Northern Chilean skies, specially Atacama Desert ones, are the favourites for many people to star and galaxy gazing with an unparalleled clarity. This is due to its geographic location, where aridity, high atmospheric pressure and cold wind from the Pacific combine to create clean and clear skies for gazing at the universe. This is why astronomical tourism has begun to be a significant alternative for living the experience of watching the night sky as a window for the universe. Besides, there are the northern landscapes to enjoy.
The interest for knowing what’s beyond the atmosphere made the ALMA project (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) facilities to open their gates for the first time next month due to the demand. The scientists who work there study and observe the birth of stars and planets near the Solar System, as well as detecting galaxies in formation at large distances from Earth. The visitors will be able to go on a tour through the project’s Operations Support Facility (OSF), which consists of a brief talk, a video about the story of ALMA, and a visit to the antenna under maintenance.
Nonetheless, astronomical tourism from professional institutions is not the only one available for people to enjoy. The astronomy amateurs are also attracted by the charms of these skies. SpaceObs, which has been present in San Pedro de Atacama for about a decade, is an alternative for the ones that are beginning to learn about the night sky. They offer night tours, telescope rental, and accommodation. All of this is thought for making the experience something unforgettable.
This post is also available in Spanish