News

Two New Telescopes See First Light in Tenerife

Aug 12, 2021

A Night View of the New 1m Telescope from its Dome at Teide Observatory. Image Credit:  LCO.

Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) is pleased to announce that two new 1-meter telescopes, funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, have been commissioned and are taking nightly observations for science. The grant from the Moore Foundation covered the construction and deployment of the telescopes at the Teide Observatory on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. These new instruments join the two 0.4m telescopes at Teide that are part of the LCO network.

The two new 1-meter telescopes on Tenerife are strategically important to the LCO network and provide several critical capabilities. The most significant impact is that they have greatly increased the ability to observe objects in the northern sky. These telescopes are a vital part of LCO’s northern ring, which includes observatory sites in Hawai’i, Texas, and Israel. The LCO network provides 24-hour continuous monitoring in the northern skies and this essential feature enables unique data for scientific discoveries.

Astronomers around the world use the LCO telescope network for a variety of research projects and the new instruments at Teide are already making great contributions. The ASAS-SN program is using the telescopes for the follow-up observations of supernovae. Three Key Projects supported by LCO made observations on the new 1-m instruments this week: the OMEGA project for microlensing events, the Global Supernova Exchange, and the follow-up of TESS exoplanet candidates.

Dr. Lisa Storrie-Lombardi, President and Director of Las Cumbres Observatory, is thrilled with the nightly science observations now happening at Teide Observatory. "The new telescopes have doubled our 1-meter imaging capacity in the northern hemisphere. It was very exciting to watch the schedule for these instruments fill up immediately when they went online,” Storrie-Lombardi said. "The additional sky coverage and observing time available in the north could be particularly valuable in following rare multi-messenger sources.”

Two New Domes Housing the LCO 1m Telescopes at Teide Observatory. Image Credit:  LCO.

The two new domes at Teide Observatory housing the LCO 1-m telescopes. Image Credit: LCO.

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has a long history of support for astronomy. Dr. Robert Kirshner, the Chief Program Officer for Science of the Moore Foundation, said, “As an astronomer myself, I know that LCO is unique. We are delighted to make this vision of a world-wide system even more powerful by augmenting their telescopes in the northern hemisphere.”

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The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation fosters path-breaking scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements and preservation of the special character of the Bay Area. Visit Moore.org or follow @MooreFound.

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