From: Las Cumbres Observatory
Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018
Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO), a unique global network of robotic telescopes, is pleased to announce that it has received a grant of $4,880,000 from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. These funds will support the construction and deployment of two new 1-meter telescopes that will be located at the Teide Observatory on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. These two new telescopes will join the two 0.4-meter telescopes at Teide that are part of the LCO network.
The two new 1-meter telescopes on Tenerife will be strategically important to the LCO network and will provide several critical capabilities. The most significant impact is that they will greatly increase the ability to observe objects in the northern sky. These telescopes are another step towards the completion of LCO’s northern ring. A new 1-meter telescope is underway for the McDonald Observatory in Texas and was funded by an earlier grant from the Heising-Simons Foundation. Completion of LCO’s northern ring will allow 24-hour continuous monitoring in the northern skies. A completed ring is the essential feature of the LCO network that will provide unique data for significant scientific discoveries.
Las Cumbres Observatory was founded by technologist Wayne Rosing and has been operating its global network since 2014. “We have built the integrated telescope network that will guide the future of time domain astronomy,” said Rosing. “Our observatory is a machine for the discovery of new astronomical events and the physics of the cosmos. This grant from the Moore Foundation will increase our capacity to better serve all of our science partners.”
Dr. Todd Boroson, President and Director of Las Cumbres Observatory, is looking forward to partnering with the Moore Foundation on this project. “This grant gives us a huge boost towards our goal of building an integrated system of facilities and software infrastructure that will enable great scientific discoveries. Our integrated system is specifically designed to work with the coming large survey projects that will generate nightly alerts for every object that changes or moves in the sky. LCO will be the preeminent facility for rapid-response follow up of astronomical events,” Boroson said. “We are grateful to the Moore Foundation for their confidence in our work and our future.”
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has a long history of investment in astronomy and, with this grant, the Foundation is recognizing the unique capabilities of the LCO network. Dr. Robert Kirshner, the Chief Program Officer for Science of the Moore Foundation, said, “The Moore Foundation seeks important scientific projects where our participation makes a decisive difference. As an astronomer, I understand how important this global telescope will be and I look forward to the construction of telescopes in the Canary Islands.”
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (https://www.moore.org) fosters path-breaking scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements and preservation of the special character of the Bay Area.
Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO, https://lco.global) is a nonprofit corporation based in Goleta, California, dedicated to advancing worldwide understanding of the universe through science with its global network of fully robotic optical telescopes. LCO began its mission in 2005 and has been operating its global network continuously since May of 2014. The network currently consists of eighteen telescopes, located at six sites of high astronomical quality, which together serve as a single integrated observatory. The purpose of the observatory is to conduct observations in time domain astronomy that capitalize on the network’s unique capabilities.
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