Upcoming Colloquia
Astronomy in Chile

Shanghai Astronomical Observatory Astrophysics Colloquium

TitleAstronomy in Chile

SpeakerGuido Garay (Universidad de Chile)

Special Time3:00 pm August 28th (Monday)

Tencent Meeting576-157-8290 password: 6360

Location: Lecture Hall, 3rd floor


The Atacama desert in the north of Chile, with its pristine skies and low levels of humidity, offers the best conditions for astronomical observations in the world. During the late sixties, astronomical institutions of United States and Europe recognized these privileged conditions leading to the construction of three observatories hosting optical telescopes up to 4m in diameter: Cerro Tololo, La Silla and Las Campanas. At the turn of the century, a new generation of giant 8m class optical/infrared telescopes was constructed: the Very Large Telescope, the Magellan Telescopes and Gemini South. In 2012, the most powerful sub-millimeter telescope on Earth, ALMA, started operations. In the near future an astonishing generation of mega-telescopes will start operations: The Vera Rubin Observatory, the Large European Telescope and the Giant Magellan Telescope. By the middle of this decade, Chile will host 70% of all the astronomical observation capacity in the world.

Also during the late sixties, the Chilean government established a policy granting foreign Astronomy Institutions status of International Organization, to install telescopes under duty-free importation rights. In return they asked guaranteed access to 10% of the observing time to Chilean astronomers. This has led to a remarkable development of astronomy in Chile during the last 60 years: (i) Chilean astronomers have been able to perform frontier research in several topics of astrophysics, (ii) The number of universities performing research in astrophysics increased from 2 to currently 23, spread across the country.  Eleven of these offer Ph.D. and M.Sc. programs open to students from all over the world; (iii)  the human resources devoted to astrophysics (researchers, postdocs and graduate students) has grown by a factor of 10.

Finally, a strong and fruitful research collaboration between Chinese and Chilean astronomers started 10 years ago with the installation in Santiago of the Chinese Academy of Science South America Center for Astronomy, which provides funds for Joint Research projects and Postdoctoral Fellowships.


Prof.Guido Garay is a full professor at Universidad de Chileand a full member of the Chilean Academy of Sciences. He obtained his PhD from Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in 1983. He conducted his postdoc research at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory and European Southern Observatory before joining University of Chile as a professor in 1987. As a leader in Chilean astronomy community, he has severed as directors for MECESUP Program, the Center of Excellence in Astrophysics, Center of Astrophysics and Associated Technologies, and department of Astronomy in Universidad de Chile. Due to his excellent research achievements and outstanding leadership, he has received many awards including the National Prize for Exact Sciences (智利国家科学奖,该国在科学方面最高的国家奖项,而且每年都只有唯一的一位顶级科学家获奖).

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