This April 14th, the first stone of the construction of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope in Pachón hill in Coquimbo was laid. The location was chosen because of its low light pollution and its clear skies, which makes it an optimal place for astronomical observation. It is expected that the building process will be completed in 2019 and that the telescope will be fully operative by 2022.
The telescope will have a 3.2 gigapixel camera and a 8.4 meter diameter mirror, which will allow it to capture images of the universe every week for 10 years. These images will enable scientists to analyse phenomena like the origins of the universe and asteroid trajectories that could endanger the Earth. The volume of images this telescope can take is such that it will be able to send 30 terabytes of information every night to be processed in the United States. Because of this, international companies like Google or Microsoft are participating in the process.
Once the project is finished, “Chile will have 70% of the world astronomic infrastructure. The best telescopes ever made will be installed in these lands,” stated President Michelle Bachelet.