LCO Support Astronomer

Las Campanas Observatory (LCO), Chile. This is a full-time position based at LCO, Chile.

The Las Campanas Observatory of the Carnegie Institution for Science seeks a highly motivated and qualified Support Astronomer to join our team. The successful candidate will be a team member responsible for supporting in situ and remote operations of the Magellan telescopes. The Support Astronomer will work closely with the technical and scientific staff and other community members to ensure the smooth and efficient operation of the telescopes and instruments.

The position is at Las Campanas Observatory, located 160 km north of La Serena.


  • Assist with the Magellan telescopes'scientific operations, including telescope operations, calibration, and data reduction.
  • Maintain fast and fluent communications in English or Spanish with remote/visiting astronomers (international observers)
  • Provide technical and scientific support to astronomers at various stages of their runs.
  • Support, if necessary, in the diagnosis and resolution of problems that may arise during the operation
  • Track systems performance and observing efficiency.
  • Perform tests, analyze and interpret results.
  • Provide science and technical feedback to the daytime engineering team.
  • Collaborate occasionally in the installation of equipment, instruments, and accessories.
  • Participate in the elaboration and revision of observing and calibration procedures.
  • Occasionally handle cryogenic liquids.
  • Contribute to the archiving of observatory data.
  • Additional duties may be assigned depending on organizational needs and qualifications. This could involve, for example, developing documentation on new subsystems, implementing new software, observing procedures, etc.


  • Astronomer, Master and/or PhD in Astronomy, Physics, Astrophysics, or related sciences.
  • Fluent oral and written English skills.
  • Professional experience in observational astronomy and astronomical data analysis
  • Knowledge of astronomical software and data reduction techniques
  • Experience with telescopes and astronomical instrumentation
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work effectively in a team environment.
  • Valid class B driver’s license.

LCO offices and administrative headquarters are located in the coastal resort city of La Serena, while the observatory facilities are located 160 km north of La Serena at the southern extremity of the Atacama desert in the Andes mountains.

The normal work schedule is 7 nights in residence at the Observatory (2,300m) and 7 nights off.


Application Instructions

Position URL

Carnegie is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

A complete job description is contained in this advertisement – no phone calls, please. Email address for inquiries about the job:

Please, necessarily include in the application form, the desired salary range.

Applicants are encouraged to apply by June 10, 2024, when application review will begin. However, the position will remain open until filled. Only select candidates who meet our requirements will be contacted.

At Carnegie, we are committed to building a diverse and inclusive community. We believe academic environments should be places where diverse groups of people with a variety of viewpoints and ideas can thrive and work together. As such, we encourage applicants from under-represented groups and backgrounds to apply.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

Carnegie Institution for Science has a long-standing commitment to equal employment opportunity for all employees and applicants for employment. All applicants will receive consideration of employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws.

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