Feb 3, 2020
As part of our ongoing commitment to inspiring people of all ages through the use of robotic telescopes, we are pleased to announce the launch of Kiosk. The purpose of this entry-level observing portal is to provide a simplified route to exploring the Universe through Las Cumbres Observatory’s network of robotic telescopes for our Global Sky Partners audience.
LCO launched the Global Sky Partners program in 2017 with the goal of inspiring students, teachers, and the public around the world to engage in astronomy and science endeavors. Global Sky Partners are a diverse group of educators and scientists who run their own fully-supported education projects and investigations using our telescopes.
From consultations with our Global Sky Partners, it became clear that many of their audiences were lacking in essential knowledge, that professional astronomers we take for granted when making observations. Kiosk bridges this gap by making suggestions for targets in familiar categories. Built into Kiosk are presets for filter choices and exposure times, to guarantee great looking color images. No detailed knowledge of astronomy or the technical aspects of making an observation are required.
"We realised that many people are keen to use our robotic telescopes but until now there has been a steep learning curve," said Dr Edward Gomez, LCO Education Director. "With Kiosk we aim to maintain that enthusiasm as they start their voyage of scientific discovery, without them needing technical knowledge."
Once these audiences have gained confidence in making astronomical observations with Kiosk and seeing their images, they can continue to refine their skills in astrophotography and astronomical research through the LCO Observation Portal. They are perfectly positioned to follow the astronomical programs offered by our Global Sky Partners.