Franco Chilean Laboratory for Astronomy

Last update: Dec 12, 2019

The Franco Chilean Laboratory for Astronomy (FCLA) was funded in 2012 with the “National Center for Scientific Research” (CNRS) in France, the “Universidad de Chile”, the “Ponteficia Universidad Católica de Chile“, and the “Universidad de Concepción” with the goal to promote and forge fruitful long-term collaborations between France and Chile in the field of Astronomy. This agreement was recently renewed in the context of the 80 years anniversary of CNRS in 2019 in Santiago in the rich perspective of the growing and prolific Chilean astronomical community, and the development of ambitious and major astronomical facilities in Chile (LSST, CTA, GMT, ELT) in the upcoming decade. More than ever, Chile has become a major international center for ground-based astronomy. Given the strong scientific and human connection between France and Chile for several decades, the Lab plays a central role to nurture this collaborative endeavour between both countries.

Over the years, the Lab has contributed to the development of important key projects in the field of modern astronomy including the study of stellar formation, planetary formation and evolution, exoplanets, and the death of stars. The FCLA researchers have been able to use a versatile optical/near-infrared and radio-millimetric instrumentation of Observatories in Chile (ESO, ALMA, Gemini, Magellanes), dedicated numerical codes and computing resources, to achieve breakthrough results including stunning images and modelling of young protoplanetary disks with ALMA, the characterization of young exoplanets, or the the complex modelling of super novae explosions.

Today, the FCLA executive board is composed of Andrés Escala (Director of the Department of Astronomy of “Universidad de Chile” and current director of FCLA), Gaspar Galaz (Director of the “Instituto de Astrofisica of the ”Pontefica Universidad Catolica de Chile”), Ricardo Demarco (Director of the Department of Astronomy of “Universidad de Concepcion”) and Gaël Chauvin (Deputy Director of FCLA).

In addition to the professors and students of the three Chilean universities, the Lab counts on the presence of four permanent French Researchers, Luc Dessart, Myriam Benisty, Gaël Chauvin and Stéphane Blondin, and on the existence of a visiting program to promote and support French and Chilean students and researchers for shorter term stays and internship.

Location map

Contact Us


Address: Camino El Observatorio # 1515, Las Condes, Santiago, Chile.
Postal Cod.: Casilla 36-D.
Telephone: (56-2) 977 1090.
E-mail: secretaria[at]


Address: Camino El Observatorio # 1515, Las Condes, Santiago, Chile.
Postal Cod.: Casilla 36-D.
Telephone: (56-2) 977 1145.
E-mail: gael.chauvin[at]