Atacama Desert has Chilean astronomers seeing stars

Americas Now

Chile leads the world when it comes to space exploration and hosts some of the world’s largest instruments for observation of outer space.

Correspondent Harris Whitbeck takes us to the Atacama Desert to behold the mysteries of the Milky Way from the driest desert on earth.

Large telescopes dot the Atacama Desert in the northern part of Chile and offer the ideal conditions to study space from Earth. The high altitude combined with a lack of moisture and light pollution provide a near-perfect view of the night sky.

Chile is working on another piece of equipment to look skyward as well. Construction has started on the extremely large telescope or ELT. Its diameter is a whopping 39 meters, which is nearly five times the size of the four telescopes currently being operated at the Paranal Observatory.

Check out Harris Whitbeck’s report from this rugged terrain on the Pacific coast and see how Chile is becoming the global superpower of space exploration.