View Full Version here: : Chile's BIG Scopes

10-09-2009, 01:54 AM
Chile has some of the best observatories in the world.

From north to south they are:
1. Cerro Paranal (http://www.eso.org/paranal/) has four 8.2m mirrors also a 4.1m, http://virtualglobetrotting.com/map/3134/view/?service=0
2. Las Campanas Obs. (Magellan I and II) has two 6.5m mirrors (http://www.lco.cl/), http://www.ociw.edu/Magellan/
It will also have the Giant Magellan Telescope (http://www.gmto.org/) with seven 8.4m mirrors
3. La Silla has two 3.6m scopes
4. Cerro Tololo (http://www.ctio.noao.edu/site/index.html) has a 4.0m scope and
5. Cerro Pachon (http://www.ctio.noao.edu/site/index.html) (Gemini (http://www.gemini.edu/) South) has an 8.1m scope and a 4.1m scope, http://www.gemini.edu/gallery/v/gs/exterior/

The maps below show their locations in northern Chile.

10-09-2009, 02:12 AM
Scheduled for completion around 2018, the GMT will have the resolving power of a 24.5-meter (80 foot) primary mirror.
The Australian government announced that it will fund their full participation in the GMT project (http://www.gmto.org/newsitems/australiafundingpressrelease) at the level of $88M AUD.
The GMT will be be built north of La Serena at Las Campanas.

10-09-2009, 07:55 AM
Cerro Paranal is amazing. I went there last year - rented a 4wd in Antofagasta and drove 100km south to the site through the Atacama Desert. The drive itself is spectacular as well.
They run tours on the last two Saturdays every month, but book well in advance...

I can recommend staying after the tour has finished. You'll be rewarded with a fantastic sunset and of course some serious dark sky! The zodiacal light was very impressive.
Oh, and dress warm, it gets very cold at night. It's not cold during the day though.

Tours can be booked here: http://www.eso.org/public/about-eso/visitors/paranal/index.html

10-09-2009, 08:00 AM
Thanks Rolf, I hope to visit there next year.
Here is a different list of large scopes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_optical_reflecting_ telescopes

10-09-2009, 08:20 AM
Chile missed out on The Thirty Meter Telescope, but only just.
In cooperation with AURA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_of_Universities_for_Res earch_in_Astronomy), the TMT project completed a multi-year evaluation of five sites:

Cerro Armazones, Antofagasta Region (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antofagasta_Region), Republic of Chile, [see the Paranal map in post #1]
Cerro Tolanchar, Antofagasta Region, Republic of Chile
Cerro Tolar, Antofagasta Region, Republic of Chile
Mauna Kea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauna_Kea), Hawaiʻi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawaii), United States (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States)
San Pedro Martir (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Pedro_Martir), Baja California (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baja_California), Mexico (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexico)

The TMT Observatory Corporation board of directors narrowed the list to two outstanding sites, one in each hemisphere, for further consideration: Cerro Armazones in Chile's Atacama Desert, and Mauna Kea on Hawai'i Island. On July 21, 2009 the TMT Board selected Mauna Kea as the preferred site.

19-09-2009, 08:18 AM
Paranal has four 8.2m scopes.

cristian abarca
25-09-2009, 03:44 PM
Hi Glen try to be in Chile the 18th of september, this is the day of independence and there is usually 2 or 3 days of festivities. There are many beautiful places to visit down Sout if you have the time.


27-09-2009, 05:40 AM
Thanks Cristian.

Here is another big Chile scope.
ALMA Dish Takes the High Road
An ALMA antenna en route from the Operations Support Facility to the plateau of Chajnantor for the first time. The ALMA transporter vehicle carefully carries the state-of-the-art antenna, with a diameter of 12 metres and a weight of about 100 tons, on the 28 km journey to the Array Operations Site, which is at an altitude of 5000 m. The antenna is designed to withstand the harsh conditions at the high site, where the extremely dry and rarefied air is ideal for ALMA’s observations of the universe at millimetre- and submillimetre-wavelengths.