Las Campanas Observatory

    Carnegie Science's Las Campanas Observatory is known worldwide for the quality of its dark skies, which remain clear and stable due to its location above the Atacama Desert—the most arid non-polar place on the planet.

    The observatory was established in 1969 as a home to both 40-inch and 100-inch reflecting telescopes. In the early 2000s, under the leadership of Carnegie Science President Emerita Maxine Singer, the twin 6.5-meter reflectors saw first light. These remarkable machines represent the latest generation of giant telescopes, enabling scientific breakthroughs across every specialty of astronomy and astrophysics. In 2023, the Local Volume Mapper was constructed to enable a new understanding of the cosmic ecosystem surrounding our Milky Way galaxy. This effort was undertaken as part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey's fifth generation, which is headed by Carnegie Science astronomer Juna Kollmeier, who is also the Founding Director of the Carnegie Theoretical Astrophysics Center.

    The future of Las Campanas Observatory will be shaped by the construction of the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT). This next-generation telescope is poised to transform the field of astronomy. From unveiling the intricate details of distant exoplanets to shedding light on the elusive nature of dark matter, the Giant Magellan Telescope promises a treasure trove of discoveries that will captivate stargazers and scientists alike.

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    Technical Information

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    The Las Campanas website offers extensive details about our telescopes, our instruments, and other tools available to astronomers. 

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    Information for Astronomers

    All the details observers need to prepare for their time using our telescopes. 

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