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Paranal

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 | Chile | 24°38' S, 70°23' W
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Paranal

Part of my job here in Chile is to assist in the running of the world’s premier visible light observatory, the Very Large Telescope. A couple of days ago I made my first journey here from Santiago, flying up to Antofagasta and getting a bus from there up into the savagely dry Atacama desert, to the observatory at Cerro Paranal.

What a place Paranal is. I’ve been to several observatories but none have been anything like this. The residencia is an awesome piece of architecture, the scale of the operation is immense, the level of activity is impressive, and the unbelievably harsh desert is terrifyingly beautiful. I will be coming here about once a month for the next three years so perhaps I will get bored of it. But on this first visit, I’m feeling impressed.

One comment

  1. Quaking | world-traveller.org (April 2nd, 2012 at 1:36 pm)

    [...] felt five more and I’m starting to get used to how often they happen. I felt two at Paranal on my first shift there, and then in January I felt my first one in Santiago, when my building [...]