31/10/15

THE PLACE

Long. 70º41'39" W / Lat. 30º08'35" S /
Altitude 1478m (4850ft)



The Observatorio del Pangue stands atop a moderate hill in a mountainous landscape close to the Elqui Valley, located some 480 km (300 mi.) north to the capital city Santiago de Chile. The little town Vicuña is some 17 km (11 mi.) north to the observatory, while the regional cape town, La Serena, is some 80 km (43 mi.) westward.


The local view indeed is stunning, where the only human buildings visible in the far are the scientific observatories of SOAR, Gemini, and Tololo, all located within 11 km (7 mi.) to us. Yet the most noticeable feature of the region is the quality of the sky, resulting from a rare association of an adjusted geology, a favourable local climate, and a total absence of light pollution. Hence, these mountains have been selected among 5 candidate places in the world for installing the 500-million dollar budget facility, the next LSST, also 11 km (7 mi.) away from us.

Two of our neighbours : the SOAR, and the Gemini South observatory (left to right)

At the Observatorio del Pangue you will indeed experience the unforgettable feeling of sharing the sky with the giants...



A stunning starry sky awaits you every night



The original summit has been flattened, prior to building the observatory... (click to enlarge)


Aerial view of the observatory and its surroundings (click to enlarge)
(Photo: Jean Pichon)



360º panoramic view from the Observatorio del Pangue: the video starts due South West, facing the SOAR and Gemini observatories. The Tololo observatory, due West, comes into view a few seconds later.



The local zone, viewed from space (click to enlarge) - credit: NASA



Interactive map from GoogleMaps: you can easily find us by playing with the zoom digits and orientation arrows.



See also the Observatorio del Pangue on the GoogleMaps pages, with the route fully labelled from Vicuña.