been substantially improved since the archive was opened. The documentation includes information on the data products available and how to search for images. If you have questions that can't be answered by the information available there, please send an email to email@example.com
LCOGT has participated in this year's Cyclemaynia event in the best way we know how: by geeking out over both cycling and astronomy at the same time.
The Spectral cameras on both of our 2-meter telescopes, in Australia and Hawaii, are currently out-of-service.
The 2016A semester began on April 1. To those of you who have been granted observing time on the Network, we hope that your observations go well. If you have questions about how to prepare your observing requests, please email our Science Support team.
In the last status report, we mentioned that LCOGT has created a new archive to store its data products. The IPAC archive will remain available until May 31, but we encourage you to retrieve your data from the new archive. To login, use the same username/password that you use for the observatory portal. If you'd like to report a problem with the archive (or make a suggestion), clicking on the "Feedback" link at the bottom of the archive's UI will open a form that you can fill out and submit.
The new semester also marks the deployment of a new data pipeline. We're now processing data through both the new pipeline and the ORAC-DR pipeline. Products from both are available in the archive; products from the new pipeline are indicated with "Reduction Level = Reduced (Experimental)" in the archive interface. Tests of the new pipeline are ongoing, so please alert us if you encounter problems with the reduction procedure. More information on the new pipeline will be made available on the website soon.
All images (raw and pipeline-processed) in the archive are Rice-compressed ("fpacked"). We began compressing all images generated at our observing sites on April 6. The compressed images require less bandwidth to transport off-site and back to LCOGT headquarters for processing.
The Spectral camera on the 2-meter telescope at Siding Spring (FTS) is currently not available for observations. The camera was restored on April 4, but then it warmed-up toward the end of the April 6 night. The FLOYDS (spectrometer) is still available on the 2-meter telescope, but ...
Also at Siding Spring, we've been having intermittent problems with our main site computer. These problems have been driving our IT team crazy, but a consequence for users is that, when the computer crashes, the headers of FITS images can get corrupted. This is a reason why some images made with Siding Spring telescopes aren't yet available. Fixing the site computer is a high-priority task, and we are compiling an inventory of affected images.
At Cerro Tololo, the Sinistro camera (fl03) in Dome B is sometimes producing all-noise images (i.e. only pixels with extremely high and extremely low counts). The problem is currently under investigation.
Finally, I want to draw your attention to the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016
competition. We were asked by the competition coordinator at the Royal Museums Greenwich to make you aware that the competition includes a special prize for images captured with robotic telescopes. The reason for their request: "We strongly feel that they [LCOGT users] are the ideal entrants and would benefit from the opportunity of winning this prize, particularly given the wide press attention the competition receives." For more information, see: http://www.rmg.co.uk/discover/astronomy-photographer-competition
. Entries are due on April 14.
The 2016A semester began at 0 UT on April 1. Congratulations to all PIs whose proposals were granted observing time in the 2016A semester! All proposals have been entered into our database, and time has been allocated. When you login to the observatory portal (http://lcogt.net/observe
), you will see your 2016A proposal listed under "Your current proposals." Those of you who are new users of LCOGT Network must first create an account before you can submit observing requests.
Subscribe to our news RSS /