Applying for time on the LCO network of telescopes

As a host institution for the Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) global network of telescopes, ANU is entitled to a share of the network's observing time, which it is now making available to all Australian astronomers.

Applying for LCO time

The closing date for observing proposals for the 2023A semester (from 1 February 2023 to 31 July 2023) will be 12noon AEDT, Tuesday, 15 November 2022.

For the first two years of the wider Australian access (i.e., through 2023A), proposals led by astronomers outside of ANU will be limited to half of the available total within each class of telescope. In addition, under the ongoing ANU host agreement with LCO, at least half of the overall Australian time will consist of contributions to LCO Key Projects (see ). Thus, proposals to support the Key Projects are strongly encouraged, but will be assessed on scientific merit like any other proposal. 

Based on recent weather trends, LCO has revised the amount of available time. ANU's time for 2023A will be 75 hours on the 2m telescopes, 225 hours on the 1m telescopes, and 200 hours on the 0.4m telescopes. Note that this access can utilise any of the two 2m telescopes, thirteen 1m telescopes, or ten 0.4m telescopes in the entire LCO global network. During the 2023A semester, LCO will continue replacing the SBIG cameras on the 0.4m telescopes with new imagers. Please find further details, exposure time calculators, and target visibility calculators in the official LCO CfP at

Proposed observations can use any of the three observing modes: standard queue-scheduled, Time Critical, and Rapid Response. All proposals that request Time Critical or Rapid Response time will be technically reviewed by LCO. The proposals must explicitly justify the need for TC/RR time. LCO will work with the PIs to make any changes to the queue/TC/RR allocations if it is determined that the science can be done with less restrictive scheduling modes. Proposals lacking justification will automatically get standard queue-mode observations.

Proposals will be assessed on scientific merit by the ANU TAC, taking into account that the Australian PI must be a significant team member. Note that this is not a call for Key Projects (which LCO is currently conducting separately within its Science Collaboration), and any proposal that appears to compete with a Key Project would need to justify why it is different.

A maximum 2 page scientific and technical justification should be sent to In addition, list on a separate page:

  • Proposers and institutions.
  • Whether the data is an important part of a PhD thesis.
  • Requested telescope(s) and instrument(s).
  • Requested number of (integer) hours in each observing mode (queue/TC/RR) for each telescope/instrument, and minimum useful allocation.
  • An estimate of how much time is required beyond this semester.

Please contact Christopher Onken if you have any questions about LCO or about ANU's access to the network.