OPTICON Call for Proposals for Semester 2018B
The Optical Infrared Coordination Network for Astronomy (OPTICON) has issued its call for proposals for semester 2018B. This is for observing time at night time telescopes supported by the OPTICON Trans-National Access programme. The deadline for proposals is 28 February at 23.59UT exactly.
The Horizon 2020 contract has added two new robotic telescopes, a requirement to support time domain astronomy which is defined as a science category in its own right and some changes to the rules on applicant nationalities. We have also tried to define which facilities are best able to support various kinds of overrides, monitoring and time critical observations. Please review the web-page notes carefully, even if you have used the TNA programme before.
Ice and snow finally clearing at ORM
The severe ice and snow that shut all telescopes at the Observatorio del Roque de Los Muchachos (ORM) for the last two weeks is now slowly clearing, after temperatures finally rose above freezing on Sunday.
The enclosure mechanisms on the north west side of the LT building are still caked in 5-10cm of solid ice. This side doesn't receive any sunlight, so it will probably be some days before that ice is finally gone and we can allow the LT to open its enclosure safely.
Update 16th Feb: Ice still on enclosure mechanisms, and observing unlikely until Monday 19th at the earliest.
[full story and more pictures]
Spectacular pictures added to LT Picture Gallery
An album of over seventy spectacular pictures made from LT data has just been added to the LT Picture Gallery. The pictures were made by taking archived greyscale IO:O data that had been observed through effectively red, green and blue filters, and combining them in various ways to produce colour images. This skilful post-processing was performed by Swedish amateur astrophotographers Göran Nilsson and Wim van Berlo. [full story]
New Filter for RISE
[UPDATE (26 July): The filter has now been changed] The RISE fast-readout camera is having its "V+R" filter replaced with a 720 nm long-pass filter on 26th July 2017. This is being done to enhance the capabilities of the camera with regard to measurement of exoplanet transits around late-type, red dwarf stars. More details can be found in the "Filter" section of the RISE instrument page.