New Large Astronomical Telescope in Chile

A new member will join the big family of telescopes and observatories in Chile.

Night Sky
Imagen: Boris G

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) announced in August the beginning of the works to build a new large telescope in Coquimbo, which will have a primary mirror of 8.4 meters and a camera of 3.2 billion pixels.

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is posible due to an investment of $600 million, of which the National Science Foundation (NSF) of the United States will grant about $470 million in addition to the $165 million that requires construction of the camera, which will be in charge of the Department of Energy of the United States.

Today, the north of Chile is the place with more astronomical centers worldwide, and LSST director, Dr. Steven Kahn from Stanford University, ensures that the LSST will provide «a wide range of science that will change our understanding of the dynamic universo: from its earliest moments after the big bang to the movements of asteroids in the solar system today. »

The large amount of information that will be obtained from the privileged skies of northern Chile privileged will demand for scientists to configure a big database, which will also boost advances in computer science.

AURA has already two large installations of optical telescopes in Chile: NSF Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) and Gemini-South. It also operates the SOAR telescope and other telescopes and 20 smaller projects in Cerro Tololo and Cerro Pachón, located in the Region of Coquimbo.