Milky Way in Chile

I just got back from a jaw-dropping astronomy tour in northern Chile in San Pedro de Atacama. In the middle of the world’s driest desert, brushing up against both the Bolivian and Argentinian borders, I had the opportunity to revel in the best star-viewing I have ever seen.

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Luckily Jared, the astronomer, is an expert at using every possible model of camera the tourists just so happen to bring along. (Mine is Canon Rebel T5i, brand new two months ago.) In order to not plagiarize the photo, I admit that Jared set it up on the tripod and knew exactly what setting to use.

Through two high-powered telescopes, Jared taught us about the Southern Cross, the constellations Scorpio, the Centaur, the Wolf and various others. He showed us the planet Venus along with yellow stars, blue stars, and red giants. Jared is the best kind of teacher– he’s clearly excited about sharing his knowledge of the stars with us! In turn, I was incredibly excited each time I looked into the telescope. Jared was extremely accommodating– he lowered the viewer on the telescope for me down to my height each time it was my turn.

My favorite part of the evening was seeing Saturn (and it’s rings!) through the telescope. I hadn’t expected that its rings would be visible through a telescope!

Jared was also kind enough to take a group shot. I don’t know any of these people; they are other travelers. Of course my eyes are closed during the 25-second exposure.

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I found Jared’s astronomy tour through Andes-Travel on the main street in San Pedro de Atacama. (address Caracoles 174) He has a presentation for you inside, and you get to enjoy the app Cosmic Universe. You even take a break halfway through for tea, wine, and cookies! It’s also family-friendly.

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3 Comments on “Milky Way in Chile”

  1. Martha LaValette August 1, 2013 at 19:35 #

    How lucky all of you were to be able to see all of those celestial bodies!

    • Lisa August 2, 2013 at 12:57 #

      What a wonderful experience! I can wait to hear about your trip to Chile.

      • Marisa LaValette August 2, 2013 at 13:12 #

        Hi Lisa,

        Thanks for reading! I’ll see you back at school before we know it! I hope you’re enjoying the rest of the summer!

        Marisa

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