APEX Observatory

APEX Observatory

The APEX Observatory is located on the Chajnantor plateau which is over 5100 mts above sea level, in San Pedro de Atacama, the Center has an astronomical antenna with a 12-meter diameter. It is considered by experts as one of the best places for radioastronomical practice, in the dry Atacameño desert in northern Chile.

APEX, as known in English (Atacama Pathfinder Experiment) is operated in Chile by the European Southern Observatory (ESO). It also counts with the support of the German Max Planck Institute and the Onsala Space Observatory in Sweden.

Paranal Observatory

Paranal Observatory

The Paranal Observatory is an astronomical observatory located in the commune of Taltal, the Second Region of Antofagasta, Chile. This astronomical center is founded on the Cerro Paranal 2635.43 meters above sea level, in the Cordillera de la Costa, 130 kms. south of Antofagasta and 12 kms. from the coast. Symbolically inaugurated in 1996, by the then President of the Republic of Chile, Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle and King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. The VLT project of Cerro Paranal has an investment of about U.S.$200,000,000.

Like La Silla Observatory, this is operated by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and in May 1998, the ESO showed the first images taken at the center. It includes the Very Large Telescope (VLT), which has four telescopes of 8.2 mts. These four main telescopes can combine their light to use a fifth instrument, the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI). These telescopes are called: Antu, Kueyen, and Melipal Yepun meaning Sun, Moon, Southern Cross and Venus(or evening star),respectively. The names come from the Mapuche language. It also has four Auxiliary Telescopes (AT) of 1.8 mts. that can be added to the VLTI in case the main telescopes are being used in other projects. It also has the VLT Survey Telescope of 2.5 mts and the VISTA Telescope Survey of 4 mts, with wide vision fields to examine uniformly extense areas of the sky.

Cerro Armazones Observatory

Observatorio Cerro Armazones

Cerro Armazones Observatory is a project of the Institute of Astronomy of the Universidad Católica del Norte and the Institute of Astronomy, University of Bochum, including the collaboration of important companies and institutions, such as ESO, Inacesa, Soimi and CONICYT.

The Observatory Cerro Armazones (OCA) was inaugurated on December 2, 1995, it currently has three telescopes, 1.5 mt, 84 cm and 41 cm in diameter.

Las Campanas Observatory

Las Campanas Observatory

Las Campanas observatory is located a few kilometers further north of La Silla, on the borders of the Third and Fourth Region. The access road is the same as our previous observatory, that is Panamericana Norte km. 595. On the way, there is a parralel detour which leads to Las Campanas Observatory. This facility is operated by Carnigie Institution of Washington, and its location is 2,500 meters above sea level. Inside, there are 5 optical telescopes and 1 solar telescope.

La Silla Observatory

Observatorio la Silla

La Silla Observatory is located in the commune of La Higuera in the province of Elqui, Coquimbo Region, 156 kms. north of La Serena. The access road to the observatory is at kilometer 595 of the Panamericana Norte and ascends over 2400 meters above sea level in an area free of light pollution. Cerro La Silla is distinguished by presenting totally clear skies, at least 300 days a year, almost the entire year.

La Silla Observatory has 14 optical telescopes with mirrors with a diameter up to 3.6 meters and a radiotelescope of 15 meters, which transforms it into one of the largest and most modern centers of astronomical observation in the world.

Tololo Observatory

Tololo Observatory

Tololo Observatory is perhaps the most famous observatory located in Chile. It is situated 87 kms. east of La Serena, near the town of Vicuña. Installed over 2200 meters above sea level, it was opened in 1967 and is operated by AURA. It has 8 telescopes and a radio telescope. The size of its mirrors varies from 61 cms. to 4.5 mts. Approximately 175 people work in this observatory. There is a public telephone and, on the way to the units, there are radio stations for communication in case of an emergency. It is also possible to get drinking water, first aid, ambulance, paramedics and security experts.

Gemini Observatory

Observatorio Gemini

With joint participation of the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, United States, Argentina, Brazil and Chile, Gemini Observatory belonging to AURA is one of the most modern ones and began to operate in 2002. It is situated on Cerro Pachón, to the interior area of the Elqui Valley (Region of Coquimbo) It has 1 telescope with a diameter of 8.1 meters and its main purpose is the communication established with its twin telescope located on the Mauna Kea Mountain in the paradise island of Hawaii.

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