ESO–Government of Chile Joint Committee 2009

In 1996, the European Southern Observatory and the Government of Chile signed an agreement whereby Chilean astronomy has access to up to 10 percent of the total observing time on ESO telescopes in Chile. As part of this agreement, the ESO–Government of Chile Joint Committee was established for the development of astronomy and scientific culture.

Since 1998 this fund has financed postdoctoral fellowships and positions for astronomy professors at Chilean universities, infrastructure development, conferences, training for science teachers at primary and secondary level, and astronomy outreach programmes for the general public. In 2009, the ESO–Government of Chile Joint Committee selected the following education and public outreach projects, to be executed during 2010:

Renovation of the historical Observatory Manuel Foster, Santiago

This project focuses on the design of the strategy and the pathfinder experiment for the implementation of a systematic programme of astronomy education at the historical Observatory Manuel Foster located at Cerro San Cristobal in Santiago. This project aims to create the Manuel Foster Centre for Astronomy Education as an important part of the educational and cultural activities in Santiago.

Responsible Institution: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC), Santiago. Metropolitan Region.
Contact: David Orellana

Manuel Foster Observatory

Research in stellar astrophysics, teaching and outreach activities at the University of Valparaíso

Logo Departamento de FísicaThis project includes an exhibition about international astronomical observatories in Chile at the Museum of Natural History of Valparaíso (more info available in Spanish); talks and workshops at schools and for general public in Region V; the design of talks, practical exercises and advanced training courses for teachers; the creation of an observatory with educational purposes at the UV or in collaboration with smaller observatories either in Regions IV or V.

Logo Valparaiso

Responsible Institution: Universidad de Valparaíso (UV), Valparaíso, V Region of Chile.
Contact: Nikolaus Vogt
More info on ongoing outreach activities at the Universidad de Valparaíso (Spanish):
Visit Nikolaus Vogt's blog:

Ojos al Universo

6th Astronomy School for Teachers

A teacher training programme for elementary and high school teachers, including theoretical and practical lectures and workshops focused on methods for teaching the basic principles of astronomy. The programme also includes observational activities at the recently inaugurated UMCE observatory.

Responsible Institution: Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación (UMCE), Santiago, Metropolitan Region.
Contact: Luís Barrera

UMCE Astronomy School for Teachers

Multimedia production to promote knowledge on star formation for schools and general public  

Logo PlanetarioProduction of audiovisual material about star formation for dome and mobile planetariums. This material will be added to the set of four existing audiovisuals and will be complemented by interactive games and guidelines for teachers.

Responsible Institution: Fundación para el Funcionamiento, Desarrollo y Promoción del Planetario de la USACH, Santiago, Metropolitan Region.
Contact: Carolina Díaz Soler

Workshop entitled "You are Galileo" and grants for assistance and transportation of underprivileged students to visit the new Astronomy Hall at the Museum of Science and Technology

Logo MuseoTheoretical–practical workshops entitled "You are Galileo" aimed at teaching participants how to build a refracting telescope. The project also includes field trips to perform "Galilean" observations, as well as grants for 1000 students selected from underprivileged areas to visit the Science and Technology Museum in Santiago.

Responsible Institution: Museo de Ciencia y Tecnología, Santiago, Metropolitan Region.
Contact: Juan Pablo Gajardo

Multimedia exhibition, The Sky in our Hands, for the astronomical observatory Cruz del Sur in Combarbalá

Logo Cruz del SurProduction of the multimedia exhibition, The Sky in our Hands, for the Observatory Cruz del Sur. The multimedia element will be complemented by an educational kit and educational activities, intended for teachers and students, but also suitable for the general public. The project also includes a training programme for the guides.

Responsible Institution: Ilustre Municipalidad de Combarbalá, Combarbalá, IV Region of Chile.
Contact: Lorena Díaz Salinas
More info on audiovisual productions by Cruz del Sur observatory available (Spanish) at: