Las Cumbres Observatory will host an open house at its headquarters in Goleta, California, from 5:30-7:30pm on Friday, August 24.
Visitors to the open house will have a tour of the facility and have an opportunity to view a new 1-meter telescope that is under construction. This telescope will be going to the McDonald Observatory in Texas and guests will see both the telescope and its new dome.
The guest of honor at the open house will be Professor Tabetha Boyajian of Louisiana State University. Professor Boyajian is well known for the discovery of star KIC 8462852, popularly known as “Tabby’s Star.” This star exhibits unusual behavior with irregular patterns of light dimming that are documented on the blog “Where’s the Flux.”
After the discovery of the star, Professor Boyajian initiated a Kickstarter campaign called “The Most Mysterious Star in the Galaxy.” The goal of the campaign is to raise funds to buy telescope time on the LCO network. The campaign has been a success and Professor Boyajian shares her data with the public on her blog.
Many theories have been put forward to explain the strange behavior of Tabby’s Star and the one that has received the most attention in the media is “alien megastructures.” Professor Boyajian’s own team has recently published a study that points to the presence of dust as a factor in the dimming of the star.
At the LCO open house, Professor Boyajian will be talking about her research and will be available to meet guests and answer questions.