27 Sep 2021: LCO users can now request mosaics of extended targets. In a mosaic, sequential images can be offset from each other by a percentage of the imager's field-of-view. On the Observation Request form in the portal UI, the overlap and orientation parameters that define mosaic patterns (e.g. a "line" or a "grid") are converted by the portal into separate configurations, each with different RAs & DECs. For more information, consult the September 2021 edition of the "Getting Started" Guide or the updated Developers pages.
15 Sep 2021: For images made with the g', r', i', and zs filters, the catalog extensions now include magnitude (and magnitude error) estimates for the extracted sources. The sources are compared with the Atlas All-Sky Stellar Reference Catalog (ATLAS-REFCAT2). Details of the photometric calibration are available in BANZAI's Github repo.
19 Aug 2021: LCO users can now request dithered observations! When images are dithered, the base target remains near the center of the camera's field-of-view, but it's placed on different pixels with each exposure, so that artifacts can be removed by stacking images. Position offsets are intended to be small, and shifts are limited to 40% of the telescope's guide camera's field-of-view. For detailed information, see the updated "Getting Started" Guide or the Developers pages.
4 Aug 2021: The cameras on the FLOYDS spectrographs cannot be read-out when an observation is aborted. TO circumvent this flaw, we have deployed software that dynamically adjusts a FLOYDS observation's end time. In cases when source acquisition is delayed, the end time will be adjusted to accommodate the full exposure time.
19 May 2021: Observation requests can now include multiple targets! Each target must have its own coordinates. (The ability to set offsets for dithers/mosaics is still under development.) The request will be scheduled according to the intersection of the visibility of all targets.
13 May 2021: NRES data are now being processed by the new BANZAI-NRES pipeline. All NRES users are advised to read the documentation on the new pipeline and data products.
13 Apr 2021: A WCS-based acquisition mode is now available for NRES observations. The WCS mode is useful when (i) multiple bright stars are in the guider's field-of-view, or (ii) the target is faint. The default acquisition mode centers the brightest object in the guider frame onto the fiber that delivers light to the spectrograph. A detailed description of the NRES acquisition modes is available.
5 Apr 2021: We have increased the filtering options in the Portal. Clicking the "Filter List" button on the Portal's home page unfurls a list of multiple filtering options. The new features are:
5-6 Oct 2021: The 1-meter telescope in Dome B was stuck on the pitch axis.
6 Aug - 1 Sep 2021: Power to the clamshell was unreliable. Until the cables providing power to the clamshell were replaced, the three telescopes protected by the clamshell were only available on nights when our site manager could monitor the weather.
19-27 Jul 2021: The 2-meter telescope was offline because of a problem with the M2 mechanism.
2-7 Jun 2021: The 0m4a telescope was offline. A bearing had to be replaced in the focus drive.
20-27 May 2021: There was a problem with Dome B. The 1-meter telescope inside was not available for science observations because the dome would not reliably open and close.
11-29 May 2021: The 0m4b telescope was taken offline because of a problem with a disk on the camera's (kb88) instrument control computer.
22 Apr 2021: FLOYDS was offline again for this night.
18-19 Apr 2021: The problem of blank FLOYDS spectra resurfaced. FLOYDS was offline again.
10-14 Apr 2021: A problem with the shutter on the (en12) FLOYDS spectrograph caused science and calibration images to intermittently be blank.
12 Mar 2021: The 0m4a telescope is making science observations again.
11 Mar 2021: A new focus mechanism has been installed in the 0m4a telescope. Testing is in progress.
21 Oct 2021: A new compressor was installed on the NRES unit, and camera achieved the target temperature. Tests are in progress.
5 Oct 2021: The NRES unit has been taken offline to improve the vacuum around the camera.
13 Sep 2021: The NRES camera has reached a stable, but warmer (-80 C), temperature. Science observations will resume and continue for as long as this temperature can be maintained.
31 Aug 2021: The NRES camera has warmed again. The spectrograph is not available for science observations.
3 Aug 2021: The TLV-NRES unit is available for science observations again.
2 Aug 2021: The NRES camera (fa18) has cooled again, and the acquisition of calibration spectra has begun.
7 Jul 2021: The NRES camera's cryo system must be recharged. NRES is still offline.
29 May 2021: The fa18 camera warmed to -70 C and was taken offline.
24 May 2021: The fa18 camera, the backend for TLV-NRES, warmed to -80 C.
5 Apr 2021: Observations with the TLV-NRES unit resume.
2 Apr 2021: The AK14 guide camera replaced AK13 on the telescope.
1 Apr 2021: The AK13 guide camera warmed-up, and observations with the TLV-NRES unit were suspended.
14 Sep 2021: The NRES unit ceased science observations. The backend camera had been struggling to remain cold for some time; it will remain offline until it can be serviced by LCO staff.
6 Sep 2021: The collimation of the telescope in Dome B intermittently goes awry. The cause may be that the encoder on the secondary mirror is loose. This (intermittent) problem will persist until the secondary position mechanism can be replaced.
