Students Use Las Cumbres Observatory for Research

Aug 13, 2020

Asteroid 2020 OO1.jpg

Asteroid 2020 OO1, image courtesy of University of Hawai’i Institute for Astronomy HI STAR program.

LCO provides resources to education groups around the world. This article is the first in a series that will feature the published work of students doing astronomical research with data obtained from the LCO global network.

Recently, two groups of students have published important research based on observations obtained from the Las Cumbres Observatory global telescope network.

On July 20, the University of Hawaiʻi’s Pan-STARRS1 telescope atop Haleakalā in Maui discovered a 65-foot diameter asteroid named 2020 OO1. Some of the first follow-up images of the approaching asteroid were taken by Hawaiʻi high school students participating in the UH Institute for Astronomy (IfA) HI STAR program using ground-based telescopes from the LCO network.

Details of the students’ work are presented in this press release from the University of Hawai’i.

K2-25 Light Curve.jpg

The light curve for a K2-25, a star with an exoplanet. The slight dip in the middle of the plot indicates that a transit has occurred. The x-axis refers to time in days, and the dip (of about 1 percent) lasts for less than an hour. Image courtesy of University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.

At the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, students working with Professor Andrew Mann have been using observations from LCO to identify exoplanets. Astrobites featured the student work on their website. The student work was presented in a poster at the American Astronomical Society meeting this past June.

Las Cumbres Observatory provides opportunities for students, like those in the HI STAR program, throughout the world through the Global Sky Partners program. LCO programs spark an interest in science in students and inspire the next generation of astronomers.

The Global Sky Partners program is supported by the Simons Foundation.

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