The north of Chile offers scientists from all over the world more than 320 absolutely clear skies per year.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Because of its vast longitudinal extension, from just below the Tropic of Capricorn in the north to the South Pole itself in the south, the Chilean territory possesses along the length of its 8,000 kilometers an array of 19 climates, including desert, steppe, temperate, continental and polar varieties.
In the northernmost part of the country is the inclement desert of Atacama, the driest in the world. Its skies are the clearest on this planet, with more than 320 cloudless nights per year, which has turned it into a mecca of astronomy.
So much so that since the middle of the 20th century, foreign universities and government agencies and the main international astronomical consortia have traveled to Chile to put into operation the most modern equipment, beginning with the installations at Cerro Tololo since the 60s.