18 Aug - 7 Sep 2021: The fa16 Sinistro camera warmed-up again. The telescope was unavailable for science observations.
17 Aug 2021: The kb87 SBIG camera has replaced the kb84 camera on this telescope. The camera is being tested. The telescope is still unavailable because of the problem with the focus mechanism.
10 Jun 2021: The Dome A telescope, with the fa16 Sinistro camera, is available for science observations again.
3 Jun 2021: A new archon controller was installed in the fa16 Sinistro camera. The telescope in Dome A will be unavailable until camera tests are complete.
27- May 2021: There's a problem with the focus mechanism on the 0m4a telescope. The telescope is offline.
8-14 Apr 2021: The fa16 Sinistro camera (Dome A telescope) warmed-up. The cryo system was pumped down, allowing the camera to cool.
10 Mar 2021: Guider-based focus corrections on the Dome C telescope have been suspended.
11 Oct 2021: A replacement camera for the 0m4a telescope has arrived on site.
28 Aug - 7 Sep 2021: Once again: the Dome B telescope was stuck.
12-18 Aug 2021: The 1-meter telescope in Dome B was stuck on a limit (again).
2 Aug 2021: The kb93 camera malfunctioned. All images are blank. The 0m4a telescope is unavailable until the camera can be replaced.
26-29 Jul 2021: The 1-meter telescope in Dome B was stuck on a limit.
21 Jul: The 0m4a telescope, with the kb93 camera, is now available for science observations.
19 Jul 2021: The Dome A 1-meter telescope has started science observations. The Sinistro camera is fa20.
15 Jul 2021: The kb93 camera replaced kb81 on the 0m4a telescope. Tests of the new camera are in-progress.
29 Jun 2021: The 1-meter telescope in Dome B is now available for science observations. The installed Sinistro camera is fa11.
7 - 28 Jun 2021: An engineering team is on site to install 1-meter telescopes in Domes A & B.
26 May 2021: The kb81 camera on the 0m4a telescope has malfunctioned. Images are blank. The problem is being investigated.
19 Oct 2021: The Dome A telescope is available for science observations again.
14 Oct 2021: The telescope in Dome A repeatedly gets stuck on the pitch axis. The telescope has been taken offline to investigate the problem. The Dome C telescope is still offline, too.
11 Oct 2021: The collimation of the 1-meter telescope in Dome C was lost, so the telescope was taken offline. The optical tube assembly will be inspected.
14 Sep 2021: The NRES spectrograph is available for science observations again.
25 Aug 2021: The CTIO staff are working on the NRES unit.
12 Jul 2021: In Dome C, observations were suspended because the telescope was stuck on the pitch axis.
7 Jun 2021: On the 0m4a telescope in Aqawan B, the focus motor driver was replaced. This telescope is available for science observations. again.
29 May - 1 Jun 2021: Dome B was not rotating. Observations with the telescope inside were suspended.
21-25 May 2021: The 1-meter telescope in Dome A was not returning to its home position reliably. The telescope was taken offline.
19 May 2021: The 1-meter telescope in Dome B is available for science observations again. The Sinistro camera (fa04) is the same, but the instrument package (filter wheel assembly) has been changed.
22-28 Apr 2021: The fa15 Sinistro (on the 1m telescope in Dome A) warmed-up. The telescope was not available for science observations.
11 Apr 2021: The Dome C telescope was stuck on the roll axis.
8 Apr 2021: Intermittent problems with both the motion of the telescope and the stability of the OTS assembly have compelled us to take the 1-meter telescope in Dome A offline. That makes three telescopes (plus the NRES spectrograph) are offline at this site: Dome A, Dome B, and Aqawan B.
18 Mar 2021: The 0m4a telescope in Aqawan B has been taken offline because of a problem with the focus mechanism.
10 Mar 2021: The 1-meter telescope in Dome A got stuck on the pitch axis and was taken offline.
26 Aug 2021: The telescope in Dome B is available for science observations again.
21-27 Aug 2021: The telescope in Dome A was stuck on the pitch axis.
16 Jul - 17 Aug 2021: We lost communications to Dome B. The fiber connection to the dome had been chewed through by critters. (Rats? Mice? Armadillos?)
22 Mar 2021: The NRES spectrograph is available for science observations again!
12-13 Mar 2021: The fa07 Sinistro camera (in Dome B) was offline for maintenance.
10 Mar 2021: Maintenance on the NRES unit is in-progress.
4-6 Oct 2021: The 2-meter telescope is offline while preparations are made for replacement of the Auxiliary Mechanisms Node.
21-22 Jun 2021: The FLOYDS spectrograph was taken offline because of an intermittent problem with the camera shutter.
15 Mar 2021: MuSCAT3 is released for science observations.
5 Mar 2021: MuSCAT3, with the new Sophia camera for the zs band, was re-installed on the 2m telescope. Testing will commence as soon as skies are clear.