Release 20200605

Dear LCO Community:

I hope that everybody are very well and taking care of themselves. Personally, my bones are feeling this confinement. I wonder if you feel this too: I would like to get to LCO; return to the routine of El Pino; participate in face-to-face meetings; see my sons, daughters, granddaughters and grandsons; and be back to my regular life! What's important is that I am full of energies and ready for new challenges. Are you?

The Ministerio de Salud reported this morning 92 people died from COVID-19, bringing the national total to 1,448. In addition, 4,207 new cases were reported, the total number of infections being 122,499 since the arrival of the Coronavirus to Chile.

In Coquimbo Region, according to the Ignacio Pinto -Government Seremi-, there are 772 accumulated total cases, 54 of them new, with 6 people deceased until June 5, 2020.

The number of cases of COVID-19 continues to climb rapidly in Chile. Given this, we have decided to extend the closure of Las Campanas Observatory for the rest of the 2020A semester (July 12, 2020). We will continue to monitor the situation and provide another update in two weeks.

We understand that the closure of LCO has heavily impacted many science programs. While we are eager to see science observations resume, the safety of our mountain staff must remain our highest priority.

Despite this period of closure, we have continued with some activities, including the outreach of astronomy. For this reason, yesterday we published on our YouTube channel the June chapter of  “Cielos del Sur”, whose objective is to teach astronomy to the general public and invite them to observe the night sky with the naked eye, and from their homes. Cielos del Sur is part of a series of collaborations that we have established with other scientific institutions, in this case, the Instituto de Astrofísica UC.

Another outreach initiative is the "Golden Webinars in Astrophysics" that the institute will carry out the week of June 8-12, a program that features world-class exhibitors, including two Nobel Prize winners in Physics. You can find more information here.

It is very important to follow the recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep us in good health. As always, I appreciate your collaboration and willingness in this situation.

Leopoldo Infante Lira

Director Observatorio Las Campanas


Share this article