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.
What to see in the observatory?
A visit to Tololo Observatory is pretty fascinating and attractive. The tour includes:
a) A visit to demonstration rooms, seminars, lectures and videos.
b) Visits through the domes.
c) Visits to the telescopes of 4 and 1.5 meters.
There are two English- speaking guides trained in astronomy. The tour takes approximately 2 hours. Among the arriving tourists, we must highlight the foreigners, but mostly schools and institutions visit this center.