Astronomer of the Univesity of Chile Conduct Research of Low Mass Stars

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

The proyect is lead by the University of Chile‘s astronomer Patricio Rojo, who expect that the telescope will be in operation by 2020.

At 4897 meters above sea level , Mount Vinson is the highest in the Antarctic . Located west of the mainland , is a mountain in the middle of the white , dry desert . At that level of high water vapor is minimal and there is less atmosphere , ideal for observing the universe.

These advantages made the astronomer U. Chile and Center for Astrophysics and Related Technologies ( Cata) , Patricio Rojo, decided to study the site to install a future telescope on the western side of the Antarctic.

For this, between 8 and 22 December, the geologist Millarca Valenzuela (Universidad Católica) and geophysicist Mark Falvey (U. de Chile), part of the team led by Red, they will be in the new Chilean base in Glacias Unión, funded by the Chilean Antarctic Institute and with supported by staff of the Armed Forces.

They going to explore the conditions for the installation of meteorological equipment and, if the results are favorable, the next year will install permanent instruments to check Mount Vinson if will be the first with astronomical potential in that area.

With good results, astronomer hopes to put a telescope in the Chilean Antarctica. "We hope we can build before 2020", says Rojo.


Computer simulations say that there is good weather to install a observation instrument: low humidity, little wind and low turbulence.

But it must be checked in the field. "During the visits we will see things like the possibility of landing, the surface characteristics (presence of cracks, ice type), degree of snow accumulation and the presence of rock," says Falvey.

José Maza, astronomer U. of Chile and National Science Award, says that Antarctica has unique features for watching. "In winter there are 24 continuous hours of night, allowing uninterrupted viewing of an object, something that can not be done anywhere else in the world.".