President of the CNRS visits the Department of Astronomy (DAS)

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

The president of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) of France, Antoine Petit, together with the Director of the Southern Cone of the institution, Olivier Fudym, visited to the main authorities of the Department of Astronomy FCFM of the University of Chile Wednesday 11 of April.

The meeting counted with the participation of DAS academics, and researchers from the Franco-Chilean International Astronomy Mixed Unit (UMI-FCA), and its main objective was to know the scientific activities carried out by this initiative, which is part of the CNRS and led by the University of Chile.

The director of the DAS, Prof. Andrés Escala, highlighted the opportunities that this partnership has generated for national astronomy. "The UMI has allowed us to have an important instance for collaboration with French colleagues, since they spent two years in our department developing projects together with our academics, in addition to offering co-tutelage of postdoctoral students and researchers, both French and Chilean", he says.

The UMI-FCA has permanent staff, material and financial means to conduct research in such areas: black holes in the central region of the galaxy, the origin of jets in massive protostars, interstellar medium, characterization of planetary atmospheres, dust in galaxies of low metallicity and protoplanetary discs.

The visit of the main CNRS authorities took place within the framework of the signing of the Collaboration Agreement between the Embassy of France and the University of Chile on April 10, with the aim of developing a program of academic and scientific cooperation, in addition to promote the development of scientific research projects, innovation and artistic creation. The agreement also includes the translation of bibliographic materials and the implementation of a library for the dissemination of research and editorial productions.


Since 2000, the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) of France has created different units in our country that have allowed deepening the exchange of research and university education from a multidisciplinary perspective, reaching the highest standards of excellence.

To date, our country has UMI-CMM (Center for Mathematical Modeling U. of Chile) and UMI-FCA (Franco-Chilean of Astronomy), as well as Associated Research Laboratories LIA-MSD (Matter, Structure and Dynamism), LIA -MINES (Mining Systems in the Atacama Desert) and LIA-Montessus de Ballore (Seismology).

The study delivered unprecedented details of galaxies formed shortly after the Big Bang and could measure for the first time the movement of gas in these objects. The results were published in the latest edition of the journal Nature Astronomy.

For the first time, the scientific community was able to study galaxies formed shortly after the Big Bang whose light was emitted when the Universe was only 780 million years old, thanks to the ALMA radio telescope (Atacama Large Millimeter / Submillimeter Array).

De izquierda a derecha: Leonardo Bronfman (Académico DAS), Olivier Fudym (Director ​del Cono Sur de CNRS), Andrés Escala (Director DAS), Antoine Petit (Presidente CNRS), Guido Garay (Académico DAS), Stephane Blondin (Académico PUC), Myriam Benisty (UMI-FCA), Gaël Chauvin (UMI-FCA).