Todays’ print edition of the New York Times reported on a paper from the journal Science authored by Las Cumbres Observatory scientists Benjamin Dilday and Andy Howell, among others. The paper, widely reported in astronomy and physics media, was picked up by the Times because it demonstrates for the first time alternate means by which a supernova can form. Dilday and Howell were the lead scientists on the paper.
Two identical FLOYDS spectrographs, installed in recent weeks at telescopes 6,000 miles apart, robotically acquired a supernovae target this week. Due to the level of precision required and the difficulty involved, few if any, other ground-based spectrographs have ever achieved this milestone.
A national Science week was celebrated nationwide here in South Africa from July 30-August 5, 2012. The event, an initiative of the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST) for highlighting the importance of science for development, is intended to expose school students and teachers to science-based careers. It happens every year with emphasis given to different areas of science and technology. This year's theme was "The role of Science in economic development". The event was officially launched by the Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs Naledi Pandor, at the University of Johannesburg's Soweto Campus on 28 July 2012.
The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) participated in the event by organising different activities both in Cape Town and Sutherland. The activities include telescope building workshops, astronomy software training such as stellarium, star gazing, career advices and visiting the historic SAAO site in Cape Town and the mechanical workshop. Together with SAAO's public outreach team, driven by The SALT Collateral Benefits Program (SCBP), I participated representing LCOGT in the different activities and programs organised both at the SAAO headquarters in Cape Town and at different schools in the city. My participation in the event was started by sharing my personal experience of astronomy career.
This summer has been a very busy outreach season for us in UK. Stuart and I, with assistance from many others, have exhibited at 3 different festivals and spoken to around 1000 people. We've fine tuned setting up our stand to be a well oiled machine! The theme has an over-arching theme of multi-wavelength views of the Universe. So, armed with a couple of flat screen monitors, a thermal imaging camera, a mobile version of Chromoscope and arm-loads of LCO astronomy stickers, we set out.
Call for Proposals to use LCOGT 2-meter telescope facilities in the 2012B semester (1 October 2012 - 31 March, 2013).