Dr. Webb just returned from the SARA Board meeting at La Palma, in the Canary Islands. In addition to the SARA board meeting, SARA dedicated its newest telescope, the completely refurbished Jacobus Kaptyne 1-meter telescope at the "en roque de los muchachos" observatory, on top of La Palma, the second best observing sight in the world at 7,861 feet above sea level. The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) became SARA's first international partner, bringing with them the opportunity to have access to the largest telescope currently in the world, the 10.4 meter GCT. The head of the IAC welcomed us to the observatory: "I wish to express my thanks to the Board of Directors of SARA and to all those who have made it possible for the JKT to be renovated so that it has once again a brilliant scientific future ahead. For the IAC this is an important step forward in the collaboration we maintain with universities in the USA, a collaboration with which we are most satisfied because of the many possibilities it opens to stimulate the joint use of our facilities and further scientific exploration. The addition of the JKT to the network of telescopes operated by SARA allows an extraordinary temporal coverage in the Northern hemisphere, but also the access by the IAC, in its own time, to a telescope in the South which will help us all to do better science from both hemispheres.
My congratulations on the work done at the telescope, which is of extraordinary quality and worthy of the highest level of praise. My best wishes for a brilliant scientific future of the JKT and of all the research and teaching centers that will benefit from this revived telescope."
Operations will begin this month with the new telescope which will give SARA astronomers unprecedented longitude coverage by combining our telescopes in the Canary Islands (longitude 17 W) then continuing observing at Kitt Peak (longitude 111 W). They will be able to observe a single object up to 20 hours continuously (depending on declination).