The Liverpool Telescope is a 2.0 metre unmanned fully robotic
telescope at the Observatorio del Roque de Los Muchachos on the
Canary island of La Palma. It is owned and operated by Liverpool
John Moores University, with financial support from STFC.
Altitude axis drive motor failure - 1st December 2017:
The telescope is unavailable due to failure of the
main altitude axis drive motor. Staff are travelling out from Liverpool to site to investigate
and we will provide more information as soon as it is available. As you would guess,
replacement of a drive motor is a substantial engineering task. Currently we expect the telescope
to be offline until 12th December at the earliest.
We nearly got through the whole of 2017 without a major hardware failure. Prior to this,
technical down time stood at 1.8%. We
had been off sky for five individual nights in 2017 and no runs of multiple consecutive nights.
This matches our typical pattern where the downtime is dominated by a very small number of
significant faults, mainly driven by the time taken to travel to site. Nevertheless, we apologise
for the inconvenience and will get the telescope back into operation as soon as we can.
Update 2017-12-08: The motor has been removed from the telescope and we have confirmed its complete failure. A temporary repair was attempted, but it was not enough put the telescope back into service. The motor will need to be replaced and we are currently investigating the time scale that will be required for that.
Update 2017-12-11: The new motor is installed and all the functional tests passed. We are now waiting for the rain to stop in order to test on sky.
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.
Quicker Daily Data Flow and Weekend Data Releases
Changes to LT data handling procedures now mean that new science data are being distributed to observers between 09:30 and 10:30 UTC on the morning after they were observed, seven days a week. We hope this will further enhance the LT’s effectiveness for time domain astrophysics. See the full news article for discussion of how this will affect your research.