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Las Cumbres Observatory: The Network Comes Alive

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Friday, April 19, 2013 - 12:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • CASA Conference Room C324

Speaker Name(s): 

Tim Brown

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

LCOGT/CASA
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Astrophysics Lunch Seminar

Event Details & Abstract: 

Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope is an observatory headquartered in Goleta, with ties to UCSB, created in 2005 to pursue studies in time-domain optical astronomy. "Time domain astronomy" covers many subfields, ranging from near-Earth asteroids to supernovae/cosmology. What these specialties have in common is the need to observe their targets at will, anywhere in the sky, any time (and in some cases, all the time). Traditional ground-based observatories and scheduling models are a poor fit to this kind of observing. LCOGT is responding to this disconnect by building a coordinated world-wide network of robotic telescope clusters, designed and instrumented to attack the most critical issues in the time domain. In the last few months, six years of development work have suddenly condensed into working telescopes and instruments: three spectrographs on our existing telescopes, four new 1-meter telescopes in Texas and Chile, three in South Africa, and two more to be deployed in Australia by mid-2013. In this talk, I will first describe the science goals of LCOGT (illustrated with recent results), and then lead you on a tour of our newly-expanded facilities for achieving these goals.