observing

The changing face of supernova SN2011dh

In early June a new Supernova was discovered. A supernova is the end point of a massive star where the thermal fire at the core of the star runs out of fuel, ending its life in an extremely bright explosion (see our SpaceBook page on high-mass stars for more information). The supernova is outside of our galaxy in the Whirlpool Galaxy, also known as M51. The galaxy is face on allowing observers to clearly see its beautiful spiral arms.

Sinistro camera has astronomical first light

Our first 'homemade' camera, the Sinistro achieved first light on our 1-meter telescope in Santa Barbara last night. It was entirely designed by our optical and imaging engineers and was constructed in the LCOGT image lab. It has been 6 years in the making, so was a big relief for everyone on Team Sinistro, when the camera was mounted and took its first astronomical image (click on the inset image for a larger view).

Stunning results with new NEO target program

You know that saying about waiting for a bus, and then two come along at once...well, with a new research project being carried out by amateur astronomers in the UK and Italy, in this case it was 7...new asteroids

Nick Howes, equipment consultant for UK Magazine Astronomy Now, has been using the twin 2m Faulkes Telescope North and Faulkes Telescope South for a few years, on comet observation and measurement work, but in the past few months,

First 'sequenced' image with 0.4m

Last night, the 0.4m telescope in the back parking lot (BPL) produced the first fully 'sequenced' observation with the new control system.  The sequencer is the layer of software which sits on top of all the low-level telescope, instrument, and enclosure control systems and figures out what all needs to be done to accomplish an observation.  It then 'sequences' those operations to satisfy their dependencies (e.g. don't start exposing until the enclosure is open) and sees them through to completion.

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