Chile - La Silla astrophotography paradise
If you like astrophotography then La Silla is the place to be at – or the region around, so the nearby telescopes of Las Campanas are equally a good place to set your own equipment.
Attached you can see a photo of the Milky Way – with the 3.6 meters telescope in foreground. This was done by my colleague Robert Filgas, with 60 seconds exposure and 3200 ISO.
If you want to see professional photographer’s photos – have a look at Serge Brunier’s webpage (sergebrunier.com), who was also in La Silla at my time there.
I told Serge one could see our own shadow cast by the Milky Way – by the Universe itself, under such clear skies.
Imagine what such photo will be!! [more]
Astronomy - ESO telescopes in the Atacama Desert
At about 160 Km from La Serena, after 2-3 hours drive up into the mountains of La Silla, you find the European Southern Observatory (ESO) telescopes of La Silla, at an altitude of 2400 m. This is one of the most scientific research active centers in the world – yet public tours can be arranged.
There is a hotel, a restaurant and medical facilities for those who may not adapt well in altitude. The most famous telescopes include the New Technology Telescope with 3.5 meters diameter, hosted in a self-rotating building. The Swiss telescope is also quite known for the discovery of many extra solar system planets. [more]
Cerro La Silla El Molle Indian Culture petroglyphs
Just beyond the European Southern Observatory (ESO) telescopes located at Cerro La Silla, some 2-3 hours driving from La Serena – you will find interesting petroglyphs dating from one millennia ago. It is generally accepted that they belong to the El Molle culture, one of the Chilean pre-Columbian Indian cultures.
I visited some of these in Quebrada Los Tambos, just on the other side of the 3.6 meters telescope, bellow the dirty road to Cerro Las Vizcachas. The presence of a course of water in the down valley may have attracted populations in a time when rain was perhaps more abundant. The petroglyphs normally depict human-shamanic figures, animals and geometric-abstract shapes.
From the telescopes it takes a couple of hours walking in rough rocks at an altitude of more than 2000 meters – but it is worth the effort. [more]
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