Chile Assesses Building its own Telescope

President Michelle Bachelet requested Mario Hamuy, astronomer and the Instituto Milenio de Astrofísica director, to prepare a proposal

Antena Parabólica Observatorio ALMA
Imagen: Fred Kamphues

Chile is known for the clarity of its skies and the opportunity they represent to explore the mysteries of the universe.Currently, there are more than 10 observatories in northern regions of the country that are devoted to astronomy investigation. However, all of them belong to international research centers.

Taking into consideration this and after meeting with the Nobel Prize for Physics, North American Brian Schmidt, last Monday, President Bachelet requested an assessment of a project to build the first telescope wholly designed and built in Chile. Desafíos del Futuro Commission President, Guido Girardi, stated this.

The proposal will be in charge of the national astronomer and Millennium Institute of Astrophysics director, Mario Hamuy, who was also present in the meeting with the Nobel Prize winner. Hamuy says that the proposal would entail building a 6 meter diameter telescope, which would work as a complement of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.

The construction of a telescope of these characteristics would allow Chile to be in a privileged spot in the field of astronomy. Desafíos del Futuro Commission President also stated that: “If we develop our own ability for observation, we can be world leaders,and this small country can play a crucial role in the future of the species and humanity”.

This post is also available in Spanish