Open Source

LCO is committed to being an open source organization. Except for a small number of cases (i.e. where we have to use independently licensed software) all of our software, electrical, and mechanical engineering is open source, although not all of it is distributed at this time.

Software Development

We have a few of projects which we have put into the public domain on GitHub. These are Django applications which are part of our main observing interface, On Sky, used for educational projects.

  • WhatsUP - Displays suggestions for astronomical objects to observe, during real time observing slots.
  • Observations - Our open source archive which live updates when new images are taken.

Our open source code is licensed under GPL v3. If you contribute source code:

  • We will guide and mentor your work, helping you to contribute usefully from day one.
  • We will recognize your efforts on our website (and credit you in the code!).
  • All code you write will be open and available to anybody.
  • We will fully communicate what the expectations are, so you don't commit to more than you expect.
  • You will help make LCO even better!

To get involved please contact Edward Gomez (egomez [at] lcogt [dot] net).


Additionally all our science is open in a variety of ways:

  • All education and outreach images and data are available immediately for anyone to view, download, and use (subject to a Creative Commons License, detailed in our Terms of Use).
  • All our scientific data is open access after a proprietary period (in most cases this is 1 year). This allows the people who had the original ideas to publish their findings.
  • We usually publish our scientific results in the public domain on the ArXiv, in addition to publishing in traditional journals.

Education & Outreach

We believe there should be no barriers for people with an interest in science being involved in our program.

  • All of our education activities are open to being used under Creative Commons Licence (see Terms of Use).
  • We aim to publish all of our education activities on the open access platform astroEDU.
  • Although we have limited resources to support individuals, we will always try to introduce people to our education partner programs.
  • We require all our education partner programs to be inclusive in who it allows to be members.