LCO joins “Cielos del Sur”

This series, published on Youtube, teaches and explains about astronomical objects visible at night from the southern hemisphere, in a certain month.

Chile is recognized worldwide for its dark skies and its great potential for astronomical development. This is due to the unique combination of climatic and geographic conditions that exist in the north of the country, such as low humidity, high peaks, and low light pollution. There are almost no clouds in this area. On average, 300 nights a year are clear, which is unbeatable for observing and studying the night sky.

For this reason, our country is the center of world astronomy. It concentrates more than 40 percent of the global astronomical observation and in the next few years it will have 70 percent of the scientific observation capacity from Earth. Las Campanas, Tololo, La Silla, VLT, Gemini and ALMA observatories will be joined by other complexes, such as the GMT, the E-ELT and the Vera Rubin Observatory (formerly known as LSST).

This is one of the reasons that led Las Campanas Observatory of the Carnegie Institution for Science and the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile to join forces in the search for a formula to bring this beautiful night sky and its observation to the general public, through an attractive and educational project. Thus, this year "Cielos del Sur" was born, a Youtube series whose purpose is to make known which astronomical objects are visible in the night sky during a certain month and the relevant astronomical events, all seen from the southern hemisphere.

"An informed look at the sky gives us an important perspective on our humble existence and the importance of science in our world and time," says Thomas Puzia, academic of Institute of Astrophysics at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and head of extension at the institute, who developed this project together with the series' presenter and LCO's Communications and Extension Officer, Carol Rojas.

The purpose, says Rojas, who is also an astronomer, is not only for people to know that they will be able to see the sky, but to understand what they see and learn about astronomy at the same time.

"This strategic alliance between LCO and PUC seeks to promote astronomy to the Spanish-speaking public with the scientific rigor practiced at international observatories in Chile," says Leopoldo Infante, director of Las Campanas Observatory.

"Cielos del Sur" is a unique series in that there is little of this kind in Spanish. The June chapter is currently published on LCO's Youtube channel and those corresponding to the February-May period are available on the AI's Youtube channel.

Cielos del Sur July will be online soon. You can see the June chapter here.

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