On Friday, October 14, Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (LCOGT) changed its name to Las Cumbres Observatory. Associated with this change is a new website, featuring new colors and a new logo, at a new URL, www.lco.global, and new email addresses (@lco.global). We are making these changes for a number of reasons, including to clarify that we are an independent non-profit corporation with a bold vision of how our unique global network will enable observational programs in time domain astronomy that were never before possible.
We got to our current position - the largest, most advanced global network of telescopes for time domain astronomy, and an integrated scientific institution created to maximize its impact - as a result of the scientific and technical vision of Wayne Rosing, and the resources of the TABASGO Foundation, owned by Wayne and his wife, Dorothy Largay. We honor and acknowledge Wayne through our new tagline: Many eyes - one vision, which refers to our organization as well as the capabilities of our telescope network. We continue to benefit from the generosity of Wayne and Dorothy, and from Wayne’s ongoing technical participation in our program.
But things change as we move forward. TABASGO can only provide a minority share of our operating expenses, and we are embarking on a program that leverages the unique capability of our observatory to find new financial support. We already bring in a significant fraction of our annual income through the sale of time on our network, and we are now working to find additional sources of funding from foundations or individuals who are as excited about what can be done with our facility as we are.
Our activities will continue as before. We are operating 18 telescopes in our network, at six different sites, giving us complete longitudinal coverage around the world. We are adding three more telescopes over the next two years, to improve our capacity in the northern hemisphere. We have a science collaboration with more than a dozen members, including now the entire astronomical communities of China, Chile, and the U.S. We are looking forward to playing a major role in time domain astronomy and in guiding the next steps in its development.